Student projects - Economic optimization of heat pump-based steam production systems

Benjamin  Zühlsdorf

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Student projects - Economic optimization of heat pump-based steam production systems

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Project 4

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Please, send your application marked "Project 4" via the application form on our website.

Background and Motivation
The ambitions to reduce the GHG emissions require the finding of effective alternatives for fossil fuel-based process heat supply in industrial applications. A large share of the industrial process heat is supplied as steam, which to a large extent is produced by fossil fuel-based boilers. Heat pump-based steam production systems are a promising alternative as they are completely electricity driven and thereby potentially emission free. First studies have shown that heat pump-based steam production units are having the potential to compete with natural gas boilers at supply temperatures of up to 250 °C. 

The potential applications are characterized by different boundary conditions such as different heat sources or different heat supply temperatures and capacities. Reaching optimal performances does, however, require a sophisticated integration of the heat pump system with the process site, which in turn requires a tailor-made design of the heat pump system for each application. The optimal design of the heat pump system can be realized by different components (e.g., turbo-compressors or screw compressors) and can be realized in different layouts (e.g., single- or multistage systems).

This project aims at the development of a software tool for an optimized system design of heat pump-based steam production systems.
The main objective comprises the following sub-objectives: 

  • Analysis of applications for steam production and identification of promising cases
  • Identification of suitable equipment 
  • Implementation of correlations for estimating component and system investment cost 
  • Development of system layouts and heuristics/guidelines for optimized system design
  • Demonstration at case studies

The specific methods to be applied during the project will be determined in agreement with the student.
The idea is, however, to use the following methods:

  • Thermodynamic modelling in EES or Matlab and economic analysis
  • Implementation of cost estimation correlations in a software independent platform (to ensure reusability) with interfaces to e.g., EES, Matlab, Excel

Supervision and Formalities
The project is designed for a master project, but may be adjusted to a bachelor project. The project can be carried out at or in collaboration with the center for Refrigeration and Heat Pump Technology in the division for Energy and Climate in Aarhus.

Benjamin Zühlsdorf will be supervising the project at Danish Technological Institute. Feel free to contact him if you are interested and want to hear more about the project.

Please, send your application marked "Project 4" via the application form on our website.