The department is involved in different projects in the fields of smart use of energy and its storage, cogeneration micro-turbines and fuel cells. The department performs both numerical (with commercial software) and experimental projects to study innovative concepts allowing for the economisation of fossil energy.
Micro-Energy Storage in Buildings
With the growing use of intermittent energy sources in power grids, there is a growing temporal mismatch between energy production and consumption. Energy storage or demand-response could be used to surpass this mismatch and use energy more efficiently. The Micro Energy Storage in Buildings (MESB) project, funded by Innoviris, intends to parameterize small-scale energy storage systems implemented in buildings, apply this parameterization to several case studies and test several installations.
Pumped Hydro Energy Storage
The department is active on two different aspects of Pumped Hydro Energy Storage.
The first research interest is focused on the technico-economical analysis of PHES systems. Under the SmartWater project, funded by the Waloon Region, analysis the cost and the revenues of PHES systems, focusing on their use in non-conventionnal use (quarries, mines,).
The second research interest is focuses on the use and the design of suitable hydraulic machines such as the diagonal reversible pump-turbine and the solutions offered by pumps used as turbines (PAT), which are very attractive to small scale hydroelectric power system. The project aims to draw the state of the art of a not well-known pump-turbine type Deriaz, showing cases and analysis of its designed model. The Deriaz pump turbine promises high efficiencies in a wide range of partial load, thanks to its efficient regulation by means of adjustable runner blades and guide vanes.
In hydroelectric plants using PAT, it is required to regulate the system by using variable speed: based on of the affinity law and empirical tests, it is possible investigate the matching between head-discharge characteristics of the hydraulic machine in pump and turbine mode. The research work includes therefore criteria for selection of pump running as turbine and moreover cavitation analysis, loss distribution, various methods of performance enhancement and costs analysis.