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HUNTER Report Summary

Project ID: 691010
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HUNTER (Advanced Humidity to Electricity Converter)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The HUNTER project will develop revolutionary power devices that convert humidity into electrical charge (hygroelectricity), thereby contributing to the European technology and creativity through joint R&D and R&I multisectorial and international cooperation activities supported by knowledge sharing. The devices will harvest electricity from atmospheric humidity and supply a current, such as solar cells capture sunlight and generate electrical power. The successful realization of the project is assured by implementing a coordinated network of knowledge sharing in materials science, physics and chemistry; by solidifying the state-of-the-art understanding in nanoelectronics and by applying bottom-up nanoengineering approaches via an international and inter-sector collaboration of highly qualified researchers from Portugal, France, Finland, Ukraine, Belarus and USA. Both technological (e.g. nanoelectronic device fabrication) and fundamental (e.g. charge transport mechanisms) issues will be assessed by this multidisciplinary consortium.
The consortium members have many years of experience and ongoing research activities on nanostructured materials fabrication and on optical, electrical, and structural characterization of low dimensional systems. The successful realization of this project will lead to scientifically substantiated principles for the development of a new generation of functional materials and, consequently, to the creation of advanced nanoelectronic devices. Our target is the development of a prototype of humidity to electricity converter in the humidity range of 20-100%.
The specific Objectives of the Marie Curie RISE topic call, which are in a focus in the HUNTER project, are the following: The work within the project is aimed at devising complementary methods and innovative approaches in the renewable energy field, namely in the area of electricity generation from a highly innovative source, which is atmospheric humidity [Fig. 1], by means of cooperation between Researchers, Engineers and SMEs Partners. Other specific objectives of the proposed collaboration are aimed at: (i) increasing individual mobility and career prospects of each person involved; (ii) facilitating transfer of knowledge between research groups involved via the exchange of visiting project members; (iii) providing training opportunities for early stage researchers; (iv) disseminating the results of the exchange activities.
The main HUNTER project R&D objective is to deliver an innovative, affordable and applicable renewable energy solution via the development of energy-efficient humidity-to-electricity convertors. Such solution would be suitable for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) under the Horizon 2020’s Leadership in Enabling & Industrial Technologies (LEIT) Pillar and The Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan); therefore highly in line with the research and innovation pillar of the European energy policy.
The R&D and S&I objectives are planned in the line of the Technology Readiness Levels from TRL 1-2 [current] to TRL 3-4 [in the end of the project]: TRL 1 Basic principles observed and reported; TRL 2 Technology concept and/or application formulated; TRL 3 Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept; TRL 4 Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment. They will be achieved through the knowledge transfer activities between Partners as described in detail below.
The joint investigations will be carried out via transfer of knowledge and networking activities between the 4 RTO [Research and Technology Organization], 1 UNI [University] and 2 SME from Member States and Associated Country, 1 Third country [Belarus] and 1 Highly developed Third country [USA] teams. This project will reinforce and strengthen existing bilateral scientific links [PT–USA; PT–UA, FI–BY, PT FR] and transform them into a larger network which includes all partners

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Within project lifetime until reporting period following progress was made on project objectives implementation.
(i) Within project implementation 27 ESR and ER researchers performed 67.5-person moths of secondments.
(ii) Joint activity within project led to the number of yearly based meetings successfully implemented, namely Kick-of, 1st year and 2nd year meetings.
(iii) All visiting researchers accessed training courses, seminars and workshops provided by host universities.
(iv) Also project website and other social media have been created to disseminate research activity.
The main results achieved so far:
- was selected best nanomaterial for further WPs implementation, namely ZrO2 3mol%Y2O3 calcinated at 700 0C;
- theoretical base for understanding electrical current generation during ZrO2 nanopowder / water vapour interaction is achieved by DFT modelling;
- novel gas (water vapour) dosing technology for work under WP1 and WP4 implementation was created;
Thus, 2 milestones M1 “Reference onset of the Innovative NMs” and M2 “Conceptual analytical model delivery” was achieved on time according to the Grant Agreement.
These achievements laid down as a base for total 8 peer- reviewed publications, 2 master thesis defence and 1 patent submission.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

It is generally believed that in a near future air humidity will be one of the major players (along with solar, wind and hydro) in the alternative energy field.
The HUNTER project is developing the revolutionary power devices that convert humidity into electrical charge (hygroelectricity).
Therefore, the proposed HUNTER system, being less whimsical, working with atmospheric humidity (both vapor and liquid water, such as rain), constitutes a highly innovation with significant expected impact.
Expected potential Impact
The HUNTER project it strongly relevant to the priorities and objectives of the Future of European Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, ERDF investment priority Research, technological development and innovation, by:
• developing excellence and R&I capacity by creation of the nanomaterials based humidity to electricity conversion technology aimed at its practical implementation for electric energy harvesting.
• establish advanced team, which facilitates innovative R&I; thus making a step towards promotion center of competence and international collaboration on NANOENGINEERING activities toward renewable energy production.
• transfer the developed technology to the End-Users to insure social innovation
• raising attractiveness in R&I sector for industrial investment
• joints advanced S&T human resources, stimulating networking and clustering aimed at further application for a support from the Structural Funds.
• supporting research and applied technology, first production in key enabling technologies exploring the cross-sector potential of nanotechnologies and advanced materials to drive competitive advantage and sustainability to the of European research and industry.
• promoting substantial advances at the frontiers of knowledge, and encourages new productive lines of enquiry, products and processes, including unconventional approaches and investigations at the interface between nanomaterials, renewable energy, environmental and engineering sciences.

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