Hybrid Variable Geometry Ejector Cooling and Heating System for Buildings Driven by Solar and Biomass Heat


The Hybrid – BioVGE project has the primary objective of developing and demonstrating a highly integrated solar/ biomass hybrid air conditioning system for space cooling and heating of residential and commercial buildings that is affordable, operating with improved efficiency and reduced need for maintenance. The proposed system will be driven by heat, using two renewable energy resources: solar thermal and biomass. Only a small amount of electricity will be needed for the circulation pumps and the control system (less than 5% of the total needs). Thus, it is expected that 95% of the building thermal load will be satisfied by renewable energy. The Hybrid-BioVGE project is a cooperation of seven key research institutions and companies of the required trans-disciplinary approach. The proposed system will be composed by a number of major components, including solar collector field, biomass boiler, thermal energy storage unit using PCM, thermally driven variable geometry ejector chiller, heat distribution and intelligent integrated control system. The Hybrid – BioVGE system represents innovative solutions at both component and system levels. Component level innovations include e.g. the application low cost solar collectors, high performance variable geometry ejector chiller, multi-fuel biomass boiler. At the system level, innovation effort will be carried out in order to reduce system complexity and to develop an intelligent energy monitoring and control unit that will lead to efficient operation of its components, with reduced cost and little need for interference by the end user. The potential of the proposed technology will be demonstrated by testing three small scale prototypes, adequate for residential and small commercial buildings, under different European climatic conditions: heating load dominated; balanced heating and cooling load; and cooling load dominated. A TRL of 7 for the Hybrid – BioVGE system will be achieved by the end of the project.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Gian Luca Morini

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale

Inegi - Instituto De Ciencia E Inovacao Em Engenharia Mecanica E Engenharia Industrial(Portugal)

Other Participants:
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Hargassner Ges Mbh (Austria)
Hsr-Hochschule Fur Technik Rapperswil (Switzerland)
Przedsiebiorstwo Innowacyjno-Wdrozeniowe Complex Sp Zoo (Poland)
Technische Universitaet Graz (Austria)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 3.362.670,00
Project Duration in months: 42
Start Date: 01/06/2019
End Date: 30/11/2022

Cordis webpage
Project website

Affordable and clean energy This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818012 This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818012