The conversion of thermal energy to chilled water is made possible through the use of a Cogenerator in combination with an absorption chiller which functions by converting a chilled liquid (water) in combination with the solution used for absorption (lithium bromide). The absorber makes it possible to recover the residual heat in motor exhaust, which would otherwise be lost in the air, in order to produce chilled water, which can then be used directly in the process of refining oil. This leads to significant electrical energy conservation over what would normally be required for traditional refrigeration units.
Unlike systems that generate electrical energy only, the Trigeneration system also brings an increase in overall yield because it takes advantage of a greater portion of the fuel’s thermal power.
The major advantages of this system are recognised by the Region of Tuscany, which granted funding (full text available only in italian language) for the implementation of this project.