Patrick Ruch  Patrick Ruch photo       

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Research Staff Member
IBM Research - Zurich


Heating and cooling of buildings accounts for a substantial fraction of the world's end energy consumption. Today, the vast majority of this demand is met by the combustion of fossil fuels or by electrically driven heat pumps. At the same time, significant amounts of thermal energy are being wasted in industrial processes, including datacenters. Often, this waste heat can not be utilized because it's temperature is unsuitable. Therefore, there is a demand for heat conversion technology in order to access the enormous potential of wasted heat. Ideally, this technology should have minimal electricity consumption in order to alleviate the burden on the electricity grid which is associated with daily and seasonal variations in heating and cooling demand.

The key enabling technology is a thermally driven adsorption heat pump that provides heating and cooling, and is being developed in the context of the THRIVE project. THRIVE is a 4-year project (01.12.2014 – 31.10.2018) funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in the context of the National Research Program 70 “Energy turnaround”.

Link to IBM Research project page

Link to THRIVE project page of SNSF

Link to article in the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger (in German)