The activities on Thermal Energy Systems include the following lines of research:
- Characterization of materials for thermal energy systems (thermal conductivity, specific heat, superficial area, pore volume, adsorption isotherms and isobars, adsorption and phase transition heat);
- Development and testing of components for themal systems, such as adsorbers, evaporators for sorption and hybrid chillers and heat exchangers for thermal storages. Available apparatuses for characterization of components include a lab-scale reactor to evaluate adsorbers, a Gravimetric Large Temperature Jump system to measure sorption dynamics and a testing rig for small-scale evaporators/condensers.
- Development and testing of thermal energy storage systems with phase change materials, hybrid sensible/latent storage technology and sorption technology;
- Development and testing of chillers and heat pumps;
- Numerical simulation and dynamic modelling of energy systems, for techno-economic analysis and to evaluate the integration of thermal systems in more complex system layouts.
Investigated fields of application include:
- Heating/cooling of buildings;
- Heating/cooling in industries;
- Refrigeration and cooling in fishing vessels;
- Building comfort;
- Integration of renewable-based energy systems.
EQUIPMENT AND RESOURCES
- Thermogravimetric apparatus for measurement of ad/absorption and co-ad/absorption of vapours on solids and liquids from room up to 400°C with relative pressure from 0.01 up to 0.95 (DVS Vacuum)
- HF-DSC for phase transition and specific heat measurements from -50 °C up to 800 °C (Mettler DSC-1)
- TG/DSC apparatus working under pure saturated vapour conditions, from room temperature up to 600 °C (Setaram Labsys-Evo)
- Test rig for hydrothermal ageing of adsorbent materials. Temperature range from 30 °C to 90 °C and relative pressure from 0.1 to 0.99. Able to perform up to 150 ageing cycles per day.
- Transient plane thermal conductivity apparatus (Mathis-TCi).
- NMR Bruker AVANCE NEO spectrometer with a 300 MHz widebore magnet equipped with probes for both liquid and solid state.
- Stelar Spinmaster FFC-2000 Fast Field-Cycling NMR relaxometer.
- FTIR Perkin Elmer Spectrum 100 spectrophotometer .
Characterization of components:
- Test rig for single adsorber adsorption machines testing up to 1 kW of cooling/heating power.
- Test rig for sorption kinetic measurements of small scale adsorber configurations.
- Test rig for small scale evaporator/condenser testing under saturated pure vapour working conditions.
Thermal systems testing
- 24 kW heating power test rig for thermal energy storages.
- Test rig for thermally driven heat pumps/chillers up to 20 kW heating power and 10 kW cooling power.
- Test rig for thermally driven heat pumps/chillers up to 60 kW heating power and 40 kW cooling power.
- AutoCAD 2018;
- Solidworks 2017;
- MATLAB 2017;
- Comsol Multiphysics 5.4
- Dymola 2018;
- Origin 2018