PUMP-HEAT project

The EU funded PUMP-HEAT project (Performance Untapped Modulation for Power and Heat via Energy Accumulation Technologies) was kicked off in September. The objective of the project is to increase the flexibility of the Combined Cycle power plants and the operation of gas turbines. We interviewed the project coordinator Alberto Traverso, Professor of Energy Systems at University of Genoa, who leads the consortium consisting of 14 participants from 8 countries.

1What is the background/what are the reasons behind the launch of the PUMP-HEAT project?

Natural gas fired Combined Cycle (CC) power plants are currently the backbone of EU electrical grid, providing
most of regulation services necessary to increase the share of non-programmable renewable sources into the electrical
grid. As a consequence, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Utilities are investigating new strategies and
technologies for power flexibility. Current research activities for CCs flexibility enhacement (e.g. power ramp augmentation, Minimum Electrical Load - MEL - reduction)
focus mainly on the GT and extend the operational envelop of this component, which is primarily constrained by emissions
(typically, CO at low load and NOx formation at full load).
On the other hand, existing cogenerative CCs are usually constrained by thermal user demand, hence can provide limited services to the grid.
At the same time, CHP plants are highly promoted for their high rate of energy efficiency (> 90%) and combined with district heating network are a pillar of the EU energy strategy.
PUMP-HEAT aims at an innovative approach to enhance CC flexibility through bottoming cycle innovations, applicable also to cogenerative CCs.

2Why is the project relevant in the context of energy transition scenario and in achieving the EU 2030 Climate and Energy targets?
3What are the main objectives of the project?
4Can you tell us more about the technology to be used in this project?
5What do you hope to achieve with PUMP-HEAT? What would be the desired impact on the society?
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under agreement No 764706