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Experimental Laboratories LEAP LAB

The world energy scene is dominated by two main themes:

the rationalisation of energy use, and the reduction of environmental pollution due to emissions.

In this context the LEAP Consortium has set up a laboratory to contribute to technological innovation, estimation of performance, the fine tuning of components and plant for a rational use of energy and the reduction of environmental impact.  The inclusion of universities and industry among the members of the Consortium is intended to facilitate communications  and collaboration between the world of research and the productive sector.

The Laboratory is organised into three testing areas:

  • heat_box Laboratory for performance tests on boilers with thermal power up to 100 kW.
  • wind_box Wind tunnel for thermo-fluid-dynamics tests on stacks of small and medium size boilers.
  • CO2_box Test rig for the assessment of the thermodynamic properties of CO2 based mixtures.




Laboratory for performance tests on boilers with thermal power up to 100 kW

The heat_box facility is endowed with a test bench for measuring the nominal power and for determining the efficiency at partial and nominal load of low-power boilers according to European regulations.
The bench was designed for use with both wall hung boilers and floor standing boilers. It can carry out tests on:

  • Combined boilers;
  • Heat-only boilers;
  • Condensing boilers.

Boilers can be fuelled by gaseous fuels (methane, mix nitrogen-methane, butane, propane and LPG) and by solid fuels such as biomass.
The test bench is useful for research activities and for the development of innovative solutions, for verifying the mass flow rate and temperature regulation systems, for performance tests on specific boilers models and for statistical analyses of the boilers market.
LEAP also carries out combustion tests on boilers, measuring volatile organic compounds and the concentrations of O2, CO2, CO, NO, NO2 and SOx in the exhaust gases.

The facility holds the accreditation ISO/IEC 17025 by ACCREDIA for efficiency and emissions tests on boilers fed with solid fuels (up to 100 kW).




Responsible Prof. Paolo Chiesa
Test rig for the assessment of the thermodynamic properties of CO2 based mixtures

The carbon capture technology strategies, although based on different physical principles, are united by the production of CO2 flows that are not pure because of the presence of other trace elements or chemical compounds. The knowledge of the thermodynamic properties of these CO2-based mixtures is necessary for the application study of systems and components of carbon capture, transport and storage plants. On the other hand, these data are not currently available in the scientific literature, therefore it is essential to carry out an experimental activity like that one designed and performed by LEAP in the CO2_box facility.
The aim is to acquire a set of experimental data necessary for calibrating the mathematical models used for predicting the behaviour of these mixtures.
The test rig results from the merge of two experimental equipments: a bench that carries out a direct measure of the volumetric behaviour of single-phase mixtures using a vibrating tube densimeter (bench p-ρ-T, pressure - density - temperature) and a bench to analyse phase equilibrium mixtures which is endowed with a gaschromatograph useful to determine the composition of liquid and vapour phases (VLE bench, Vapour Liquid Equilibrium, pressure - temperature – L and V phase composition).


With this experimental facility, LEAP can extend its analysis capabilities to other application areas, such as working fluids for low temperature ORC cycles (Organic Rankine Cycles) and refrigerants.


The table shows at a glance the test capabilities of the CO2_box facility.