The Laboratory of Sorption Processes (LSP) has been under establishing at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of OTH Regensburg Technical University of Applied Sciences (OTH-Regensburg) since October 2016. Sorption processes can be assigned to thermal process engineering and can be divided in adsorption and absorption processes. Adsorption is the binding of a gas to the surface of a solid. On the other hand, absorption is the penetration of a gas or vapor into a liquid, forming a solution with its atoms or molecules. Both processes are exothermic and, therefore, generate heat. The reverse process of adsorption as well as absorption is referred to as desorption, for which energy, in form of heat, is necessary. Sorption processes can be applied in thermally driven chillers, heat pumps, heat transformers as well as sorption heat and cold storage systems. As those technologies imply mainly natural refrigerants, with zero global warming potential (GWP) and zero ozone depletion potential (ODP), they are gaining more and more weight as very promising technologies in remarkably reducing the greenhouse gases’ (GHG) emissions in both heating and cooling sectors worldwide.
In LSP, several student assistants, Bachelor, Master and PhD-Students are conducting scientific research on various R&D projects. This includes the development, construction, installation and test of different components, systems and test rigs. They receive invaluable technical assistance by the laboratory technician. The R&D projects are funded by Industry partners from Regensburg and its neighbourhood as well as by the Federal Ministries (BMBF & BMWi) as well as the EU through the Horizon-2020 program. Beside the externally funded projects, some internal R&D projects are being conducted to prepare for the upcoming research proposals. The OTH Regensburg students working at LSP come into contact with the state of the art of R&D activities worldwide in the different application fields of the sorption technologies and can acquire huge experiences preparing them perfectly to their upcoming jobs. A special emphasis shall be devoted to the very tight international contacts and student exchange opportunities available through LSP with excellent R&D partners from Germany, Italy, Russia and Canada.
An example for an internal research and development project in the field of adsorption is the so-called zeolite-water-adsorption-storage. The project is executed within LSP as a part of the MAPR-programme (Master of Applied Research). The ambition is to research on various adsorbent working pairs (zeolite-water) for heat storage, e.g. as day/night storage. During desorption the zeolite is regenerated and the desorbed water vapour is condensed. For this process industrial waste heat or solar energy is used. In the adsorption process the water is evaporated and it is adsorbed on the surface of the zeolite. The generated heat can be used for example for heating purposes. The main goal of this MAPR-project is to develop, evaluate and optimize a concept for the integration of a day-night adsorption heat and cold storage in a Rankine steam power station process.