IWO is participating in the development project called SmartFlex Power plant, which is also financed by the European Union (EFRO). IWO is functioning as the secretary of the project and also has a role in the input of scientific approach and new technologies in the SmartFlex Power plant. The project is a cooperation between the partners mentioned below:

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The overall objective of this project (2016-2020) is to develop a power plant, the SmartFlex Power plant mainly built up by innovative components with lower CO2 emissions than the current emissions of large-scale fossil power plants to achieve commercially attractive perspectives. The innovative components are:

-a (wankel) engine, which can be used in a variable (bio)gas quality (e.g. variable (wobbe-) index or variable composition) for the generation of electricity and heat (possibly with heat pump).

-a free-piston engine for highly efficient generation of electricity with a linear generator, which can be used for (bio)gas

-a reverse electrodialysis stack for the generation and storage of electricity from salt or brackish water aquifers, which can be used for balancing of the power plant in combination with a heat/cold storage (HCS)

The existing components on which the SmartFlex Power plant is developed are a (nature) gas engine heat pump with a [HCS in aquifers].

The input will mainly come from sustainable sources, such as syngasses, e.g. biogas, by-catch of natural gas geothermal, salt or brackish water and waste heat but can also consist of fossil fuels, especially natural gas.

The SmartFlex Power plant is flexible in the delivery of requested heat and electricity (basically autarkic, but for exceptional situations linked to public networks) and is flexible in connecting, allowing other technologies (such as solar panels, wind turbines) to be incorporated later in the concept. A prototype will be developed with the above mentioned kinds of innovative electricity generation combined with the generation of heat.

The SmartFlex power plant forms the link between, on the one hand, medium-sized suppliers of (bio-)gases and residual heat and, on the other hand, medium energy customers [100 – 1000 kW heat/cold and 50 – 500 kWe]. This also applies to companies with waste gases, by-catch syngases like agricultural sector companies and water treatment plants. Another important item is the integration of electric transportation, where the battery technology buffers for the building as well and absorbs possible peaks. The final goal is to provide energy in an autarchic operation in various scales of buildings, building complexes and/or processes.

See figure for the basic architecture of the SmartFlex power plant


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