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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V042262/1
Title: Barocaloric materials for zero-carbon heat pumps
Principal Investigator: Moya, Dr X
Other Investigators:
Cohen, Professor LF Radcliffe, Professor J MacLaren, Professor DA
Boldrin, Dr D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Evonik Industries AG (International) Grant Instruments
Department: Materials Science & Metallurgy
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2022 Ends: 31 December 2024 Value (£): 1,392,100
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Complex fluids & soft solids Energy Storage
Gas & Solution Phase Reactions Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Feb 2021 Decarbonising Heat 2 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Heating and cooling are essential to our lives. We rely on them for comfort in our homes and vehicles, and businesses need heating and cooling for productive workplaces and industrial processes. Taken together, space and process heating and cooling represent the biggest contribution to the UK's energy consumption, and the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Heating is primarily provided from burning natural gas, whereas cooling is primarily provided from compressing volatile fluorinated gases. However, these conventional technologies are neither efficient, not friendly to the environment.

Barocaloric effects are reversible thermal changes that occur in mechanically responsive solids when subjected to changes in pressure. These effects are analogous to the pressure-induced thermal changes in gases that are exploited in current heat pumps, but they promise higher energy efficiencies and obviate the need for harmful greenhouse gases.

We aim at developing an energy-efficient barocaloric heat pump based on novel barocaloric hybrid composite materials that combine the best properties of organic barocaloric materials, namely extremely large pressure-driven thermal changes, and the best of inorganic barocaloric materials, namely high thermal conductivity and low hysteresis.

A technological transformation of this magnitude will require the development of bespoke economic and policy strategies for its successful deployment. Therefore, we aim at developing a fully integrated bespoke economic and policy strategy that will support the innovation of BC heat pumps through to commercialisation.

The achievement of heat pumps that operate using barocaloric materials instead of gases will permit decarbonising heating and cooling, provide energy independence, and enable the UK to become the world leader on this emerging technology.

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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk