Research Themes: Energy

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Summary of the project

Current solutions to make heating our homes more sustainable; are often not powerful enough to fully replace traditional gas boilers. When switching to a fully electric system such as heat pumps, one has more control over the environmental impact, as green energy can be used to operate it. The downside is that most residential heat pumps have low power and low efficiency at high temperatures. Therefore, to provide energy for an entire home, extra insulation and low-temperature heating systems need to be installed. Moreover, a heat pump requires a noisy outdoor unit and uses refrigerants that are harmful when released. These adaptations are expensive and undesired, and are not viable for older homes with high heating demands. 
Therefore, Tarnoc set out to be a one-on-one replacement for the classic boiler, without requiring big adaptations to someone’s home. Unlike vaper-compression heat pumps, their turbine heat pump is an open system without refrigerants. It draws in air through a centrifugal compressor, heating the air (up to 80°C) and then releasing the heat inside the home through the existing radiator system. The energy from the compression is recovered in the turbine and is converted back into mechanical energy, to power the compressor.  Through these cycles it is possible to create high temperature heating with a large capacity in a relatively small installation.

What's next?

Having won multiple awards, Tarnoc is currently piloting its turbine heat pump in different locations. They will do more pilots with big housing corporations and they will place an installation at The Green Village.

Vincent Wijdeveld

Additional information

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