Polygeneration – an energy-efficient technology for generating simultaneously heat and power as well as other energy products in a single integrated process
Many energy transformation processes are highly inefficient in the sense that they mostly concentrate on a single energy service instead of using the available energy fully to supply many different services at the same time (e.g. power, heat, cooling, clean water, transportation fuel, etc.). The simultaneous transformation of basic energy sources through polygeneration is the next logical step towards a significantly higher energy yield.
The growing population of the third world is in great need of electricity, clean water, cooling and heating, gained from renewable sources and fulfilling the requirements of sustainability. But the lack of reliable distribution systems in these areas requires decentralization. Well-known technology can be combined into decentralized solutions that are simple, sustainable, cost-effective, and safe.
The goal of the Polygeneration Project is to develop systems for a better use of energy by combining different energy services from one energy conversion system using energy from multiple sources – a thermodynamic 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. The project aims not only to combine different technical solutions but also to use resources and knowledge from both universities and industry. The students of different degrees serve as the main resource pool using the equipment provided by the universities and other stakeholders attached to the project.
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 is a significant corner stone, where the industrial partners and the academic partners act as the most important source for preparation and supervision of the student work in “Project of the Year”. Each year a new “Project of the Year” is chosen, however to serve the purpose of Polygeneration as a whole, the different projects are being be kept together year-to-year.