Layer 1 – RES-based Enabling Technologies

The transition of the energy sector towards a higher penetration of renewables is a challenge that cannot be tackled by improving the efficiency of renewable generation alone, it is rather a problem that involves intertwined technical, environmental and socio-economic issues. For their intrinsic nature, Variable Renewable Energy Sources (VRES) are difficult to accommodate by the power system, and the rise of VRES technologies is putting the electric grid under pressure.

From a technical perspective, cost-effective and efficient ways to improve the flexibility of the power system to transition towards a 100% renewable scenarios are: power-to-heat technologies, thermal storage technologies for energy dispatchability, improvement of management algorithms for VRES with active local energy markets, and increasing the energy mix at country-level.

For this purpose, HYPERGRYD proposes three different Key Enabling Technologies. 

Key Enabling Technology 1 - Modular Heat Pump with short-term PCM storage

AIT and OCHSNER aim at developing, building and testing a functional prototype of a decentralized, sound-optimized heat pump solution with refrigeration circuit modules connected in series or parallel for flexible operation. The heat pump is operated using the optimum/minimum refrigerant amount per refrigeration circuit. This renewable technology is intended to be installed decentralized for new buildings and can replace existing gas-fired boilers in large-volume residential or neighbourhood construction, maximizing decarbonization levels for existing housing in this segment.


Key Enabling Technology 2 - Sorption Thermal Energy Storage

The core of long-term storage using thermochemical technology lies in a joint development by CNR-ITAE and SORPTION TECHNOLOGIES and will be the first of its kind to be specifically designed for 4th and 5th generation DHC network.


Key Enabling Technology 3 - Reversible micro-CHP with steam engine and steam buffer

Steam power offers unique possibilities to exploit low-exergy energy sources, such as renewables and waste heat, compared to conventional power cycle. However, today steam power mainly exists only in large centralized power plant with steam turbines, whereas small-scale steam power (< 1000 kW unit) should be implemented as a reciprocating piston engine. The solution proposed by HYPERGRYD is based on the SAAB SCANIAS steam engine project for automotive applications where specific power (kW/kg, kW/l, kW/Euro) was of paramount importance. Steam engine will realize small-scale DG (Decentralized Generation) implemented as steam power with unique energy flexibility capabilities including exploitation of waste heat from other technologies as internal combustion engines and high temperature fuel cells. The system also includes a TES (Thermal Energy Storage) solution called steam buffer (SB). The SB is a high-power density TES employing sensible heat mechanism with long cycle life compared to electric batteries.