Research Infrastructure

Industry seldom implements new technology without a thorough testing period, to ensure efficiency and reliability. Such testing requires pre-industrial lab installations for performance analyses, component validations and prototyping to enable successful implementation in the industry.

Lab for drying technologies

These laboratory needs are covered to some extent by HighEFFLab installations. We see that the infrastructure will make emerging, sustainable solutions feasible to the industry, closing the gap between TRL1-4 and TRL7-9.

HighEFFLab is a joint national laboratory between various departments at SINTEF and NTNU. The facilities are mainly located at the NTNU Gløshaugen campus in Trondheim except for one installation situated at SINTEF Energy Lab at Blaklia. HighEFFLab is a national research infrastructure and aims to be the leading platform for experimental research within industrial energy efficiency through the operation of unique and excellent laboratory facilities. The research infrastructure is accessible for all industry, research and academia interested in experimental testing of components, processes or products related to our areas of research.

HighEFFLab consists of six laboratories, with a total of 12 experimental rigs and 8 analysis instruments. In addition, tools for calibration and field measurements, and computers and software for designing, modelling and simulations, are also part of this infrastructure. The

HighEFFLab laboratories are:

  1. The Heat Exchanger Laboratory
  2. The Expander Tests Laboratory
  3. The Natural Refrigerants Laboratory
  4. The Dewatering Laboratory
  5. The Gas and Material Characterization Laboratory

The laboratories include novel components and process equipment that can be found in different industrial processes:

Heating, cooling and drying technologies for food preservation in a more energy and environmentally friendly way using natural refrigerants.

High-temperature heat pumps making it possible to cover a larger part of industrial heat demands utilising low-quality excess heat sources.

Heat-to-power conversion, utilising excess heat at high temperatures and in high quantities from, for example, the metal industry. Gas and material characterisation instruments to reduce the environmental impact from (for example) off-gas and to improve the processes in the metal industry.

2021 was also marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. On many occasions, this has meant that the delivery of components has been postponed due to shortages, and further delays in the building and assembling of the last remaining HighEFFLab riggs has been unavoidable. The expander test rig will be up and running during the first quarter of 2022, and the hybrid ammonia-water heat pump system will be available for industry and students by the end of 2022.

A description of the specific instruments and test facilities is available on the HighEFFLab website.