PUMP-HEAT Project addresses some specific challenges related to the reduction of the environmental impact of fossil fuel power plants and the increase of their flexibility and efficiency.

This proposal is submitted under Horizon 2020 work program “Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy”, in the Call H2020-LCE-2016-2017, topic “LCE-28-2017: Highly flexible and efficient fossil fuel power plants”.


Fossil fuel power plants will have to increasingly shift their role from providing base-load power to providing fluctuating back-up power to control and stabilize the grid

This project validates and demonstrates a solution applicable, as retrofit or revamping, to all EU combined cycle panorama, promising increased operational flexibility at competitive costs (i.e without incentives). PHCC solution is an enabling technology for allowing a more reliable higher penetration of intermittent renewable power sources into the grid. PHCC plants will work as active BoP on the electrical market both purchasing and selling electricity for ancillary services (WP1-WP6).

Plants should be able to run both at the lowest part load possible at the highest possible efficiency

PHCC concept (design and operation) was developed to expand the actual operational range (higher maximum load, lower minimum environmental load) maintaining higher efficiency with respect to other part-load solution. The proposed solution will be demonstrated (WP5) in a real CHP demo site plant interacting with the real requests of the national grid and of a local DHN. The increase of efficiency at

part /minimum load allows reducing OPEX and start-up because plants can be maintained more profitably at part-load working on ancillary services to the grid.

Plants will be required to operate across the entire load range with high load-change velocities

The project will develop an advanced control system exploiting the new plant design for optimal transient operation. The PHCC will shift the current gradients to higher values, depending on the HP size. The impact will be quantified in WP1/WP4.

Moreover, plants will be required to operate across the entire load range with high load-change velocities and even operate in start/stop mode with full turndown and very fast re-start, all at minimal (lifetime) fuel consumption

The advanced control system will address optimized transients operation including starts and stops at reduced fuel consumption. The PHCC concept, thanks to the Integrated Inlet Conditioning, allows faster start-up (intake air heating) and reduces the Minimum Environmental Load (Transient modelling from real monitored data and Control Development will be studied in WP4).

(…) leading to increased rate of wear on plant components

The proposed solution has a negligible impact over the wear and components degradation (normal ambient operative windows), moreover thanks to the reduction of start/stops, thermal stress and wear are reduced. Dedicated investigation will be performed (WP1-WP6).

Integration into an advanced energy system with ever higher shares of renewable energies

The PHCC concept was developed to balance the grid even when the combined cycle is off, acting as an equivalent electrical storage. The integration of the CC with a system made by a HP and a TES allows the plant to operate as a “smart load” on the electrical market, enabling the plant to pick up excess of energy from the grid and sell energy to the grid. Fast-response BoP components will be developed in WP2-WP3.

for both existing (retrofitting) and new thermal power plants

The PHCC concept applies to all CCs (new and existing, CHP and Power Oriented), without limitation to a specific OEM.

Solutions with lowest greenhouse gas emissions, residue disposal and water need per energy unit

The main aim of the PHCC concept is the increase of the annual efficiency. This will reduce proportionally greenhouse gas emissions and the other pollutants also thanks to the reduction of critical operating phases such as ramping up-down. PHCC can relieve the seasonal constraints and/or reduce the water need required for cooling in summer as another benefit towards flexible Fossil Fuel Power Plants.

Collaboration with power plant operators

This project is developed in collaboration with IREN, ORLEN; AEN, MHPSE, respectively plant operators and OEM of CCs. The collaboration with European Turbine Network guarantees a wide dissemination of project results to the most relevant EU stakeholders also guaranteeing the possibility, through yearly dedicated events, to focus the research on additional aspects driven by industry.

Support will not be given to projects that provide performance improvements that are not related to load fluctuations

The concept is designed to address plant optimal transient operations, with the use of advanced solutions including Thermal Storage, as equivalent of electrical storage, and advanced controls. It targets the increase in power flexibility as priority. Annual average efficiency will be increased as secondary positive effect, differently from most of available technologies for flexibility enhancement

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under agreement No 764706