About our Project

LH Cogen (Low grade heat driven adsorption expander cycle for cogeneration of power and refrigeration)

In the UK, the final energy consumption in 2011 was 211.7 million tonnes of oil equivalent; and the industry sector consumed 18.5% of the amount. Within the industrial sector the three largest consuming industries are chemicals, metal products, and food, which together account for 40.5% of industrial consumption. During the production processes, a large amount of low grade heat is released to the atmosphere. For instance, the electricity generation industry consumed 18.5% of the final energy consumption; with an average thermal efficiency of 36.8%. As a result, 11.7% of the final energy consumption (that is 24.75 million tonnes of oil equivalent) was wasted in the form of low grade heat.If this low grade heat can be utilised to generate electrical power and refrigeration/cooling, this will significantly increase the thermal efficiency of the process industries; and reduce fossil fuel (coal, oil and natural gas) consumptions, as well as CO2 emissions to meet the same energy demands. When the LH Cogen system is used in food process industries, it will reduce the consumption of electricity used for refrigeration/ cooling.

The LH Cogen system, using an adsorption- expander cycle, cogenerates power and refrigeration simultaneously. The cogeneration of power and refrigeration will increase the total efficiency of the system greatly. The LH Cogen system can be applied to the most of the process industries: utilising the low grade heat to generate power; and supply refrigeration/cooling for the products in food industries; or using the cooling capacity to cool some of the processes such as the cooling towers in thermal power plants.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • Perform a fundamental thermodynamic analysis, modelling and simulation of the adsorption-linear-expander cycle to investigate the performance and the characteristics of the cycle, in order to find out the key parameters which affect the efficiency of the cycle;
  • Conduct a detailed thermodynamic modelling and simulation of the complete LH Cogen system using a range of low grade heat (e.g. < 100 °C, 100 – 200 °C and > 200 °C) to identify the potential amount of electrical power and the refrigeration effect which can be generated from the system; to improve the understanding of the system and to determine optimum system design parameters;
  • Based on the above fundamental work, conduct a preliminary design of the novel LH Cogen system using the adsorption- expander cycle driven by low grade heat;
  • Carry out a technical, environmental, and economic assessment to analyse the key factors affecting the operation characteristics of the LH Cogen system in terms of thermal and electrical performance compared with the existing ORC cycle systems, based on the above outcomes, to conclude the feasibility and possibility of developing a micro prototype of the LH Cogen system.