EU outlines research funding opportunities for renewable heating & cooling

By Sabine Lobnig, Jul 22, 2011, 13:53 2 minute reading

A number of calls for proposals announced this week under the European Union's principal instrument for funding research aim to advance renewable heating and cooling technologies. Of particular interest is the call for ‘Next generation heat pump technologies’ such as those using natural refrigerants, as well as a call for ‘Large scale systems for urban heating and cooling’ that make use of low temperature waste heat. 

On 19 July 2011, the European Commission published several Calls for Proposals under its 7th Framework Programme (FP7) that are relevant to renewable energy technologies for heating and cooling, such as heat pumps.

Research on ‘Next generation heat pump technologies’

Seeking to enhance the application range of heat pumps, up to 2 projects will be funded under the topic of ‘Next generation heat pump technologies’ (Topic ENERGY.2012.8.1.1). The topic is aimed at the development of:
  • Very efficient heat pumps using alternative refrigerants, such as natural refrigerants
  • Sorption heat pump technologies
  • High power heat pumps
The projects will also explore the coupling of heat pumps with other renewable energies as well as the intelligent integration of heat pumps into large renewable energy systems (including storage).

Large scale systems for urban area heating and/or cooling supply

Projects under the topic ‘Large scale systems for urban area heating and/or cooling supply’ (Topic.ENERGY.2012.8.8.2) will include predominant demonstration components and will focus on the integration of energy efficiency of city districts with industrial parks ideally through heating/cooling smart grids.

The system should be based primarily on recovering waste heat and adapting the temperature levels of the grid to the applications.

Low temperature heat, typically wasted today shall be collected and used to provide heating and cooling for end users in city districts. For example low temperature waste heat from:
  • Nearby industrial cooling towers
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Cooling of data centres
  • Heat from manufacturing industry
  • Industrial and office buildings
Space heating and domestic hot water production might be complemented by high efficiency heat pumps. Cooling can be supplied through the use of cold from rivers, lakes, sea/ocean water, ground source water, liquefied natural gas terminals, cooling or freezing warehouses to provide cooling systems for end users in urban environment.

The demonstration should happen at the district level, but with the aim to deploy at city-wide level in the near future. The projects should have a high potential of replication contributing to large-scale market deployment before 2020.

Calls on new materials, building retrofitting and more

Other calls for proposals of relevance to the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) industry, include:
  • Nanotechnology based approaches to increase the performance of HVAC
  • Systemic Approach for retrofitting existing buildings, including envelope upgrading, high performance lighting systems, energy-efficient heating, HVAC systems and renewable energy generation systems
  • New efficient solutions for energy generation, storage and use related to space heating and domestic water in existing buildings
  • Interaction and integration between buildings, grids, heating and cooling networks, and energy storage and energy generation systems

About FP7

The 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7) is the European Union's main instrument for funding research over the period 2007 to 2013. It brings together all research-related EU initiatives under a common roof playing a crucial role in reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment.

The Work Programme for 2012 with about €7 billion is the European Commission's biggest ever funding package under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7). 


By Sabine Lobnig

Jul 22, 2011, 13:53

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