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Innovative Energy Systems lab (IES) - Closed Cycles

The University of Genoa and Tirreno Power CCGT power plant (called Vado Ligure – VL5 unit) joined the efforts in 2019 to create a co-located laboratory to support research activities related to innovative energy and environmental systems. The first implementation regarded the PUMPHEAT project, targeting to increase power-plant flexibility, to reduce emission of NOx/GHG particularly in transients, to increase ramp-up/down rates, to reduce power plant start up time and to increase overall efficiency.

To achieve such objectives, University of Genoa and Tirreno Power are looking at thermal energy storage (TES) solutions as well as at Waste Heat valorisation, including the possibility to setup a large size heat pump (HP) to drive local district heating network.

The joint laboratory is part of the larger Innovate Energy System lab, IES lab, operated by Univerisity of Genoa, and it is focused on advanced closed cycles (microturbines, HP and TES), high temperature cycles (SOFC systems), as well as bladeless expander test-benches, the last one in close cooperation with the company SIT Technologies.

In this site, a Phase-Change-Material (PCM) TES able to store up to 180 kWh of cold energy is installed, exploiting a shell-tube heat exchanger and a flexible heat transfer fluid hydraulic circuit, allowing to operate dedicated experimental campaign for PCM TES.

IES lab entrance at Tirreno Power premises

The PUMP-HEAT project allowed to build the first cyber-physical system of a combined cycle equipped with low temperature chiller and phase-change-material TES in order to simulate in hardware-in-the-loop configuration the concept.

The collaboration with Carrier corporation allowed the installation of an innovative rig for radial compressor testing in close loop systems employing low GWP refrigerants. The rig is being used to characterise the compressor in stable and unstable operating regimes, with advanced modelling of surge cycles, as well as vicro-acoustic experimental characterisation.

University of Genoa and SIT Technologies operate a unique test rig for characterising the performance of innovative bladeless or Tesla turbomachinery, encompassing both turbines and compressors evolving air or water.