Solar energy conversion

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Laboratory of Thermal Engineering, Energy and Processes (LATEP)
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Solar energy conversion and variable displacement engines with external heat input

After the study of STIRLING engines, our research is now focused on ERICSSON engines integrated into energy systems. We first looked at domestic micro-CHP, and through energy, exergy and exergo-economic studies, we demonstrated the relevance of this type of energy system.

We also performed a dynamic simulation of this type of engine, in order to develop the control-command system of a first prototype. Simulation results showed that this type of engine is very stable. We also demonstrated the advantages of coupling the ERICSSON engine with a cylindrical-parabolic concentrator for the thermodynamic conversion of low voltage solar energy, and the benefits of this technology compared to the conventional Dish / STIRLING technology.

This work also analyzed the energy and exergy of solar energy conversion systems of this type, including energy storage.

Ericsson engine prototype

In addition, the first prototype of an ERICSSON engine was developed. It is based on a counter-rotating twin crankshaft (Lancaster configuration) and features a single cylinder with double-acting piston. The prototype is currently in the evaluation phase. We are particularly interested in unsteady heat transfers taking place within the prototype cylinders.

Finally, we are carrying out theoretical and experimental studies on a trithermal system integrating an innovative process for thermal compression of the working fluid. As part of this project, we were able to draw on the competencies developed in the field of STIRLING engines and heat pumps. The main application targeted