Hybrid energy systems and energy storage Investigation and Modeling for energy efficiency and energy transition

The team of “Fluid Machines and Energy Systems” has performed and it is currently carrying on research activities on the following topics:

●    Energy storage: Building Environment and Energy Systems (BEESs), Thermal Energy Storage (TEs) and Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES)

  • Energy storage is one of the most important topics related to the energy transition in terms of both energy production and demand. Furthermore, it provides a high flexibility of the electric grid when renewables are operating and connected to the grid itself
  • The management of the e-charging stations as energy storage, which can be spread in different locations in order to further enhance the flexibility of the energy systems, is one of the strengths of this research field

●    Micro Gas Turbines (MGTs)

  • Numerical modelling and experimental tests on a micro gas turbine Turbec T100 have been performed. The test bench was set up at TURBEC Italy located in Porto Recanati (MC), Italy; in particular, experiments on Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units, trigeneration units and inlet air cooling systems able to enhance the performance of microturbines have been performed. The micro gas turbine Turbec T100 has been developed and designed by VOLVO, a Swedish Group, and  now belongs to the ANSALDO Group. Turbec Italy started in the 2000’s and its production plants were located in Porto Recanati (MC), Italy, at the seat of G.I.&E. Group.

●    Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs)

  • Study of low and high temperature direct fuel injection in two-strokes engines, focusing the attention on the development of a high temperature Water Hammer Gasoline Direct Injection System (WH-I-GDIS)
  • Combustion analysis of different diesel-biodiesel (B100) mixtures in compression ignition engines, focusing the attention on the performance and the effects on the injection system through the comparison between experimental tests and numerical results
  • Modeling of thermal management solutions
  • Modeling of micro-CHP systems with ICEs fueled by natural gas, as well as technical and economical comparisons considering fixed and variable rotational speeds
  • Numerical study and investigation of ICEs used in CHP and trigeneration units

●    Pumps-as-Turbines (PaTs)

  • Utilization of hydraulic pumps as turbines in order to regulate/lower the liquid pressure and recover hydraulic energy
  • PaTs can be installed in adduction pipes of Water Supply Systems (WSSs), as well as in distribution branches of Water Distribution Networks (WDNs), increasing the overall efficiency of the system on both energetic and economical points of view
  • PaTs can be also applied in industrial plants (e.g. wastewater plants and oil refineries) where closed-loop processes that need to lower the working liquid pressure are present. In this case, these machines are called Hydraulic Power Recovery Turbines (HPRTs) since they are coupled to the same shaft of the feed pump of the same process, or another one, providing part of the required mechanical energy to the pump and thus lowering its electricity consumption. This intervention increases the efficiency of the process as well. However, the liquid properties of the working fluid must be considered in these cases since, most of the time, they have a higher density and viscosity than water, leading to different performance of the machines
  • PaT technology is cheaper and has a larger availability in the market than traditional hydraulic turbines that are designed according to the operating data of a determined site, thus making them an interesting solution as energy efficiency intervention

●    Poligeneration
This is one of the historical research activities carried out by the team of “Fluid Machines and energy systems” so far. Poligeneration stands for energy production by means of several energy carriers that come from only one source. CHP and trigeneration units, as well as waste heat recovery and water desalination, are studied and used in this research field.

●    Hydrogen e Power-to-Gas
Hydrogen is an energy carrier that is currently gaining interest in the energy transition in the European  Countries since it belongs at the same time to three sustainable energy missions: i) green energy production, ii) storage and handling in the mobility sector and iii) usage in some industrial sectors.