Digital Systems

Energy Environment

Materials & Processes

ANR Corenstock Industrial Chair

Life-cycle oriented design & systems approach for the energy efficiency of heating system storage.

The entire project is a central part of the long-term partnership between IMT and elm.leblanc aimed at supporting the company’s energy and digital transformation through research, innovation and training. This transformation that requires significant support for staff through a specific training program provided by IMT.

The purpose of the research program is to offer innovative solutions related to domestic hot water storage units of the future, which is central to elm.leblanc’s activities: more energy efficient, less expensive in terms of raw materials, recyclable, self-adaptive control suited to the needs of the end user, and durability ensured through continuous control.

This transformation will take place thanks to this partnership research program which aims to achieve two major and complementary advances:

  • Design a next-generation technological thermal production systems offering both energy efficiency and increased product lifespan;

  • Develop and implement new systemic design methods, which will catalyse a long-term transition of industrial innovation practices.

Research themes and key scientific challenges

The areas of innovation include the hot water tank’s entire life cycle by integrating it into a systemic approach to enable informed design choices. The areas of innovation are:

  • Optimising the design and production of a shell made of durable, corrosion-resistant composite materials that are more energy efficient than the current solution;
  • Integrating sensors allowing the implementation of predictive maintenance tools and optimisation of control during the life span of the tank;
  • Establishing the PACMAN platform (heat pump for machine-learning-based modelling and development of digital twins) which will provide usage data from a heat pump/hot water storage system to define dynamic usage models, detect the signature of the different uses and, finally, test different control scenarios;
  • Monitoring and optimising production planning to reduce energy consumption;
  • Integrating phase-change materials to increase system latency and reduce energy consumption;
  • Developing a chaotic exchanger to intensify heat transfers and reduce heating cycle times;
  • Comprehensive study of life cycle analysis including the design, production and recovery choices of end-of-life products;
  • Optimisation of the products / services approach to propose a profitable and sustainable operating model.

Funding from: ANR

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