University of Liège – Liège (Belgium)


A Rank® HTC2 machine was installed in the “Institut Supérieur Industriel Liégeois” building (ISIL) belonging to the “Haute École de la Province de Liège” (Higher School of the Province of Liège), in the city of Liège, Belgium. The ORC machine is integrated into the biomass cogeneration installation of this building, and it was developed in the framework of the European project BRICKER “Total Renovation Strategies for Energy Reduction in Public Building Stock” of the 7th Framework Program.

The project

Public buildings of the Member States of the European Union occupy 24 trillion square meters. Hence, they are responsible for 40% of energy consumption in Europe and 36% of carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, the European Directive 2010/31/EU on the Energy Efficiency of Buildings determines that, as of December 31, 2018, all new public buildings must use almost zero energy (nZEB: “near Zero Energy Buildings”).

BRICKER aims to develop a solution to renovate existing public buildings. A scalable, replicable, highly efficient, with zero emissions and economically profitable solution. From this project, it is expected to achieve a reduction of at least 50% of energy consumption in these buildings. Sixty experts from 18 entities participated in the BRICKER European project. Among them, Rank® acts as a supplier of specialised technology with research capacity.

For that purpose, a series of active and passive solutions have been developed and tested, including parabolic solar collectors (CSP: “Concentrated Solar Power”), ventilated facades, insulation systems with PCM (Phase Change Materials), biomass boilers, ORC machines and absorption/adsorption technologies.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 609071.

The building

The ISIL building of the Higher School of the Province of Liège can accommodate 1,200 students and has a total area of 23,600 square meters. At the beginning of the project, the heating demand was 180 kWh per square meter per year.

This building is owned by the province of Liège and has a good replicability potential for other public buildings. Morevoer, it presents a good opportunity to show the innovative technologies implemented to the students who attend to it every day.

The solution

The installed cogeneration system consists of a Rank® HTC2 machine powered by a biomass boiler. This cogeneration system is responsible for supplying most of the heat and electricity required by the building. The heat transfer fluid between the biomass boiler and the ORC machine is thermal oil designed to be used at high temperatures. On the other hand, useful heat is produced as water at 70 °C, which is used in the HVAC system.

Rank® HTC2 machines are specially designed for cogeneration applications with high-temperature thermal needs, being able to generate electrical power of up to 90 kWe. As a result, the primary energy saving in this case historie is approximately 61%, and the associated carbon dioxide emission reduction is around 50%.