Dr. Francesco COTTONE
University of Perugia, Italy

Biography: Francesco Cottone is associate professor at Department of Physics and Geology, University of Perugia (Italy). During his Ph.D in Physics in 2008, Francesco pioneered the concept of nonlinear vibrational energy harvesting. From 2008 to 2009, He worked at Stokes Institute, University of Limerick (Ireland). In 2011, He awarded a Marie Curie European Fellowship to develop MEMS-based energy harvesting systems at Université de Paris-Est (France). Since 2013, Francesco re-joined the NiPS group in Perugia, where he has been the principal investigator and responsible of European Funded projects related to energy harvesting (NanoPower, ICT Energy, PROTEUS, EnABLES, IESRES). In 2015, Francesco awarded the best researcher prize in honour of professor Borromeo. His scientific expertise includes nonlinear stochastic dynamics, MEMS and NEMS energy harvesting systems and innovative piezoelectric materials. He directs the micro and nano technology for energy harvesting at department of Physics. He is member of the PowerMEMS technical panel committee and co-chair of the EnerHarv international conference. He is associate editor and referees of APL, PRL and Electronics. His publications counts more than 4800 citations.

Title: 3D printed nonlinear energy harvesters based on biocompatible foamed piezo-electret materials

Abstract: Piezo-electret polymer materials with a charged cellular structure that can convert mechanical energy into electric energy and vice versa. They consist of a solid polymer matrix containing a gas phase and they are usually used in sensing devices, such as electro-acoustic and ultrasonic sensors, or for actuators and energy harvesters. Common cellular polymers include polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and some of these show sizable electromechanical and piezoelectric activity. However, the major drawback of such materials is the fact that they do not comply eco-friendly policies necessary to reduce the negative impact on the environment. In this talk we show innovative 3D printed mechanical energy harvesting systems based on low cost and eco-friendly composite foamed polymers material, such as polylactic acid combined with other natural materials with very high piezoelectric features.

University of La Rioja, Spain

Biography: Rubén Lostado Lorza is a PhD. professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of La Rioja, Spain. Previously he worked as a Mechanical Engineer using the Finite Element Method (FEM) in the Investigation and Development (I+D) department of a pair of private companies. One of its lines of research is the modeling and optimization of mechanical products and devices with nonlinear behavior and industrial processes by combining the FEM and Machine Learning Techniques, and investigates how these products and devices generate their own environmental impact in their life cycle (Life Cycle Assessment)

Title: Eco-design in shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)

Abstract: The European Union (EU) has been at the forefront of promoting sustainable production processes and addresses sustainability and climate change as part of its broader approach towards a circular carbon economy. Considering sustainability in welding manufacturing processes involves environmental, social and economic aspects in order to promote practices that are respectful of the environment and human communities. Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) is a completely manual joining process, widely used today due to its versatility and portability to work in various conditions despite being one of the welding techniques that generates the most negative impacts on the environment and human health. Considering the eco-design and manufacturing process of SMAW welded joints implies minimizing the environmental impact throughout their life cycle (LCA), also considering such important aspects as the materials used, the energy consumed and the mechanical load capacity of said joints. The work focuses on double V groove butt welded joint and tries to determine how some of the SMAW welding process parameters influence in the environmental impact produced during its manufacturing process and its residual stresses generated, as well as in the ultimate load strength(ULS) of such as welded joints.

Dr. Adriana Greco
University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Biography: Adriana Greco born in Naples (Italy) on 7th August 1968. Degree cum laude in Chemical Engineering at University of Naples Federico II on 1994. PhD in Thermo-Mechanical Systems Engineering at the University of Naples Federico II on 1997. Full Professor of Applied Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Naples Federico II. Coordinator of the research group on refrigeration and heat transfer at UNINA. The group has many International Collaborations (Xi'an Jiaotong University China, Universitat de Barcelona Spain, Saarland University Germany, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Barcelona, School of Mechanical Engineering Vellore India). Editor in Chief of the Journal of Sustainability for Energy (ed Acadlore); Associate Editor of International Journal of Heat and Technology (ed. IIETA); in the Editorial Board of many international journals. Reviewer for more than 100 international journals. She belongs to many international scientific committees of international conferences. Membership of scientific societies: International Institute of Refrigeration (IIF-IIR), International Elastocaloric Society (IES), AIGE (Italian Association for energy management). Classified in the World’s Top 2% Scientists ranking for the year 2020 and 2022 for both the career and single year. The research activity has been developed in the field of the Termodynamics Applied and the Heat Transfer. She is co-author of more than 140 publications among paper on international and national journals and conference proceedings. She has (basing on Scopus Data-Base on 16/2/2024) and h index of 37 with 2524 citations. The scientific activity is related to following arguments: Energetic and exergetic analysis of vapour compression plants; Refrigerant fluids; Convective condensation; Convective boiling; Solid state refrigeration. Adriana Greco has more than 20 years experience in caloric cooling evidenced by the production of 50 papers in top-level journals on the topic. In 2019 she was the PI (and responsible of the Unit of University of Naples) of the project SUSSTAINEBLE (a Solution Using Solid-STate-cooling: An INvestment Eco-compatiBLE,) financed by Italian Ministry of University for the development of the first Italian heat pump based on the elastocaloric effect.

Title: Caloric cooling and heat pumping technologies based on sustainable solid-state refrigerants

Abstract: Caloric cooling is the most famous Not-In-Kind technology alternative to Vapor Compression (VC), basing on the phenomenon called caloric effect manifesting in solid-state materials that can be employed as new-generation refrigerants. The needing to find novel technologies able to replace VC derives from the prescriptions of Kyoto Protocol to progressively phase-out the HFC refrigerants, due of high Global Warming Potential (GWP) and largely employed in VC systems that nowadays are responsible of more than 20% of the world energy consumption. Caloric cooling bases on materials exhibiting caloric effects that are characterized by GWP=0. These features attributed to solid-state caloric cooling and air conditioning the hope it can assume the role of breakthrough ecofriendly.
The common denominator of caloric refrigeration is the caloric effect, a physical phenomenon manifesting in some solid-state materials that, because of an adiabatic change in the intensity of an external field applied to them is showed in a change in temperature.
Basing on it the Active Caloric Regenerative refrigeration cycle has been developed: a Brayton-based thermodynamic cycle where the caloric material acts both as refrigerant and regenerator with the final purpose of subtracting/adding heat from/to a cold/hot reservoir (cooling/heat pumping mode). Depending both on the nature of the field applied (magnetic, electric or mechanical) and the material to which it is applied a different caloric effect is observable: magnetocaloric, electrocaloric, machanocaloric. Each one of these effects has a different cooling and heat pumping technique.
Magnetocaloric refrigeration is the most consolidated solid-state technology, as it was, about 25-30 years ago, the first to attract the interest of scientific community for the development of cooling applications because of the magnetocaloric effect of Gadolinium, the benchmark material, in room temperature range. Currently, around 100 magnetocaloric prototypes were developed but only few of them are close to commercialization. The major limitations are: the poor experimental results in term of energy performances, the very expensive magnetic materials, the low variation of the magnetic field with permanent magnets.
Electrocaloric refrigeration grew in a more recent past when remarkable electrocaloric effect was observed in ferroelectric materials. The easiness in electric field generation, together with the flexibility in producing high electric fields in large volumes, are the strongpoints of electrocaloric refrigeration but huge disadvantages are related to the high electrical expense weight in the coefficient of performance.
A growing interest is linked to elastocaloric cooling based on Shape-Memory Alloys(SMA) materials that during uniaxial loading/unloading stress cycles exhibit elastocaloric-effect. The benchmark material is NiTi binary alloy because of its remarkable adiabatic temperature change shown at room temperature. Currently, the related prototypes developed in the world are about a dozen and still far from commercialization in terms of useful cooling power achieved; the bottleneck is the short fatigue life of SMA combined with many cycles of loading/unloading. Anyhow mechanocaloric seems to be the most promising technology of tomorrow and we are confident in a close turning point. In this presentation the development of the first Italian elastocaloric device for air conditioning is also presented.

Dr. Francesco Calise
University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Biography: Francesco Calise was born in 1978 and graduated cum laude in mechanical engineering from the University of Naples Federico II, Italy in 2002. He obtained the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Thermal Engineering in 2006. He is Full Professor of applied thermodynamics at the University of Naples Federico II. His research activity is mainly focused on the following topics: fuel cells, advanced optimization techniques, solar thermal systems, concentrating photovoltaic/thermal and photovoltaic systems, energy saving in buildings, solar heating and cooling, Organic Rankine Cycles, geothermal energy, dynamic simulations of energy systems, renewable polygeneration systems, hydrogen, district heating and cooling, power to x, smart grids and many others. He was invited lecturer for PhD courses and international conferences. He is a member of the scientific committees of several international Conferences and Chair of two international conferences. He teaches several courses of energy management and applied thermodynamics at the University of Naples Federico II for BsC, MS and PhD students. He was a supervisor of several Ph.D. degree theses. He is a reviewer of about 30 international Journals. He was involved, as researcher or principal investigator, in several Research Projects funded by EU and Italian Government. He is Member of the Editorial Board of several International Journals. His Scopus indexes (Jan 2024 are: Documents: 178; Citations: 6983; H-Index:51)

Title: The transition toward a fully decarbonized energy system: the pivotal role of Power-to-X technology

Abstract: In past few years, the majority of the worldwide Countries realized that it was urgent to modify the current energy paradigm, mainly based on the utilization of fossil fuels. The present trend in terms of consumption of fossil fuels and emissions of greenhouse gases is posing severe issues in terms of environmental sustainability of this paradigm. Therefore, a significant effort has been performed in order to promote the transition from the present scenario to a novel one, based on the utilization of renewable energy sources. Moreover, the recent events - pandemic and Ukrainian war - are more and more pushing policymakers to promote the transition toward a fully renewable energy system. Thus, a twofold goal can be achieved. First, the continuous increase of the world average temperature can be mitigated. Then, Countries energy security and dependency can be enhanced by exploiting locally available renewable energy sources. The goal of the full decarbonization, expected in European Union by 2050, can be achieved by a double strategy: i) improving the efficiency of the existing energy networks and systems; ii) increasing the share of the energy produced by renewable energy sources. In this framework, a huge contribution is expected by the increase of the installed power capacity of wind turbines and photovoltaic collectors. Both wind and solar sources are worldwide abundantly available, and a large unexploited potential exists in several Countries. Unfortunately, these renewable energy sources are remarkably fluctuating and unpredictable. Therefore, their integration in present and future energy networks is a very challenging task, due to the significant phase shift between energy supply and demand. Suitable energy storage systems should be used to mitigate this phenomenon. Thermal storage systems are commercially mature and available. Conversely, electrical storage systems are available only for limited capacities and they are featured by high capital costs and low power densities. Simultaneously, modern and efficient energy networks are becoming more and more mature. Smart grids are nowadays used in a plurality of applications. As for the heating and cooling, the state of the art is based on the use of 4th and 5th generation district heating and cooling networks. Therefore, the integration of renewables in such modern energy networks requires the integration of novel technologies to achieve an optimal matching between energy demand and supply. In this framework the Power-to-X technology is becoming more and more attracting. According to this novel paradigm, all the excess electricity produced by renewables, which cannot be stored in the available storage systems, is converted in another energy vector or fuel (X). The most common configuration is Power-to-Heat (P2H) technology, where the excess electricity is converted into heat by using heat pumps. This heat can be stored in suitable thermal energy storage systems and used for a plurality of purposes (space heating, domestic hot water, industrial processes, etc) In the Power-to-hydrogen (P2H2) configuration, the excess renewable electricity is supplied to an electrolyzer which splits water into oxygen and hydrogen. Oxygen can be used for industrial or medical purposes, whereas hydrogen can be used for a plurality of scopes (energy conversion, transport, chemical industry, food industry, etc). It is worth noting that hydrogen use does not determine any production of greenhouse gases. In the Power-to-Power (P2P) arrangement, the produced hydrogen is first stored and subsequently supplied to a fuel cell, which can produce electricity and heat. Thus, P2P system can be used as an electrical storage system, showing attractive storage capacities and economic performance. Finally, another possibility consists in the power-to-gas (P2G) arrangement. Here, the excess electricity is used to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis. Hydrogen is stored in suitable tanks. Simultaneously, the exhaust gases of a conventional power plant fueled by fossil fuels pass trough a CO2 separation unit. Thus, the produced hydrogen can be combined with this CO2 in a methanator, for the production of methane. A plurality of technologies are available for the implementation of all the above mentioned P2X arrangements. Similarly, dozens of scientific approaches are used to design and dynamically simulate such systems. The lecture will summarize both technologies and methodologies, also analyzing the integration of P2X technology in modern energy networks. Special attention is paid to the developed control strategies and optimization techniques, implemented to improve both design and operating efficiency of the system.