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Application cases and economic benefits of Thermo-Chemical Networks

Lookup NU author(s): Alessandro Giampieri, Dr Mohammad Royapoor, Dr Andrew SmallboneORCiD, Professor Tony Roskilly



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Thermo-chemical potential of absorption and desorption is highly promising to capture and use residual heat at low-temperature ranges. Due to loss-free transport and storage of the captured energy potential, medium- to long distance transport and medium-term storage offer interesting potentials to utilise residual heat. As such, there is an opportunity to develop networks at scales up to district heating level which utilises thermo-chemical fluids rather than water as the main working medium. This paper will give an introduction to the technology that can provide heating, cooling and drying in one multiservice network and examine its economic dimension. The humidification/dehumidification properties of liquid desiccants and how they can be applied to the heating and cooling of residential and commercial buildings are described. In addition, the characterisation of the free-loss storage capacity of this technology is undertaken and presented in terms of how this system can employ the utilisation of low-grade heat from industrial processes and low-temperature renewable energies. Finally, an economic assessment of conventional versus thermo-chemical solutions for heat storage and transfer is offered. The conventional technologies for heating, cooling and drying applications form the background for an economic comparison. The aim of the economic comparison is to show the benefits of the thermo-chemical technology for the key stakeholders involved in such a network, providing evidence that thermo-chemical network technology offers a commercially viable opportunity Among the several possible employments of the technology, it has been estimated that particularly for residential heating/cooling, industrial drying and greenhouses the thermo-chemical networks result to be feasible systems with a payback period relatively small (between 2 and 5 years).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Giampieri A, Buchholz M, Geyer P, Bucholz R, Engel C, Royapoor M, Smallbone A, Roskilly T

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 4th Sustainable Thermal Energy Management International Conference (SusTEM2017)

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: 89-96

Print publication date: 28/06/2017

Acceptance date: 01/06/2017

Date deposited: 23/08/2017