MINUTES OF THE 12th HEXAG MEETING, HELD AT SOUTH BANK UNIVERSITY, LONDON ON 18th MARCH 1999.
The theme of this HEXAG meeting, coinciding with the launch of the calls for proposals for the 5th Framework Programme of the European Union (FP5) was 'Linking Within Europe'. It followed the format of a previous HEXAG meeting, held at ESTU some two years ago, prior to an earlier EU initiative.
The EU Framework Programmes, which come about every four years or so, are major sources of funding for academia, R&D laboratories and all sectors of industry. With a budget, in total, of about £10 billion, FP5 dwarfs many national programmes, and traditionally the UK has done rather well in what is a competitive exercise for a share of funds.
The 'rules of the game' have changed substantially since the previous programme, FP4, was implemented. It was therefore valuable to have talks at this meeting from those in contact with FP5 at both NPL and ETSU, where, respectively, links are directly made with the two relevant areas of FP5, 'Competitive and Sustainable Growth' and 'Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development.
As will be seen later, heat exchangers and heat transfer technologies were not neglected.
Our host, Prof. Tassos Karayiannis, welcomed members to the Faculty of Engineering Science & Technology. Tassos works in the School of Engineering Systems and Design within the Faculty, and he briefly described the scope of interests within the School, which range from building service engineering to sports product design, with a lot of innovative heat transfer work in between!
Review by the Co-ordinator
David Reay updated members on HEXAG activities and arrangements for the day. He explained the role the HEXAG web page would play in helping links - see http://www.hw.ac.uk/mecWWW/hexag.htm There were opportunities for including organisation data on the web site - contact Dr. Peter Kew at Heriot-Watt University (Fax: 0131 451 3129, Email: email@example.com)
CORDIS & CRAFT
David then described the way in which the EU CORDIS facility (Community Research & Development Information Service) could help in data-gathering and later activities associated with FP5. In particular, CORDIS now hosts a 'one stop shop' website which includes all relevant data on FP5, including research areas, calls for proposals, budgets, resources to assist possible participants, official documents etc. You can download proposal forms, and this time these may also be submitted electronically. The web address is: http://www.cordis.lu/fp5/src/programmes.htm Because many of the documents are long, the website also downloads software which will help to put the information you have requested into the correct format, and do other tasks. It is advisable, if you are paying for connection charges while on line, to download data onto a floppy disc, rather than printing it directly from the web.
CORDIS can also be accessed generally on: http://www.cordis.lu/
CRAFT, part of FP5, is a two step rsearch funding programme for small companies (SMEs) with little or no research capability. Exploratory Awards pay up to 75% of a preliminary study which allows you to prepare a complete proposal. It covers tasks such as feasibility, patent searches, market analyses etc. and will provide up to EURO 22,500. There should be at least two participants, both SMEs, from two participating EU states, and projects last up to 12 months.
After this, you can submit a Co-operative Research Project, involving typically 3 SMEs, research subcontractors (those who will carry out the R&D) and optional associated contractors. Here the EU will provide 50% of the funding, in projects worth up to EURO 2 million. The SMEs are expected to fund a considerable proportion of the R&D, and if possible, it is better to go for a normal FP5 collaborative R&D project as a second stage. Beta Technology (fax 0114 256 0950) is contracted to assist UK SMEs in linking with CRAFT, but of course HEXAG will assist if you are looking for specific partners in Europe. The Co-ordinator had a CRAFT project in 1997/98, and would be happy to help other potential contractors.
The Fifth Framework Programme (FP5)
There are two major areas of FP5 of potential interest to HEXAG members - the Energy, Environment & Sustainable Development Programme, and the Competitive & Sustainable Growth Programme. The former covers topics seen in the FP4 JOULE & THERMIE, while the latter includes BRITE-EURAM type activities.
Fiona Porter of ETSU (see attachment for overheads and contact points) gave information on the energy aspects of FP5. There was a turn away from a 'technology push'. This time projects will be grouped into key action areas, with the EC spelling out the problem to be solved and the anticipated deliverables arising out of projects addressing the problem. In addition to the usual R,D&D opportunities, there are activities such as research training networks, technology theme networks and travelling fellowships.
The rational use of energy area has mid-June as the closing date of the first call for proposals (details were published two days after the HEXAG meeting - see the FP5 one stop shop above), while some other areas allow almost six months for proposal preparation. The attached copies of Fiona's overheads give UK contact points.
David Reay then showed some overheads concerning the detailed content of the call for proposals. Areas of interest to HEXAG members include: More cost-effective fuel cells and small gas turbines for static and mobile applications (power generation), process energy efficiency - ways of saving 20% of energy in the most energy consuming sectors of industry, optimisation of CHP and more efficient energy conversion processes or cycles in general. For those in gas processing, LNG storage technologies rate highly, and for those with an interest in heat distribution systems, district heating and cooling are seen as important areas for R,D&D. The area of hot gas clean up in power production is included - revisiting an area of much concern in the 1970s. Industrial process technologies are less formally defined than in previous calls, but include process integration, separation and drying. It is up to the proposer to justify a more specific area of R&D, meeting the energy/CO2 targets set by the EC.
John Sillwood of NPL, the UK National Contact Point for the Competitive & Sustainable Growth part of FP5, then discussed the approach to, and contents of, this programme, which was announced on 15 March. The motivations for the programme were the need to reduce EU unemployment, and to encourage sustainable development. As with energy, there was a problem solving approach, with the call pointing towards objectives and asking 'how will these be solved?'.
The programme covers a wide remit. 27% of the budget, the largest share, goes to 'Innovative products, processes and organisations'. Other areas include 'Land transport & marine technology', 'New perspectives for aeronautics' and 'Materials & steel'. The measurement & testing area has been cut, in terms of budget, by 50%.
The innovative products etc. area includes efficient design and manufacture, intelligent production, eco-efficient processes (which can include building something or the design process), and the organisation of production and work. Overall aims are to modernise European industry, improve competitiveness and quality, and reduce materials consumption. Areas such as cleaner processes, production and eco-efficient technologies could include process intensification - Targeted Research Activities (TRAs) in the first call include 'Towards new and miniaturised products & processes' and 'Towards zero waste in manufacturing & processing'. Waste recycling, 50% being the target for 2010, is also important.
The energy and environment aspects also are relevant to the other sub-programmes, such as better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions in transport, and efficient and environmentally friendly aero-engines. In materials, advanced functional materials, and techniques to expand the limits and durability of materials are included. Projects leading to an increased understanding of deterioration and failure mechanisms would also be included.
John said that in the programme, two calls per year were planned in the future, on 15/12 and 15/06, to September 2001. CRAFT and Intelligent manufacturing systems areas were open calls. John's helpline can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0181 943 6660. John himself can be contacted by phone on 0181 943 7183.
Experience of Working within FP4
David Gawne of South Bank University, Peter Kew of Heriot-Watt University and David Reay then passed on their experience of working on projects in FP4. Prof. Gawne worked in the areas covered by John Sillwood, while the other speakers were in the energy efficiency area.
David Gawne had been involved in 5 FP4 projects, two of which were led by large turnover companies. He felt that Universities tended to be small players in such projects, and suggested that the reasons larger companies wanted their involvement were: Ideas; potential benefits seen; the companies were not specialists in the field - it was a non-core business; there was a need to collaborate in projects; there was a high risk; and Universities helped them keep abreast of the new technologies.
Taking us through the procedures in putting together projects, David highlighted problems in defining roles of SMEs, and the need for a good specification of requirements by the co-ordinator. The timetable for final signatures on the proposal submission was critical - such signatures often have to come from senior management, so allow adequate time. He said that writing the proposal took 4 man-months of effort. It was also important to make sure that all partners understood their roles, once the project was launched.
With regard to project management, David gave four pointers to help success - listen (ensure coherent programme); decide on clear and realistic objectives; get agreement on these objectives, and incorporate flexibility - allow for changes in direction with partner agreement.
Peter Kew and David Reay covered a number of points on contract negotiations, which involves a meeting between the co-ordinator and the Project Officer in the EU, and other aspects of work within the JOULE areas, (energy R&D). Inevitably the three months deadline for submissions is a short time, and there is a rush to complete the proposal on time. Good links with partners are necessary at this stage, as documents (originals) will need to be sent rapidly around Europe.
Negotiating the contract can be difficult for SMEs, as they may, particularly if leading the project, need to give financial guarantees. It is also necessary to sort out intellectual property rights between partners. The EC is not involved unless there is a lack of exploitation of results by partners some time after project completion.
Planning of the programme may involve decision points, and a 'kick-off' meeting may be called in Brussels, with EC personnel present. The EC also likes regular progress reports, which are assessed by experts and feedback given. Final reports and reports detailing how the results of the R&D or Demo. will be exploited are also increasingly important.
The co-ordinator highlighted some opportunities for collaboration. David Kenning at Oxford University (Email: email@example.com) is looking for industrial partners for his research on boiling in narrow channels. Two EPSRC projects, one involving boiling of water in channels of cross-section 1 mm by 2 mm, to be extended to organics, and the second on the effect of wall surface and bulk properties on nucleate boiling are involved. A third study with links to the European Space Agency will lead to experiments in microgravity, ultimately on the Int. Space Station, with data relevant to aerospace evaporative cooling systems.
The Department of Energy Technology at Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland, is seeking UK partners to work in combined heat and power. Their expertise covers CHP in district heating and in the pulp and paper industry, and they are looking for those involved in other applications in the UK. The project proposal would be submitted to FP5. Contact Prof. Lasse Koskelainen, Email: Lasse.Koskelainen@lut.fi
Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Lang of Wieland-Werke AG in Germany is looking for FP5 partners for a number of activities involving the enhanced surface tubing the company manufacturers. Collaborations requested include (i) heat transfer measurements - tubeside condensation with mixtures at high pressures, tubeside boiling and shellside mixture boiling, (ii) implications of fouling for enhanced surfaces on tubes and (iii) process intensification - double enhanced tubes. Contact him on Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see him at the process intensification meeting at Newcastle on 15 April (contact DAReay@aol.com for information).
Hamed Goshayshi and John Missenden of South Bank University talked on two subjects, the selection of packing for cooling towers, and problems with temperature control in refrigerated food display cabinets, where the emissivity of coverings can affect the temperature. For further information and papers on these topics, contact John Missenden at School of Engineering Systems & Design, South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA.
Following on from the introduction at the 11th HEXAG meeting of the concept of reducing fouling using polymers fibres in the fluid, we looked at another concept this time - physical water conditioning. Mike Darvill and Alan Flight of Hydrotec (UK) Ltd. described the Hydromag scale inhibitor, which, by creating a controlled electromagnetic field through which a water stream passes, affecting the size and structure of mineral crystals within the stream. This reduces their ability to adhere to each other, and to pipe or heat exchanger surfaces, thus reducing the propensity to scale. It was seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical treatment, in that nothing was added to or removed from the water, the pH is not affected.
The first UK patent on the concept was taken out in 1895, but the critical aspect which has taken time to develop in the Hydromag unit is achieving the correct angle between the magnetic field lines and the water stream. Also, the correct field strength is important, of the order of 2500 Gauss for water. The unit may be more accurately defined as a device for the prevention of scaling, rather than removing it once it builds up, due to the influence on suspended crystals rather than those already deposited. The system has been of particular value in calorifiers and humidifiers, but the company reference list includes case histories on a calorifier plus plate heat exchanger (Case History No. 50), and the cooling/CIP/washdown system at Carlsberg-Tetley brewery, (Case History No. 48). Uses in cooling towers and boilers are also cited. The unit is maintenance-free, self-cleaning (by polarity reversal) and can handle between 0.1 - 30 l/s of water. The typical payback period on installations is 6-12 months.
Mike Darvill and Alan Flight are at Hydromag (UK) Ltd., Hydrotec House, Potts Place, West Street, Marlow, Bucks. SL7 2LY. Tel: 01628 486774, fax: 01628 486775.
For those HEXAG members who would like to follow up the work in more detail, a PhD was completed on the subject at City University, and I recommend a paper by Cho et al, given at the US Engineering Foundation Meeting 'Compact Heat Exchangers for the Process Industries in Snowbird in June 1997: Cho et al, Use of electronic descaling technology top control precipitation fouling in plate and frame heat exchangers, pp. 267-273, Begell House, New York, 1997.
There was considerable argument and discussion on this topic - I hope we will revisit it in the future!
Our thanks to all who participated, (attendance peaked at about 30) and to Tassos and his colleagues at South Bank for hosting the day and also giving us an extensive tour of the laboratories. If you would like to follow up contact with the Department, contact Tassos on email@example.com
4 April 1999.