Is air conditioning the new challenge of energy transition?
Paving the way towards future solutions for cold production
The first call for projects initiated by the ADEME (French Environment & Energy Management Agency) at the end of 2015 aimed at revealing innovative technologies combining energy efficiency and low greenhouse gas emissions. Extra benefit for the industrial and tertiary businesses: a lighter energy bill. Focus on four operational projects among the eight selected candidates.
1 – ETT, heat recovery for simultaneous heat and cold production
Having it both ways, that is the challenge the French company Energie Transfert Thermique (ETT) has set itself, with the support of the Pôle Cristal and the INSA Rennes. Heat and cold production through energy recovery in closed loop circuits is nothing new. But here, the thermorefrigerating pump innovates in several ways. Firstly, the usual refrigerant is replaced by propane for a low environmental impact. Indeed, the global warming potential (GWP) of propane is about 500 times lower than that of a HPC-type refrigerant. Besides, an optimised control system and an original refrigeration circuit allow to switch from one mode to the other without interruption.
Strength of the proposal? Thanks to heat recovery, ETT simultaneously products domestic hot water, air conditioning and heating, while cutting operating costs down compared to a reversible heat pump. “Until now, heating was one of the main needs of the residential and tertiary sectors”, explains Frédéric Bazantay, Head of the Pôle Cristal. “Nowadays, with the recent thermal developments and the low-energy consumption or positive-energy buildings, the domestic hot water needs tend to become more important than the heating needs.”
This all-in-one solution is ideal for hotels, restaurants and accommodation for the elderly, due to their significant simultaneous needs in domestic hot water and air conditioning or heating. It is also a perfect fit for office buildings. “Due to their considerable glass surface, today’s offices require heat and cold production on the same day”, says Frédéric Bazantay. “More generally, this solution will be marketed in the first quarter of 2017 and can meet three requirements with the same equipment, while drastically reducing the energy bill.”