Libertine partners with Imperial to demonstrate High Performance Heat-Power-Cooling Technologies

Libertine’s Linear Power Systems technology will be used by researchers at Imperial College, London as part of an EPRSC funded project to improve industrial energy efficiency using Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and Absorbtion Refrigeration (AR) technologies.

A large proportion of all UK industrial energy-use is wasted as heat, of which only 17% is considered economically recoverable with currently available technology. The successful implementation small scale ORC and AR technologies would increase the potential for waste-heat utilisation by a factor of 3.5, from 17% with current technologies to close to 60%.

ORC and AR technologies are capable of recovering and utilising thermal energy from a diverse range of sources. The heat input can come from distributed combined heat & power (CHP) units, conventional or renewable sources (solar, geothermal, biomass/gas), or from industrial processes.

The performance of a free piston expander supplied by Libertine will be installed in a purpose-built test facility and its performance will be characterised to determine the potential role for free piston expanders in economically optimised ORC and AR systems.

About the EPSRC project “High Performance Heat-Power-Cooling Technologies” (iHPC).

The iHPC project is a 4-year multidisciplinary project aimed at minimising primary-energy use in UK industry and is concerned with next-generation technological solutions, identifying the challenges, and assessing the opportunities and benefits resulting from their optimal implementation. The project aims to develop and evaluate specific advancements to two selected energy-conversion technologies with integrated energy-storage capabilities: 1) heat-to-power with organic Rankine cycle (ORC) devices; 2) heat-to-cooling with absorption refrigeration (AR) devices. The project involves targeting and resolving pre-identified ‘bottleneck’ aspects of each technology that can enable step-improvements in maximising performance per unit capital cost. The goal is to enable the widespread uptake of these technologies and their optimal integration with existing energy systems and energy-efficiency strategies, leading to drastic increases performance while lowering costs, thus reducing payback to 3-5 years.

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