The objective associated to Genoa’s demonstrator is to increase the overall energy efficiency associated to the industrial gas distribution activity. Thus, within an important area of th​e city, the development of a local energy system connected to the nearby industrial park is planned. The main components of the Demonstrator are: an expansion turbine by which mechanical energy is recovered from the pressure drop between the gas transmission and distribution pressures, a CHP plant and a control system for both electricity and gas consumption.

The industrial area where the demonstrator will be built, hosts the natural gas distribution facilities, where the gas pressure is reduced from the high pressure transmission levels of the national transmission pipeline to the reduced pressure levels aimed at the distribution of the natural gas to households. The actual plan foresees the installation of a turbo-expander able to recover the mechanical energy inherent in the pressurized natural gas (currently wasted) in order to generate electricity. The expansion turbine will be interfaced to a gas-fired CHP plant that will service the heat that is used in the expansion process. The CHP plant will service a small heating network as well, which will service several buildings inside the industrial park as well as the firefighter’s station outside the industrial park. Control and fine regulation of gas consumption for pre-heating as well as programming of the electricity to be distributed to the district will be implemented in association to this plant, in order to achieve a more rational use of both gas and electricity within the industrial park and the district.

This solution will allow shifting from the current use of low efficiency independent heating systems, which are still widespread in the city of Genoa, to higher efficiency heating solutions, thus reducing overall fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.