15 November 2021
16 February 2023
UGent | IOF
The vapor-to-heat pump is a new drying technology designed at UGent. It consists of a mass heat exchanger and a regenerator. UGent has built up knowledge and expertise on both components over the past 8 years, including:
A functioning mass heat exchanger in a greenhouse in Sint-Katelijne-Waver (TRL 6)
The design of a pilot regenerator with a capacity of 30kW and the availability of 80% of its components in the Technicum building. The regenerator is of the type " two-stage vacuum evaporator driven by a heat pump " and it is cost competitive. This technique is groundbreaking compared to all other drying techniques on the market:
The COP is twice the value as of the state of the art
10 to 20 times higher COP compared to current common practice for dehumidification (heating and venting)
The system can operate with 100% renewable energy
Due to the hygroscopic solution storage possibility, the vapor-to-heat pump has flexibility in energy use and energy storage capacity.
Flexibility in drying temperature in function of process needs, results in improved quality
It can contribute to the energy transformation with the highest COP and highest potential for energy storage.