Intermittency-friendly and Super-efficient Tri-generation to Support Large-scale Penetration of Renewable Sources

This project is developing a micro testbed that includes a transcritical heat pump with both hot and cold storages. It will focus on whether the heat pumps can function as an integrating technology to couple different renewable and convention energy carriers in a way that leads to higher system efficiency and tolerate intermittent energy sources.

Cost-efficient, large-scale storage is an important issue in renewable energy. Recent research suggests that one of the most cost-effective options to support more renewable energy being used is to offer an operational alternative to co-generators by installing a heat pump and two storages (hot and cold). This addition allows for a flexible strategy by which the operator of the co-generator can continue to meet heat demand, but at lower costs, taking advantage of periods of low electricity prices to produce heat using the heat pump. At the same time, the operator will be generating “cooling” as a new byproduct, which may be sold as refrigeration where needed.