Provincial Councillor for Economic Affairs and Research Markus Achleitner and ecop CEO Bernhard Adler at the joint press conference at ecop. Photo: © Province of Upper Austria, Gruber

The use of the Rotation Heat Pump for steam generation opens up numerous new application possibilities. These are being developed and tested in an interdisciplinary research project entitled “Future Energy Technologies” funded by the province of Upper Austria. The project was presented at a joint press conference at ecop in Neuhofen.

The use of steam to provide heat plays a major role in many industrial applications, for example in the food, building materials, pharmaceutical, chemical and paper industries. The high energy density and easy transportation via pipelines are key advantages.

At present, this process steam is usually generated by burning fossil fuels (mainly oil and gas) in combination with a steam boiler. In order to achieve the energy transition, in particular the heat transition, steam generation must be converted to renewable primary energy (e.g. renewable electricity). Direct-electric steam generators are not very efficient. Conventional heat pumps are limited in use by their refrigerants and low flexibility and reach technical limits, for example in the area of lubrication.

The Rotation Heat Pump developed by ecop does not have these disadvantages. It uses a completely new compression technology (rotary compression), which is much more efficient and mechanically simpler. In addition, an environmentally friendly inert gas is used as the working medium instead of a flammable, toxic or environmentally harmful refrigerant. It is also highly efficient and very flexible.

There is now a funded project in collaboration with Ecotherm Austria and the Johannes Kepler University Linz (Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer). “The RHOSIE project aims to exploit the advantages of the Rotation Heat Pump compared to conventional heat pumps for steam generation” explains Bernhard Adler, founder and CEO of ecop Technologies.

The funding is part of the Upper Austrian government’s “Future Energy Technologies” tender, which in turn contributes to the #upperVISION2030 business and funding program. An international jury has recommended seven projects for funding.

“The transformation to a sustainable energy system is a decisive success factor for the future of Upper Austria as a business location. The “Future Energy Technologies” funding call, which has now been completed, will launch promising research projects that deal with various aspects of the transformation, from energy storage systems and grid infrastructure to energy generation,” said Markus Achleitner, Provincial Councillor for Economic Affairs and Research, at a joint press conference at ecop on November 24, 2023.