Rittinger winners (l to r): Eckhard A Groll, Alberto Cavallini and Per Lundqvist

NETHERLANDS: Three leading scientists and a team from the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have been honoured for their work in the advancement of heat pump technologies.

In a ceremony held at the 12th IEA Heat Pump Conference in Rotterdam, last week, Prof Eckhard A Groll, Prof Alberto Cavallini, Prof Per Lundqvist and the ORNL’s Building Equipment Research Group were awarded the Ritter von Rittinger Medal, one of the highest international awards in the air conditioning, heat pump and refrigeration field.

The award highlights outstanding contributions to the advancement of international collaboration in research, policy and market development and applications for energy-efficient heat pump technologies that result in environmental benefits. It is awarded every three years in conjunction with the International IEA Heat Pump Conference.

Prof Eckhard A Groll, Reilly professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, USA, teaches technical thermodynamics. His research focuses on the fundamental thermal sciences as applied to advanced energy conversion systems, components, compressors and their working fluids. His research efforts involve the development of experimental facilities to conduct performance testing, and the creation of detailed system or component models for analyses and optimisation. Prof Groll was recognised for his exceptional achievements and leadership in all three aspects of the faculty profession of research, teaching and service.

Prof Alberto Cavallini is professor emeritus and former full professor of energy science with the Engineering School of the University of Padova, Italy. Prof Cavallini was highlighted for his research and publications in the field of heat pumps, air conditioning and renewable energy systems. During his career, he has published more than 300 scientific and technical papers and books, and is also a member of the advisory board of the International Journal of Refrigeration, one of the European editors of the International Journal of Transport Phenomena and former associate editor of the International Journal of HVAC&R Research.

The ORNL’s Building Equipment Research Group (ORNL BERG) was recognised for their contribution to the development of high efficiency heat pumps of all types, including electric, sorption, gas-fired, cold climate and ground-coupled for over 40 years. They have won numerous awards and been recognised for their groundbreaking research, which has included modelling (ORNL heat pump design model; used by manufacturers and academia), design, development, demonstration, and market introduction. Since the 1980s the ORNL BERG has been active in the IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programme on Heat Pumping Technologies (HPT TCP).

Prof Per Lundqvist, professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, was awarded for his international impact in the realm of heat pump development, which maintains a multifaceted approach to the technology’s advancement, focusing both on market dynamics and technical progress. In addition, he is also co-author of the Inter-governmental Report on Climate Change (IPCC) on the influence of refrigerants on the global climate.

The Rittinger award is named after Peter Ritter von Rittinger, the Austrian engineer who designed and installed the first known heat pump in 1855.

The IEA Technology Collaboration Programme on Heat Pumping Technologies (HPT TCP )is a non-profit organisation under which the participants cooperate in projects in the field of heat pumps and related heat pumping technologies such as air conditioning, refrigeration and working fluids.

HPT TCP operates under the International Energy Agency (IEA) and was founded in 1978. The current member countries are Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States.