Next Renewable multi-GENeration technology enables by TWO-phase fluids machines

Solutions developed

The start-up TIFEO, which was founded in 2018 by the team leading this proposal and is the exclusive licensee of the patent driving REGEN-BY-2, is a potential European Unicorn. REGEN-BY-2 can convert (from small to large-scale) any typology of renewable thermal source from low to high-temperature (e.g. solar, aerothermal, geothermal, hydrothermal) including additional thermal sources (e.g. waste heat). REGEN-BY-2 is enabled by machines capable to work with two-phase fluids, i.e. constituted by both liquid and vapor phases. The patented thermodynamic cycle is highly efficient as it is constituted by a proper combination of Carnot cycles operating with two-phase fluid circulating in novel two-phase expanders and two-phase compressors. To be successful, these two-phase machines will have to be designed, prototyped and integrated in the REGEN-BY-2 lab-scale prototype. Moreover, the patented technology has large flexibility due to the control of many process parameters, allowing chasing and satisfying the end-users energy demands in a predictable and dispatchable way. By the exploitation of renewable thermal sources from small to large-scale, by converting them more efficiently and with more flexibility into electric, heating and-or cooling energy vectors, REGEN-BY-2 will induce greater demand for and increasing use of renewable thermal sources. REGEN-BY-2 is a breakthrough in our energy infrastructure as it can be used in wide energy sectors (e.g. District Heating&Cooling systems and Distributed Renewable Flexible Energy systems). The research is low-TRL and high risk. For this, a full value international chain is assembled (Universities, RTOs, SMEs, Large Enterprises, a Standards Organization).

Main results

The EU-funded REGEN-BY-2 project aims to develop a novel lab-scale prototype of a highly efficient, patented thermodynamic cycle and related plant for the conversion of thermal sources in energy vectors. The prototype, using two-phase flow compressors and expanders, will be able to convert any type of renewable thermal source (e.g. solar, aerothermal, geothermal and hydrothermal) from low to high temperature, including additional thermal sources such as waste heat. The project will promote demand for and increased use of renewable thermal sources.