I3A - Instituto de Investigación en Ingeniería de Aragón

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GITSEThermal Engineering and Energy Systems
The Thermal Engineering and Energy Systems Group (GITSE is its acronym in Spanish) is one of the research groups of the institute that has been registered as “Grupo Consolidado de Investigación” by the Regional Government of Aragón. Its academic activity is developed in the Engineering Schools of the University of Zaragoza, teaching all the subjects related to thermal engineering and energy systems like thermodynamics, heat transfer, HVAC, renewable energy, thermal engines, turbomachinery, power plants, energy optimization, combustion, and so on. Its members carry out basic and applied research in the areas related to the analysis, simulation and design of thermal devices and energy systems by using both numerical and experimental methods.
GITSE is involved in promoting collaborations and coordinated projects with other research groups, departments and European and American universities; takes part in national, European and international networks and collaborates in several TASK and ANNEX of the International Energy Agency, as well as in the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).
 

Research Lines

Processes & Recycling

Modelling, simulation and design of energy systems

Mathematical modeling of energy conversion systems for the synthesis, design and optimization of complex energy systems; energy process integration (poly-generation systems)....

Mathematical modeling of energy conversion systems for the synthesis, design and optimization of complex energy systems; energy process integration (poly-generation systems).
Thermoeconomics and eco-efficiency: evaluation of internal costs and final product’s costs based on Thermodynamics Laws and Economics applied to the synthesis, analysis and optimization of complex energy systems, considering environmental criteria.
Analysis of concentrating solar power plants: thermal energy storage and dish Stirling.
 

Modelling, simulation and design of thermal devices

Modeling, simulation and design of thermal devices; Mathematical modeling of heat and mass transfer phenomena, design of thermal equipment.
Thermodynamics and transport...

Modeling, simulation and design of thermal devices; Mathematical modeling of heat and mass transfer phenomena, design of thermal equipment.
Thermodynamics and transport phenomena of two-phase flow gas-solid and liquid-vapor.
 

HVAC

Modeling, analysis and experimentation of heating and cooling systems for buildings, new refrigeration technologies (absorption, adsorption).
Integration of Solar thermal...

Modeling, analysis and experimentation of heating and cooling systems for buildings, new refrigeration technologies (absorption, adsorption).
Integration of Solar thermal energy in industrial applications and buildings, solar collectors and solar cooling

Thermal energy storage

Thermal energy storage (TES) with phase change materials (PCM): thermophysical characterization, heat exchangers, integration into building components and PCM slurries....

Thermal energy storage (TES) with phase change materials (PCM): thermophysical characterization, heat exchangers, integration into building components and PCM slurries.
 

Key Projects

Processes & Recycling

New energy optimization strategies of domestic ovens

Funded by BSH Balay S.A.
 

Funded by BSH Balay S.A.
 

Solar Consortium of R&D, ConSOLida
Abengoa Solar headed the CENIT Consolida project which, with a 24 M€ budget, aims at developing more efficient solar thermal technologies for electricity production.
 
The GITSE...
Abengoa Solar headed the CENIT Consolida project which, with a 24 M€ budget, aims at developing more efficient solar thermal technologies for electricity production.
 
The GITSE group has worked about:
Analysis of thermophysical properties of phase change materials for application in thermal storage system of concentrating solar power plants.
Development of a solar receiver for a Stirling engine.
Next generation cost effective phase change materials for increased energy efficiency in renewable energy systems in buildings (NeCoE-PCM)
GITSE is one out of more than 30 participants in this COST Action with the objective to foster and accelerate long-term advancement of renewable energy systems and phase change materials...
GITSE is one out of more than 30 participants in this COST Action with the objective to foster and accelerate long-term advancement of renewable energy systems and phase change materials research in Europe through design, development, characterization and simulation of new generation modified hybrid phase change materials for use in energy storage for heating, cooling and renewable energy applications. The Action funding covers the assistance to the meetings (2/year), Short Scientific Missions for Early Stage Researchers and an annual Training School. Further details on COST Action TU0802 can be checked in: http://www.tu0802.eu/
Period: April 2009-April 2013
Funded by: European Union (7th FW Programme) COST Action TU0802
COST ACTION Coordinator: Sarah McCormack, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Thermoeconomic and environmental analysis of district polygeneration systems with seasonal thermal energy storage and high solar fraction
There is a very important unused potential of usage of solar thermal energy in Europe, and particularly in Spain. Heating and cooling in buildings represent half of the total energy consumed in...
There is a very important unused potential of usage of solar thermal energy in Europe, and particularly in Spain. Heating and cooling in buildings represent half of the total energy consumed in Europe. In the case of the residential-commercial sector in Spain, the thermal energy demand in winter is about 65% of the energy demand in this sector. An important part of this thermal energy could be covered with solar thermal energy. Results obtained from different experiences show that two required factors for achieving a high solar fraction are: i) centralized solar thermal systems and ii) seasonal thermal energy storage. Polygeneration systems, through an appropriate energy integration, provide two or more energy services with a significant increase of the efficiency usage of natural resources. In this respect, polygeneration, thermal energy storage and solar thermal energy present very interesting opportunities of potential energy saving in the residential-commercial sector that is wasted. In this project the experience gained in Europe about the centralized solar district heating systems with seasonal storage is being transferred to the Spanish situation, in order to establish the conditions and criteria for installing these systems in Spain in the midterm. The main objective of this project is the proposal and design of polygeneration district systems that could be able of providing a high fraction of thermal energy demand (>50%) with solar thermal energy. These systems should be feasible since a technical viewpoint, economically acceptable and with a low environmental impact.

To reach this objective it is necessary to define methods of analysis and multi-objective design criteria that could be able of ensuring the technical feasibility with a low environmental impact, considering also the economic cost of the system through its entire life cycle. The synthesis/design problem is based on techniques combining thermodynamic concepts and approaches with economic and environmental criteria. As a result the optimal configuration of the system will be obtained as well as a pre-design (including the selection of the appropriate technologies, the size of the different pieces of equipment and the operation strategy) that will be able of covering the optimal operation modes of each period of the considered demand. The Thermoeconomic Analysis will provide rational cost assessment criteria to the different energy services (heat, cold and electricity) obtained in the polygeneration system. The Life Cycle Assessment will identify the critical environmental loads and will help to establish the criteria for their minimization. The combination of systems taking advantage of low grade thermal energy (thermal solar, cogeneration and thermal energy storage) with absorption cooling chillers allow the possibility of reaching an efficient cooling during the summer period. Opportunities and different possibilities of integration with non-conventional energy sources (e.g. biomass, residues and so on) will be also studied. The usage of these non-conventional energy resources is easier in centralized energy systems and its management can be complementary to the thermal energy storage. Different thermal energy storage systems, including the usage of Phase Change Materials that can reduce very significantly the size of the thermal energy storage devices, will be also studied.

Key Technologies

Processes & Recycling

Analysis, design and simulation of prototypes and energy systems in the field of thermal engineering

Sectors to be focused:

  • Energy intensive industrial sectors, e.g. energy production, chemistry, paper, agrifood, cement, glass, metallurgical.
  • Renewable energies,...

Sectors to be focused:

  • Energy intensive industrial sectors, e.g. energy production, chemistry, paper, agrifood, cement, glass, metallurgical.
  • Renewable energies, particularly solar thermal and solar thermoelectric
  • HVAC of buildings and industries
  • Temperature control in transport containers and specific rooms containing temperature sensitive equipment/products
     
Thermophysical properties laboratory
  • Enthalpy
  • Phase change temperature range and determination of sub cooling and hysteresis
  • Thermal diffusivity...
  • Enthalpy
  • Phase change temperature range and determination of sub cooling and hysteresis
  • Thermal diffusivity
  • Thermal power exchange with the air
  • Cp
  • Thermal diffusivity
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Viscosity
  • Density / Volumetric expansion

Sectors to be focused:

  • Energy intensive industrial sectors, e.g. energy production, chemistry, paper, agrifood, cement, glass, metallurgical.
  • Renewable energies, particularly solar thermal and solar thermoelectric
  • HVAC of buildings and industries
  • Temperature control in transport containers and specific rooms containing temperature sensitive equipment/products

Technology Transfer

Industrial Technologies

Thermal engineering laboratory

Thermal engineering consultancy including characterization of materials, and thermal systems simulation

Thermal engineering consultancy including characterization of materials, and thermal systems simulation

Services

Industrial Technologies

Analysis, design and simulation of prototypes and energy systems in the field of thermal engineering
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