The core objective of the SolBio-Rev project is to combine promising renewable energy technologies based on solar, ambient and bioenergy, having at the core an innovative heat pump-based configuration and to allow the efficient application of this solution, without any geographical restriction at least in the EU.

The overall objective of the proposed SolBio-Rev system is to cover a very high energy share in a variety of buildings in a cost-effective manner, and at the same time secure the needs of the users.

To develop the innovative SolBio-Rev system, the specific objectives are the following:

  • Develop a cascade adsorption chiller coupled with a vapour compression heat pump, with advanced heat exchangers (HEXs): (1) a dedicated HEX for efficient coupling the chiller with the heat pump, and (2) an adsorber HEX with an improved production technique for increasing heat transfer efficiency and reducing production cost. The aim is to reach an electric Coefficient of Performance (COP) of > 6 for space cooling production in south Europe.

  • Develop a reversible heat pump/ORC, focusing on the compressor/expander technology, and the use of an environmentally-friendly refrigerant. The aim is to perform equally well at all modes with a COP > 4.5 for heating in north Europe (> 5 in south Europe), once assisted by very low-temperature solar heat (< 30 oC), and an ORC efficiency of up to 8%.

  • Effectively combine the cascade chiller with the reversible unit into a highly-compact novel heat pump-based configuration for heating, cooling, and electricity production, with lower cost by 20-30%, compared to separately having the same components.

  • Develop an innovative solar thermal collector with TEGs to exploit all wasted heat with a temperature different (ΔT) of ~60 K, holding the high efficiency of the AKOTEC vacuum tube collector, and without any performance degradation on other components.

  • Develop a biomass boiler for CHP with an optimised internal HEX for high-temperature heat supply to the ORC (up to 120 oC) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) for reducing air pollutants by over 20% (mostly NOx emissions), compared to standard biomass boilers. The aim is to reach a CHP efficiency of over 94%, which is 5-10% higher than commercial or state of the art CHP units, and a similar cost.

  • Develop a predictive and smart control with advanced features and interoperability among components, contributing to the large energy share. The aim is to optimise energy management according to real-time and forecasted needs, based on various parameters (e.g. minimum energy costs or primary energy demand).

  • Interact with end-users, installers and other stakeholders (e.g. building owners) for considering their needs and including their requirements in the design process towards the next development stages of the SolBio-Rev concept, and analyse the opportunities and challenges for uptake in different EU countries.

  • Realise & test two SolBio-Rev prototype systems in small-scale pilot buildings of 30-40 m2 at two diverse climatic zones (Greece/Germany) for one year, covering the (simulated) energy needs of various buildings types.

  • Validate the SolBio-Rev concept at intended environment (TRL5) based on the test results of the two pilot systems, for reaching an energy share of over 70% (100% of heating/cooling needs and a fraction of electricity needs), and demonstrate its cost-effectiveness, achieving a payback period of even 4 years in residential buildings.

  • Define a technology roadmap, with suitable business models to address different buildings and users. This roadmap will also define the next steps of innovation actions and the path to commercialisation in 2025.

  • Roll-out a comprehensive communication, dissemination and exploitation plan, sharing the project insights and results with various stakeholders through different methods. The overall aim is to tailor strategies for societal awareness and engagement for a variety of groups.

The ambitious objectives will be realised by working on each main component separately and then combining them to form the highly-flexible SolBio-Rev system. This will allow the building sector to rely on a new configuration based on renewables with a large potential for many building installations.