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SCO2OP-TES: a european research network to revolutionize energy storage

4.7 million euros to Horizon Europe project involving prof. Giacomo Persico, Politecnico of Milan

Redazione Open Innovation

Redazione Open Innovation

Regione Lombardia

To revolutionize energy storage in the transition towards renewable energy sources. It is the aim of the Horizon Europe project SCO2OP-TES, which will lead to the development and validation of an innovative “Carnot Battery” configuration.

The project will last four years and have a total budget of approximately 4.7 million euros. It will involve Professor Giacomo Persico of the Department of Energy together with his team, as well as 16 partners from 10 European countries.

The SCO2OP-TES initiative is part of the European Union’s strategy to reduce emissions in the energy and industrial sectors, aligned with the recent REPowerEU Plan, aiming to achieve an installation of renewable energy capacity of 1236 GW by 2030.

“Our involvement in this project is a significant step towards the development of innovative solutions for energy storage”, Giacomo Persico explains.

Europe faces the challenge not only of efficiently converting large amounts of energy from renewable sources but also ensuring stability in energy supplies and continuous utilization throughout the year.

Current storage solutions, such as batteries and power-to-hydrogen systems, are currently insufficient to cover specific flexibility services in the electrical grid, services that only energy systems based on direct and reverse thermodynamic cycles operating with turbomachinery can provide.

The SCO2OP-TES project aims to develop and validate the next generation of 'Power-to-Heat-to-Power' (P2H2P) energy storage solutions.

The focus is on the development of a new type of “Carnot Battery”, based on the combination of direct and reverse thermodynamic cycles operating with supercritical carbon dioxide. This system can harness heat from renewable thermal sources or waste heat from industrial processes and power plants in the energy storage process. This ensures a very high energy efficiency during charging and discharging, making the interaction between industrial plants and the electrical grid more effective.

The project aims to design, build, and test a pilot plant to validate the technology in an industrially relevant environment before studying its application in large-scale installations.

The Politecnico research group’s contribution will be crucial: developing and providing innovative techniques based on Artificial Intelligence for the design and optimization of turbomachinery installed in the system operating with supercritical CO2 at high temperatures.

The study will lead therefore to the creation and experimental validation of highly innovative machines, significantly impacting the future success of long-term and large-scale energy storage systems.

“Collaborating with other European partners will allow us to develop, apply, and validate the Artificial Intelligence techniques we have been working on for years for the project - Giacomo Persico explains also - and the multidisciplinary optimization of turbomachinery operating with supercritical CO2, contributing significantly to the transition towards large-scale renewable energy sources”.

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