Project Hybrid thermal device among innovations that won the Rector's award

date: 07.05.2018

category: Sporočila za javnost


On Wednesday, 25 April 2018, the Rector of the University of Ljubljana prof. dr. Igor Papič awarded the most innovative ideas which were submitted for entry into the competition. One of the seven finalists for the Rector's award for best innovation at the University of Ljubljana 2018 was the project Hybrid thermal device, developed by Assistant Professor Jaka Tušek and Assistant Professor Andrej Žerovnik, which placed third. The project focuses on the future of heating and cooling which are now an essential part of our lives.

The award for most innovative idea was given to the project New approaches to the protection of the most important crops (Biotechnical Faculty and Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana, National Institute of Chemistry), whereas the project Ali-mAb chromatography (Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana) placed second.

The authors of all three winning innovations received a monetary prize from the Rector's fund in the total amount of 6,000 €, an exclusive membership in the Ljubljana University Incubator and funding for the commercialisation of their innovation.

Two researchers from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering will solve the future of cooling and heating with a hybrid thermal device.

Due to the fast development of less developed countries and global warming the need for cooling and air conditioning will drastically increase and the most used cooling technology, i.e. the steam compression technology, is old, relatively inefficient and still not environmentally friendly.

The winning innovation is a hybrid cooling/heating system – it combines both classic steam compression technology and elastocaloric technology, which, according to numerous experts, is the cooling/heating technology of the future with the most potential. The implementation of a hybrid system will bring higher efficiency and allow a lower power use of the steam compression system, which consequently leads to a reduced consumption of energy and non-environmentally friendly refrigerants and allows the gradual implementation of the "green" alternative technology of elastocaloric cooling/heating. 

After the announcement of the most innovative ideas Assistant Professor Andrej Žerovnik said: "We are happy that our innovation received the award, as this will also increase its visibility and we believe it is right to promote green technologies. We also highly appreciate the support we will receive in the form of mentoring and counselling from the Ljubljana University Incubator, as they will provide valuable help for the further development and marketing of the product."

"The award represents a reward for the work we've done so far and is at the same time a huge motivation for our future endeavours. Our goal with this innovation is to gradually implement elastocaloric cooling/heating – a technology for a green future in our daily lives," said Assistant Professor Jaka Tušek.


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