WP2: Energy Efficiency (direct)


  • Create energy efficient technologies and components which can be applied in many different processes such as steam and heat generation and applied to numerous industries, allowing for energy savings between 20% to 50% with respect to common technologies
  • Extend heat generating technologies to efficient steam generation and efficient electrical energy usage
  • Develop high-temperature heat pumps
  • Investigate theoretically new methods of steam generation and expansion reducing the primary energy consumption to approximately 50%

Innovation Potential

Within high temperature heat pumps the novelty lies in the achievable operating temperatures. While current systems are limited to approximately 100°C, new components such as small scale turbo compressors allow higher temperature ranges of up to 140°C. In addition, current high temperature heat pumps mostly operate on refrigerants with a high GWP, whereas WP2 investigates environmentally sound approaches.

The main innovation in solar thermal systems lies in establishing guidelines for easy implementation in industrial processes and to determine the appropriate system level for integration. The calculation tools to determine the gains using high temperature collectors will be the first ones designed specifically for industrial processes.

The innovations in steam technology using vapour recompression are potentially very large, since currently only fossil fuelled and electrically driven steam generators in power ranges up to several MW are used due to their low installations costs. The product envisioned here is a mid-power-range steam generator reducing energy consumption by 30-50% compared to conventional technology.


The research activities within this work package are structured into three modules:

  1. High temperature heat pumps and refrigeration systems
  2. Steam technology
  3. Solar heat

Research Partners

Hochschule für Technik Buchs, Institute for Energy Systems

EPFL, Laboratory for Applied Mechanical Design

Hochschule Rapperswil, Institute for Solar Technology