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Reference Number EP/R000182/1
Title External Heat Engine mCHP
Status Started
Energy Categories ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Residential and commercial) 75%;
OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES(Electric power conversion) 25%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 25%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 75%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor S Riffat
No email address given
Architecture and Built Environment
University of Nottingham
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 February 2018
End Date 31 January 2022
Duration 48 months
Total Grant Value £440,452
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region East Midlands
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor S Riffat , Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Dr SA Omer , Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham (0.001%)
Dr Y Su , Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Environmental Process Systems Ltd (EPS) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Geo Green Power Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Spirax Sarco UK (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Building sector accounts for more than 60% of total energy consumption in the world, while the share of domestic buildings is about 20-40%. The energy consumed is mostly utilised for heating, cooling and ventilation purposes, contributing massively to fossil fuels consumption and thus CO2 emissions. Combined heat and power (CHP) systems generate electricity and harness the heat by-product for heating of buildings. Currently CHP systems deliver a combined efficiency of up to 80%, residential and small business bills can be reduced by 20-40%, and carbon production can be reduced by 30%. They also offer fuel flexibility, and being an independent system, reduce demand on centralised power supply and distribution systems. The current roadmap for UK CHP implementation will, by 2030, yield primary energy savings of 85-86TWh/a with a savings of 10-14Mt/a. The mCHP market is currently served by Stirling, ICE, and ORC systems, all of which have significant issues that limit wide mCHP installations. The proposed ECHP system will lead to significant energy savings (greater than 40%), CO2 emissions reduction and will be approximately 30% more efficient than current mCHP systems due to unique geometry and control system applied to the highly efficient Ericsson cycle. The ECHP will use Helium, eliminating the need for HFCs. Being an external heat engine allows the use of a variety of fuels from gas, petrol, diesel, biogas, biomass, etc. The small size and silent, vibration free operation allows renovating existing building stock where the system could be installed in constrained boiler spaces. If successful, the entirely new class of mCHP will be ideally suited for new and existing UK buildings and have: (a) high efficiency; (b) low maintenance; (c) silent and low vibration; (d) HFC free; (e) compact design; (f) implementation of a simple, consumer friendly GUI interface allowing optimal system control; and (g) use external heat source, allowing a wide variety of fuels. The proposed ECHP system is expected to have the following technical advantages: a system incorporating optimised compressor and expander geometry to approach isothermal operation, computer control of individual rotor motor-generators to optimise cycle efficiency and quicker start to operation times, system integration of combustion chamber, expander, recuperator, and compressor for maximum efficiency, and an optimized control algorithm with GUI control to create a mCHP suitable for demonstration of the theory and research development. Research will begin with description of the theoretical concept in relation to the ideal Ericsson cycle. System components will be modelled, to include various geometries. Using developed computer analysis programs and CFD, rotor design, porting, and recuperator component designs will be optimised as individual components then as an integrated system. Computer simulation models will be used to predict the thermal and electrical performance of the ECHP system. This process will perform an optimisation study of the system by taking into account the influence of different parameters of the ECHP system and power output efficiency. Changes to the parameters and components will be evaluated as required. Only when the feasibility of the system is proven, components will be fabricated and electronic control hardware/software will be developed. The components and then the complete systems will be evaluated. A lab scale 3kW ECHP will be fabricated and evaluated. The outputs of this research will validate the theoretical modelling, significantly increase the body of knowledge of external heat engines and determine the technical feasibility of the proposed concept which aims to surpass current systems efficiencies and approach Carnot efficiency
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 13/11/18