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UNIPD Researchers: Giulia Righetti, Claudio Zilio, Simone Mancin
Partners: Innova srl., Studio Fieschi & Soci, IVAR CS spol. S r, UNIPD
Dates: July 2018- June 2021
Keywords: Hydrocarbons, HVAC, flammability risk, efficiency, sustainability.


Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) refrigerants are used in a wide variety of HVAC&R equipment. HFCs when released to the atmosphere have significant Global Warming Potential (GWP).Thus, under the European F-gas regulation issued in 2014, HFC use has to be phased-out by 80% until 2030 and replaced by low-GWP alternatives, such as hydrocarbons (HC). Refrigerant R290 (propane) has near-to-zero GWP and is an excellent alternative to be used in small hermetic systems, like residential air conditioners. Indeed, under EU standard EN 378, systems with a charge size of 0.15 kg or less may be installed in any size of room.However, because of the required refrigerant amount, the use of R290 in standard “split” air-conditioners is practically unfeasible.The goal of ZEROGWP project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility, full safety and commercial viability of an innovative monobloc residential air conditioning system, called Double Duct (DD) technology, that can be charged by R290 with unprecedented environmental performance.

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Electrical Tomography for Phase Change Materials

Latent thermal energy storage (LTES) with phase change materials (PCMs) is becoming a key enabling technology for low-carbon heating/cooling driven by renewable energy. However, smart control of LTES systems require monitoring of the liquid fraction, which determines the total stored energy. The ET4PCM aims to develop a first-of-a-kind, smart, non-invasive, versatile impedance sensor to evaluate in real-time the liquid fraction evolution of PCMs in LTES. The ET4PCM sensor will provide detailed information regarding phase distribution evolution during freezing/melting of PCMs in macrocapsules (spherical or cylindrical shells). The research approach involves experimental, numerical, and theoretical research activities. ET4PCM is funded as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions for postdoctoral fellowships. The hosting institution is University of Padua (UNIPD). Additionally, the project contemplates a secondment at the start-up COWA to deploy the ET4PCM in a real-world LTES system and a non-academic placement at SUNSERVICE (SUN) srl (IT) to develop “in silico” smart control tools for LTES.


Researchers: Carolina Mira-Hernandez, Simone Mancin
Partners: SUNSERVICE srl, COWA

Dates: January 2023 - July 2025
Keywords: Latent thermal energy storage, electrical tomography, liquid fraction monitoring, phase change materials.

Thermal Management for the Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft


The ambition of TheMa4HERA is to demonstrate the dissipation of required additional heat in the order of 20 to 50 kW for systems and 300 to 1000 kW for power storage and generation in batteries, the APU and fuel cells in the hybrid electric regional aircraft versus today’s similar size aircraft generating around 35-50 kW of heat. 

The main challenges are related to heat loads increase, low grade heat and sensitivity to overheat (low temperature differences between cooling source and sink), and either no or less heat exhaust depending on bleed architecture. The project is therefore a key enabler of hybrid electric aircraft concepts and will go beyond the state-of-the-art using a combination of novel technologies with optimization at aircraft system level (i.e. novel architecture). 

TheMa4HERA is gathering a wide range of partners, ranging from key industry players, through SMEs, Research Institutes to Universities. Aside from the competitive advantage that the project will give its contributors, one of the main benefit of the project is that it enables aircraft electrification and use of non-drop-in power sources such as fuel cell, hydrogen and batteries. 

Researchers: Simone Mancin, Claudio Zilio, Giulia Righetti, Marco Noro, Luca Doretti, 2 Post-docs 
rs: 24 Partners, among those: Honeywell (Coordination), Leonardo, Airbus, Collins, Nord Micro, Liebher Aerospace, etc. 

Dates: January 2023 - December 2026
Keywords: Regional Aircraft, Hybrid, Thermal Management, Digital Twin  

Novel Energy and propUlsion systeMs for Air domiNaNce


NEUMANN is a pan-European collaborative project involving major players of the EDITB, including key industry, mid-cap, SME and research organization, to address the urgent need for strategic autonomy for the development of building blocks needed for competitive novel propulsion and energy systems for future air dominance. The project studies will address propulsion and energy systems technologies required for an highly efficient powerplant, able to deliver at the same time increased electrical power generation and increased thrust-to-weight ratio, that are not available today in Europe but will be necessary to cope with the mission requirements and operational needs of the next generation of fighter aircraft.

Researchers: Simone Mancin, Claudio Zilio, Giulia Righetti, Marco Noro, Luca Doretti, Dario Guarda
GE Avio (Coordinator), Leonardo, SAAB, GKN Aerospace, ect. 

Dates: December 2022 - January 2027
Keywords: Aircraft, Thermal Management, Digital Twin, Future cooling technologies

Official EU website

ITS4ZEB Integrated Thermal energy Storages for Zero Emission Buildings

LIFE iTS4ZEB project will develop and demonstrate novel next generation long- and short-term, compact, high-performing, cost-effective, modular and integrated latent Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technologies. They are based on the exploitation of modern Phase Change Materials (PCM) storage system combined with high-efficiency heat pumps for heating and cooling of residential space and domestic hot water. At the heart of the solution lies an innovative multi-source R290 heat pump combined with PCM optimised by novel control algorithms to maximise performance, renewable energy fraction, GHG reduction, cost savings, and energy system integration. The partners will install 50 independents demonstrators across the Europe, in 10 countries, in order to test and validate the product in all possible contexts. These will show and prove the modularity, scalability, and feasibility of the developed technology with real-life demonstration in operational environment, aiming to reach the industrial and commercial phase for the project (TRL 9, for a “close to the market” action). INNOVA aims to produce a pre-series in the final configuration and start producing/selling the first batches (500 units) thanks to deployment of a new production line. The diverse international multi-disciplinary Consortium and the dedicated exploitation tasks will rapidly push the project to the market, paving the path for wide application of the demonstrated solutions.

UNIPD Researchers: Giulia Righetti, Claudio Zilio, Simone Mancin
Partners: Innova srl (Coordinator), SunService srl, Eurac Research, Studio Fieschi e Soci, PANASONIC MARKETING EUROPE GMBH, UNIPD
Dates: September 2023 - August 2026
Keywords: Latent Thermal Energy Storage, HVAC, heat Pump, efficiency, sustainability.

Official webpage:

Microscale enabled advanced flow and heat transfer technologies featuring high performance and low power consumption


Electronic and digital devices are all around us, affecting every area of daily life. With energy consumption also rising, there more periods of intense power demands and heat dissipation. Thermal management techniques cannot reach the same rate to keep up with the development of portable and powerful devices. Microchannel-based technologies can tackle thermal management and cooling issues in line with the EU legislation for heating and cooling. The EU-funded Micro-FloTec project will exchange expertise from 17 research institutions and two industrial partners to generate significant advancements for heat transfer and thermal management solutions. The project will address problems within morphological optimisation of the multiphase heat transfer performance and flow resistance reduction, surface modification techniques, and the application of multi-phase physics for performance prompting.

UNIPD Researchers:  Simone Mancin, Claudio Zilio, Giulia Righetti, Marco Noro, Luca Doretti
Partners: 17 Partners worldwide
Dates: March 2023 - February 2027
Keywords: Electronics cooling, Thermal Management, topological optimization, two-phase flow, additive manufacturing

Cordis webpage

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