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Keynote Lectures

An Analysis of Power-to-x Technologies in Modern District Energy Networks
Francesco Calise, University of Naples Federico II, Italy

How Urban Heat Islands Do Compromise Our Resilience to Climate Change: A Human-centric Approach Towards Better Understanding and Mitigating the Energy-related Impacts in the Built Environment
Anna Laura Pisello, University of Perugia, Italy

 

An Analysis of Power-to-x Technologies in Modern District Energy Networks

Francesco Calise
University of Naples Federico II
Italy
 

Brief Bio
Francesco Calise was born in 1978 and graduated cum laude in mechanical engineering from the University of Naples Federico II, Italy in 2002. He obtained the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Thermal Engineering in 2006. He is Full Professor of applied thermodynamics at the University of Naples Federico II.  His research activity is mainly focused on the following topics: fuel cells, advanced optimization techniques, solar thermal systems, concentrating photovoltaic/thermal and photovoltaic systems, energy saving in buildings, solar heating and cooling, Organic Rankine Cycles, geothermal energy, dynamic simulations of energy systems, renewable polygeneration systems, hydrogen, district heating and cooling, power to x, smart grids and many others. He was invited lecturer for PhD courses and international conferences. He is a member of the scientific committees of several international Conferences and Chair of two international conferences. He teaches several courses of energy management and applied thermodynamics at the University of Naples Federico II for BsC, MS and PhD students. He was a supervisor of several Ph.D. degree theses.  He is a reviewer of about 30 international Journals. He was involved, as researcher or principal investigator, in several Research Projects funded by EU and Italian Government.  He is Member of the Editorial Board of several International Journals. His Scopus indexes (Oct 2022 are: Documents: 158; Citations: 5740; H-Index:46)


Abstract
In past few years, the majority of the worldwide Countries realized that it was urgent to modify the current energy paradigm, mainly based on the utilization of fossil fuels. The present trend in terms of consumption of fossil fuels and emissions of greenhouse gases is posing severe issues in terms of environmental sustainability of this paradigm. Therefore, a significant effort has been performed in order to promote the transition from the present scenario to a novel one, based on the utilization of renewable energy sources. Moreover, the recent events - pandemic and Ukrainian war - are more and more pushing policymakers to promote the transition toward a fully renewable energy system. Thus, a twofold goal can be achieved. First, the continuous increase of the world average temperature can be mitigated. Then, Countries energy security and dependency can be enhanced by exploiting locally available renewable energy sources. The goal of the full decarbonization, expected in European Union by 2050, can be achieved by a double strategy: i) improving the efficiency of the existing energy networks and systems; ii) increasing the share of the energy produced by renewable energy sources. In this framework, a huge contribution is expected by the increase of the installed power capacity of wind turbines and photovoltaic collectors. Both wind and solar sources are worldwide abundantly available, and a large unexploited potential exists in several Countries. Unfortunately, these renewable energy sources are remarkably fluctuating and unpredictable. Therefore, their integration in present and future energy networks is a very challenging task, due to the significant phase shift between energy supply and demand. Suitable energy storage systems should be used to mitigate this phenomenon. Thermal storage systems are commercially mature and available. Conversely, electrical storage systems are available only for limited capacities and they are featured by high capital costs and low power densities. Simultaneously, modern and efficient energy networks are becoming more and more mature. Smart grids are nowadays used in a plurality of applications. As for the heating and cooling, the state of the art is based on the use of 4th and 5th generation district heating and cooling networks. Therefore, the integration of renewables in such modern energy networks requires the integration of novel technologies to achieve an optimal matching between energy demand and supply. In this framework the Power-to-X technology is becoming more and more attracting. According to this novel paradigm, all the excess electricity produced by renewables, which cannot be stored in the available storage systems, is converted in another energy vector or fuel (X). The most common configuration is Power-to-Heat (P2H) technology, where the excess electricity is converted into heat by using heat pumps. This heat can be stored in suitable thermal energy storage systems and used for a plurality of purposes (space heating, domestic hot water, industrial processes, etc) In the Power-to-hydrogen (P2H2) configuration, the excess renewable electricity is supplied to an electrolyzer which splits water into oxygen and hydrogen. Oxygen can be used for industrial or medical purposes, whereas hydrogen can be used for a plurality of scopes (energy conversion, transport, chemical industry, food industry, etc). It is worth noting that hydrogen use does not determine any production of greenhouse gases. In the Power-to-Power (P2P) arrangement, the produced hydrogen is first stored and subsequently supplied to a fuel cell, which can produce electricity and heat. Thus, P2P system can be used as an electrical storage system, showing attractive storage capacities and economic performance. Finally, another possibility consists in the power-to-gas (P2G) arrangement. Here, the excess electricity is used to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis. Hydrogen is stored in suitable tanks. Simultaneously, the exhaust gases of a conventional power plant fueled by fossil fuels pass trough a CO2 separation unit. Thus, the produced hydrogen can be combined with this CO2 in a methanator, for the production of methane. A plurality of technologies are available for the implementation of all the above mentioned P2X arrangements. Similarly, dozens of scientific approaches are used to design and dynamically simulate such systems. The lecture will summarize both technologies and methodologies, also analyzing the integration of P2X technology in modern energy networks. Special attention is paid to the developed control strategies and optimization techniques, implemented to improve both design and operating efficiency of the system.



 

 

How Urban Heat Islands Do Compromise Our Resilience to Climate Change: A Human-centric Approach Towards Better Understanding and Mitigating the Energy-related Impacts in the Built Environment

Anna Laura Pisello
University of Perugia
Italy
 

Brief Bio
Anna Laura Pisello is associate professor of environmental applied physics at University of Perugia, Italy and founder of the EAPLAB.NET (Environmental Applied Physics Lab)at CIRIAF Interuniversity research centre on pollution and environment Mauro Felli.
She graduated cum laude in Building Engineering at Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, in 2009. She received her PhD in Energy Engineering from University of Perugia in 2013. She was visiting scholar at Columbia University, Virginia Tech and City University of New York in 2010-12. She has been post-doc fellow of Applied Physics in 2013, and she is currently Associate Professor of Applied Physics at University of Perugia, Italy and visiting research associate at Princeton University (NJ, USA) since 2018. On 2022 she got the national qualification as full professor of Applied physics.
She is author of more than 150 international refereed journal papers. She won more than 10 international academic awards and european projects under the framework of Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe program. She is associate editor of Solar Energy (Elsevier), editor of Energy and Buildings (Elsevier) and Nature Scientific Reports, among others.
She serves as a member of the teaching board of the Doctorate school of Energy and sustainable development where she has been mentoring more than 15 PhD students.
She is PI of several Horizon 2020 grants and PI of the ERC Starting Grant HELIOS about radiative cooling for mitigating urban heat island.



Abstract
Urban heat island is the best documented climate change related phenomenon, already monitored and experimentally measured all around the world. Despite that, there are just a few large scale actions ready for exploitation in the urban environment worldwide. Most of the mitigation actions consists of passive cooling solutions applied over the building skins, such as green roofs and paving, cool highly reflective materials, etc. which demonstrated their important contribution for cooling energy saving and improving both indoor and outdoor wellbeing. This plenary will deal with innovative ways how to realistically understand the citizens’ impact due to urban overheating through a dedicated human centric approach, also consisting of the integration of multiscale and variable solutions for field monitoring including crowd sensing and wearable systems, within an innovative citizen science perspective, ready to be scaled up worldwide for minimising environmental risk, exacerbated by health morbidity and energy poverty.



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