Polygeneration

Background
Today the need for decentralized systems producing electricity and clean water is bigger than ever. Advanced centralized power systems are not a solution to the needs for the growing population of the third world. One of the reasons is the lack of reliable distribution systems in these areas. There is a general need for electricity, clean water, cooling and heating gained from renewable sources fulfilling the requirements of sustainability. Well known technology can be combined into decentralized solutions that are sustainable, cost effective, safe and simple.

Aims
The project is motivated by finding a better utilization of primary energy by combining different energy services from one energy conversion system using energy from multiple sources – thus a thermodynamic and economic optimization of energy for useful purposes such as electricity, cooling, heating and clean water. The technical solutions must be appropriate to the targeted market, which puts requirements on the cost as well as on other functions such as simplicity and support.

Approaches
The project has been sub-divided into a large number of work packages that are executed mainly by PhD students and MSc students with guidance from senior researchers and industrial supervisors. The connection to the Select Master’s Program and the Select+ PhD program are important corner stones, where the industrial partners and the academic partners act as the most important sources for preparation and supervision of the student work in “Project of the Year”.
Other important parts are the collaboration with Universidad Central Las Villas, Santa Clara, Cuba in the context of a Linnaeus-Palme teacher/researcher and student exchange program. In this program, students on exchange get to know the energy system and challenges of “the other” country. Another collaboration that is of importance is a SIDA-supported sandwich doctorate program between our research group and Universidad Mayor de San Simon, Cochabamba, Bolivia. In the eastward direction, the research group is engaged in a polygeneration system for Tezpur University in the Assam region of India. That project aims to integrate generation of multiple energy services from leftovers from tea production and harvesting with electricity from solar panels.
The research group also works together with the start-up company International Micro Biogas AB on the development of a modular biogas production system, primarily intended for small-scale applications, but with the flexibility also to address larger applications in a cost-effective way.

Keywords
Polygeneration, Biogas, MicroCHP, Microturbine, Stirling engine, Thermal Energy Storage, Phase Change Materials, PCM, Concentrated Solar Power, CSP

Research Group

Project leader
Assoc. Prof. Anders Malmquist, KTH

Other project members
Prof. Andrew Martin, KTH
Prof. Björn Laumert, KTH
Dr. Idaelberto Herrerra Moya, Universidad de Las Villas, Santa Clara, Cuba
Dr. Lucio Alejo, Universidad Mayor de San Simon, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Dr. Debendra C Baruah, Tezpur University, India

Links and references
https://www.kth.se/en/itm/inst/energiteknik/forskning
https://www.kth.se/en/itm/inst/energiteknik/forskning/kraft-varme/ekv-researchgroups/csp-group

Additional funding (apart from StandUp for Energy)
The project is carried out in cooperation with projects supported by the Linnaeus-Palme exchange program, SIDA and KIC InnoEnergy.

 

Project team during a field trip to Tezpur Universit, India.


 

The Bolivian part of the research team in front of the Micro Gas Turbine (PhD student Luis Choque, Dr. Evelyn Cardoza, Prof. Dr. Lucio Alejo, PhD student Rodrigo Rocha, Dr. Anders Malmquist (KTH), Dr. Adhemar Araoz.


 

Happy team members when having reached a stable operating point during Solar CSP testing (KTH).


 

KTH Lab for Concentrated Solar Power with (from right to left) lamps to simulate the concentrated solar irradiation, the receiver and the Micro Gas Turbine.


 

Micro Gas Turbine powered by heat from Concentrated Solar Power (KTH).