Heat pumps and solar appliances are the most socially accepted renewable energy based energy systems for residential buildings. SunHorizon will demonstrate innovative, reliable, and cost-effective coupling of solar and heat pump technology by Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 7.
SunHorizon addresses three main research pillars that interact to achieve, demonstrate and replicate the project objectives:
- OPTIMIZED DESIGN, ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING OF SUNHORIZON TECHNOLOGIES
- SMART FUNCTIONAL MONITORING FOR HEAT & COOLING
- KPI DRIVEN MANAGEMENT AND DEMONSTRATION.
The SunHorizon’s main objective is to demonstrate by TRL 7 innovative and reliable solutions, where heat pumps (thermal compression, adsorption, reversible) are properly coupled and controlled with advanced solar panels (PV, hybrid, thermal). In fact, both together can heat and cool residential and tertiary buildings and results in:
- Less CO2 emissions
- Fewer energy bills
- More independence from fossil fuels
The project will also establish a cloud-based functional monitoring platform that will serve as a “performance data mine”. It will be useful for developing data-driven and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) oriented to optimise algorithms and tools for predictive maintenance, improving management to maximise solar utilisation, and providing input to manufacturers for planning new installations.
As outlined in EU Strategy for Heating and Cooling, “large-scale demonstration projects of energy-efficient and low / zero-carbon technologies are needed to help reduce technical and market barriers by providing robust data to evaluate their performance in each market segment”.
For this purpose, SunHorizon aims to be a ground-breaking demonstration and market project, encompassing the expertise of 21 partners and 8 demonstration sites around Europe. Indeed, research and demonstration activities will focus on “reducing system costs and improving performance as well as optimising existing technologies for heating and cooling applications and some of the most promising market segments”.
Some of the major challenges in the implementation of the project are:
- High TRL to be achieved of integrated TPs: TRL 7
- A pre-industrial project
- Demonstration in different climates and type of building
- Cruciality of Data Monitoring to drive the three research pillars
- Crucial importance of the dissemination and stakeholders’ engagement
- A long, but well structured project both in terms of responsibilities among partners and timing