Technical feasibility


SECTION I: Testing



Has the R & D result been tested?






The following question is replied according to the reply in question 1


If yes



In what mode has the result been tested?

•             Prototype

•             Pilot Application

•             Alpha/BETA testing




1b. Please describe and discuss the testing results


If no:



Describe what type of testing does the R&D result need?
Currently the concept of the cogeneration unit is proven on the base of numerical models that describe the core block of the cogeneration unit: the scroll expander. The first test activity to be performed is the validation of the model on a real expander. The aim of the test is to find evidence of the theoretically proven results on a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) device to be adapted to the specific use in a first prototype of the unit. In that phase the generation of heat is considered as given and e.g. based on natural gas for the laboratory test of the expander. Since the values of temperatures and pressures are not critical, COTS components are envisaged to complete the first test setup. A second step of evolution of the prototype concerns the completion of the system with the other components needed to reach the full functionality of the cogenerator in a shape near to the final form-factor that shall be comparable on a floor standing gas boiler. All the above components are mature “bricks” used in conventional heating system or electrical generation. Probably, some control electronics will be necessary for the management of the functions of the machine.





1d. What is the time needed for testing?
Standing the current organization, the facilities and the instrumentation of the TuLab laboratory, the test activities could be completed in about one year time frame without external contribution.
1e. What is the cost needed for testing?
Considering the purchase of materials, the adaption and the setup of the test bed, and human resources currently available, the budget for the testing activity is in the order of 20 k€.




SECTION 2: Current Stage of Development



To what extent does the development team have technical resources for supporting the production of a new product? (Researchers, human resources, hardware, etc. )
The Tulab Laboratory is currently based on the activities of 2 researchers, 2 phd students an 1 technician.



What are the technical issues that need to be tackled for full deployment, if needed?
Currently the research work about the micro-CHP is in the stage of a preliminary design.

The next step towards the prototype is a detailed design both for the fluid thermodynamics and electrical point of view. About the latter, the design is more about the integration of existing COTS or OEM products. In particular, the design should take care of mechanical engineering, electric and electronic engineering, test definition (performance, durability) and, in a second stage, conformance to technical specification coming from standardization bodies (e.g. international CENELEC, IEC, CE marking etc and national UNI, CEI , etc). Taking into account technical rules applicable to products to be sell on the market may help to reach a commercial product avoiding costly redesigns.

The detailed design will lead to manufacture a full functional laboratory prototype.




What additional technical resources are needed for the production of this new product?
In addition to the technical resources already available in the TuLab laboratory, it is probably needed some external support about the integration of the control electronics that may result to be a custom part for the prototype.



Overall assessment of the current stage of technical development.
The development is at it’s initial phase and is based on theoretical studies already performed by the research team. The preliminary design is already done, a deeper desing phase has to be started to allow the construction of a working prototype an proof the theoretical results.





SECTION 3: Deployment


Define the demands for large scale production in terms of
  • Materials
The micro-CHP is mainly built by COTS components as:

mechanical parts,  combustion chambers, wood chip hoppers, electronic control boards, electronic inverters, generic electrical components.




  • technologies, tools, machineries
The micro-CHP production needs: mechanical parts machinery, mechanical assembly machinery and/or manual tools,  electrical assembly tools, measurement tools for production test and quality assurance.




  • Staff effort
The areas in which, besides general services, the staff effort will be needed are:

mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronic engineering, software/firmware engineering,

test engineering, quality assurance and production manpower.






SECTION 4: Overall Assessment



What is you overall assessment of the technical feasibility of the research result?
The research team has the necessary skill and adequate facilities to build and characterize the prototype of the micro cogenerator with a modest external support.

That phase gives as a first result the validation of the theoretical models and potentially some correction hints to enhance the models validity.

After the prototype phase, the creation of a partnership with an industrial partner may significantly speed up the development of a large scale product.









Please put X as appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5
Adequacy of testing activity undertaken so far   X      
Adequacy and availability of technical resources of the development team       X  
Current development stage   X      
Overall technical feasibility     X    




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