Development of comprehensible strategies (building, facilities, renewable energies, management systems) to get NZEB, in other words, highly efficient buildings whose energy demand is mainly satisfied by renewable energies. The following lines must be underlined:
It improves the energy performance of heating, cooling and DHW production systems based on heat pump technology by the following lines of work:
Optimisation of the use of thermal renewable energy sources by the storage of heat and cold for building and district conditioning by the research on the thermal storage optimal solutions according to the kind of building and/or district.
The aim is to reduce the greenhouse gases emissions -linked to the generation of heat and cold- by the increase of the use of renewable energy sources, optimising deseasonalisation between generation and consumption by the research on new refrigerant and accumulation materials, as well as the advanced management of thermal generation and storage.
Deepening research on efficient urban heating and cooling systems which use- at least- 50% of renewable energy, 50% of waste heat, 75% of cogenerated heat or 50% of a combination of this kind of energies and heat according to the Directive 2012/27/UE).
In addition, the following tasks are also accomplished:
Performance of advanced data analytics projects on the implementation of energy efficiency measures in buildings, industry or vehicle fleets to its use in the deployment of expert systems according to big-data techniques or massive data treatment (by using sensors at consumption points and significant variables) to improve energy efficiency in the services, industry or mobility sector.
Everything will be performed by the development of predictive models, the adaptation of energy consuming system to their optimal operating point, reduction of the gap between predicted and real consumption by the use of statistic models, search for correlations between energy and productive parameters, identification of inefficiencies and prescription of proceedings to their correction.
Study, analysis and development of technical solutions for the recovery of the high and medium temperature heat in new facilities and existing processes to its direct thermal use (plate exchangers, heat pump) or to renewable energy generation (Organic Rankine Cycle– ORC, Peltier, Stirling engine).
Characterisation of existing energy potential by field-measurements and tests in the laboratory, energy parameterisation and modelling, energy simulation of thermal processes, development of energy recovery systems and energy saving verifications.
Application to the optimisation of heat recovery in specific applications such as industrial cogenerations (improvement of equivalent electrical efficiency) , mechanic compression systems (Cooling systems and air compressors), recovery of heat from evaporative condensers, industrial ovens and other intensive thermal processes.
Development of projects based on eco-innovation and circular economy to transform linear productive models towards green circular economy. For that purpose, we follow the European Union Action Plan for Circular economy, focusing on priority areas: i) plastic; ii) crucial raw materials; iii) food waste; iv) biomass and bioproducts; y v) building and demolition.
Monitoring, tracking and measurement of circular economy strategies by specific indicators—process circularity— by the use of environmental management tools.
Accomplishment of projects based on the creation of secondary raw materials markets and the promotion of electric and electronic appliances (WEEE) repair, reuse and recycling at the end of their life.
In addition to the research on pre-processing adapted to the characteristics of every single waste, the development of post-processing to reduce the effluent’s nitrogen load without increasing costs and the optimisation of anaerobic digestion process by modifying operating parameters, this line of work is focused on the development of new digester fluid-dynamically optimised models and the development of microstructures which allow to increase the biomass density in a complete mix reactor.
This will allow to develop new compact digesters with short retention time which will enable the biogas plant industrialisation, minimising installation and operation costs and ensuring an optimal production of biogas.
This line consists in the study and development of new gas cleaning and purification systems to produce biomethane which will be later used as fuel for vehicles or to its injection into the natural gas grid.
The purifying systems studied by the laboratory and- in some cases- at pilot scale are: accelerated carbonation by the use of ash rich in calcium oxide, chemical adsorption by nitrogenised compounds, catalytic biomethanation with hydrogenotrophic Archae and purification by the grow and growth of microalgae.
As far as biomass is concerned, there are many energy valuation projects which are performed by different processes of thermal conversion of biomass waste, which was not valuated until now- but with a high potential- coming from agroforestry production (kiwi and vine). With this, waste becomes another resource for economic development, contributing to the concept of circular economy. Material pre-processing is also studied as well as the use of additives to get new improved biofuels with the purpose of reducing dross and sintered production and emissions (gas and particulate materials) to the atmosphere.
The development of the internal wave energy projects with the Pelamis prototype and the participation in the Magallanes Project (Development of a 2MW power generation by using tidal power) has allow us to develop a work field focused on marine and wave energy.
These lines of work are focused on the potential tests for the implementation of different technologies of tidal and wave energy as well as the architecture of the generation system and the technical and regulatory requirements for power installation and generation, the connexion and the design of the power generation system, being these aspects crucial to get a suitable quality production to its injection into the grid.