Electrochemical energy storage
Thermal energy storage
Cross-cutting (Specifically: Hybrid solutions)




Electrochemical energy storage
Thermal energy storage
Cross-cutting (Specifically: Hybrid solutions)


Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (CNR)

Contact person 1:

Salvatore Vasta

Contact person 2:

Alessio Sapienza



TRL Level:


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The CompLab (Components for Adsorption Heat Transformation) was conceived to support the design and development of adsorption heat transformers prototypes (heat storage, chiller/refrigerator/heat pumps) by dedicated testing benches able to experimentally measure the performance of the main components of AHTs under real operating conditions for the specific application.

Services offered.

1. Sorption kinetics testing bench. Dynamic optimization of the reactor/adsorber represents a key issue for the broader diffusion of adsorption cooling and heating or heat storage technologies. The sorption kinetics testing bench uses a Gravimetric version of the LTJ method (G-LTJ) for studying the dynamic behaviour of adsorber units with high complexity and realistic configurations under real operating conditions. This testing bench is mainly used to optimize the kinetics of small scale adsorber configurations scaled-up.

2. Reactor/adsorber testing bench. The testing bench is based on a laboratory-scale adsorptive cooling system installed at CNR-ITAE Institute. The prototype consists of a single adsorber connected to a single evaporator and a single condenser operating by an intermittent mode without heat or mass recovery. The machine allows to operate it reproducing the boundary conditions typical for cooling, heating or heat storage applications and to measure the COP, the VCP and the SCP of real scale adsorbers.

3. Evaporator/condenser testing bench. Adsorption heat transformations based on water as working fluid represent an interesting alternative to traditional energy technologies also for the chance to sue a natural refrigerant. Among natural refrigerants, water (R718) presents important advantages: i) zero GWP and ODP, ii) easy availability, iii) not toxic fluid, iv) excellent thermodynamic and chemical properties. Due to the low saturation vapor pressure of water, the evaporation process needs to take place at sub-atmospheric pressure conditions which implicates fundamentally different evaporation and boiling characteristics compared to elevated pressures. A big lack of knowledge is observed in literature about that. The evaporator/condenser testing bench was conceived to study the evaporation of water under operating conditions typical of adsorption heat transformers. The experimental setup consists of a single bed intermittent adsorption chiller composed of two vacuum chambers: i) chamber 1 where a full scale adsorber is placed and connected to two thermocryostats simulating the heating source and the medium temperature sink, ii) chamber 2 where the heat exchanger to be tested is mounted connected to a circulation thermostat. The system is able to perform a complete adsorption cooling cycle and the evaporation/condensation is realized and studied under isobaric temperature drop/jump.