Technology

After a successful demonstration of the technology in a housing association home, the market launch is now being prepared. From next winter, Cooll will demonstrate the heat pump in larger quantities in homes, and a pilot on hydrogen will be carried out in collaboration with a large international consortium.

The SuperHybrid van Cooll is the one-to-one replacement for the condensing boiler in existing homes and can be combined with both high- and low-temperature heating and does not have a separate outdoor unit. The heat pump is powered by gas or hydrogen and extracts heat from the outside air, saving 30 to 50% on gas and reducing CO2 emissions by 30 to 50%. Typical of Cooll is that this is done without a significant increase in electricity consumption. Savings greater than 40% can be achieved by replacing older heating appliances or in combination with complementary sustainable techniques in the heating system.

The SuperHybrid is compact, quiet, low-maintenance and has a limited payback period. This makes the heat pump ideally suited for existing homes. Tens of euros are saved each month without loss of comfort. Label improvements are made in an achievable and affordable way to meet climate objectives.

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Functioning

Cooll’s adsorption heat pump has a similar continuous cycle to a standard electric heat pump. However, compression of the refrigerant now takes place with a heat-driven adsorption compressor instead of an electro-mechanical compressor. The required heat comes from a burner..

The adsorption compressor consists of two pressure vessels filled with high-quality activated carbon heated and cooled cyclically; a complete cycle takes about 10 minutes. During heating of such a pressure vessel (to approximately 180 °C), the refrigerant is pressed out of the adsorbent material under high pressure and led to the high-pressure side of the heat pump via a passive valve. The refrigerant condenses in the condenser and transfers its heat to the heating circuit of the home (at 60 °C, for example), after which the pressure of the refrigerant is reduced via the expansion valve. The refrigerant then evaporates in the evaporator at a low temperature (for example, 0 °C from the outside air) and thus absorbs energy from the cold environment. The refrigerant then flows through a passive valve to the other pressure vessel that is at the initial temperature (60°C in this example), where the refrigerant again adsorbs to the adsorbent material. After about 5 minutes, the function of the two pressure vessels is reversed, and a continuous process is created. Compared to a standard combustion boiler, the benefit is the extra heat that is made available via the evaporator and the condenser.

Innovations

The benefits of the technology are the result of the integration of some innovations, which have been systematically developed by Cooll and its partners since 2010:

  1. Carbon-ammonia adsorption cycle with ‘thermal wave heat recovery’ within the adsorption compressor. With this, the high efficiency of the technology is achieved.
  2. Unique design of the two adsorption vessels optimised for the functioning of the ‘thermal wave heat recovery’. In addition, the compressor design has been optimised for maximum energy density and thus minimum dimensions, which is important for application in a consumer product with compact dimensions and low weight..
  3. High-quality activated carbon, fully optimised for use in technology. Together with the design of the adsorption compressor, this forms the heart of the technology.

Benefits

Cooll’s patented technology results in a number of important benefits compared to similar techniques:

  1. Reduction of 30-50% of the required energy and associated CO2 emissions, compared to traditional gas-fired heating technologies. CO2 emissions are also lower than with electric heat pumps, especially as long as the coal-fired power stations in the Netherlands are not closed down. More information can be found here.
  1. The technology is also well suited for more sustainable energy carriers such as biogas and (green) hydrogen, which will enable further reductions in CO2 emissions. The advantage of these energy carriers (compared to green electricity) is that they can be stored on a seasonal basis to use in cold periods. This will make conversion technology available in a new sustainable energy chain for residential heating in the future:
Energy generation from (summer) surpluses of electricity (via PV and wind) → conversion and buffering (for example via hydrogen) → distribution (via the existing gas grid) → highly efficient conversion to heat, applicable in existing construction (via our technology).

This prevents costly surges in electricity generation and the distribution grid, needed for the large-scale application of electric heat pumps in cold periods.

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  1. The technology can form the heart of an air-to-water gas heat pump, a possible successor to the condensing boiler in existing construction in the short term: 

a. The system’s light weight makes it suitable for indoor installation; its dimensions are similar to those of a large condensing boiler. 

b. The Super Hybrid can use outside air (via the housing shell) as a heat source. No land-based source is required for efficient operation. 

c. The Super Hybrid can be connected to traditional high-temperature (HT) radiators without significant loss of efficiency 

d. The technology is silent (no moving parts in the decompressor).

e. The technology is relatively simple, and therefore an acceptable payback period is expected. This brings a large market and associated sustainability within reach.

  1. Cooling is possible as an extra option, whether or not powered by solar collectors.

Applications

The technology can be used with different fuels, heat sources and delivery systems..

Fuel

In fact, all combustible energy carriers can be used with Cooll’s technology, whereby the drive circuit of the heat pump must of course be geared to the type of fuel. Important Features:

  • Methane (natural gas, biogas or a mixture of both). A gas-fired heat pump can therefore form an energy-efficient alternative to the condensing boiler in the short term..
  • Hydrogen. A heat pump powered by hydrogen can eventually be a way to economize on (green) hydrogen when it becomes available via hydrogen networks. More information about this route:

Hydrogen, the key to the energy transition (see, for example, page 22 in Dutch).
www.tvvl.nl/k/n190/news/view/27439/512/waterstof-de-sleutel-voor-de-energietransitie.html

Will hydrogen replace natural gas (in Dutch)?
https://nos.nl/artikel/2241034-wordt-waterstof-de-vervanger-van-aardgas.htmlo

Leeds H21 project. https://www.h2-international.com/2018/09/03/h21-leeds-tests-switch-to-hydrogen/

 

  • Biomass (wood pellets). A heat pump fired by wood pellets will use wood pellets 30-40% more efficiently than a normal pellet burner.
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  • Solar heat. Only applicable for the additional possibility of cooling in summer without electricity consumption

Heat Source

As with electric heat pumps, you can opt for:
 

  • Outside air. An outdoor unit is often used with electric heat pumps. The Cooll heat pump has the advantage that the absorbed power of the evaporator is lower so that it can be integrated into the housing shell.
  • Water. For example, a ground source or a central source (in apartments).

Delivery circuit

HHere, a distinction can be made between:

  • High-temperature (HT) central heating (existing houses)
  • Low-temperature (LT) central heating (underfloor heating, usually in new construction).

The highest savings are achieved when using LT systems (approximately 40% compared to a modern HR boiler). However, unlike with electric heat pumps, the energy savings remain relatively favorable with HT systems. The saving in this situation is around 35%, compared to a high-efficiency boiler, making the technology ideally suited for use in existing homes.