LowEx-Bestand: Sustainable heating system for multi-family houses

A project network between research institutes, heating-systems manufacturers and housing corporations



Photo: pixabay.com

The existing buildings are the biggest challenge for a long-term climate-neutral building stock” emphasised Hans-Martin Henning, Professor at the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH) of the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg and head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy ISE at the second meeting of the thematic project LowEx-Bestand (www.lowex-bestand.de) that took place in April in Frankfurt. The project network develops and demonstrates systems with improved electrically and gas driven heat pumps as well as new ventilation and front technologies for renovated multi-family houses. The project is part of a close cooperation between research institutes, heating-systems manufacturers and housing corporations.

At the meeting gathering some 30 representatives of the project network and of the promoter Jülich, Dr. Stefan Hess of INATECH presented the tripartite structure of the project network: technology, demonstration projects, analysis. The project consists currently of 4 independent technology projects, in which Bosch, Viessmann, Stiebel-Eltron, Beck+Heun, Westaflex and Kermi are devolping new technical solutions together with Fraunhofer ISE. These projects are being implemented and assessed by housing corporations and Fraunhofer ISE through demonstration projects, which have been applied for separately, but are part of the thematic network. As a third component, the overarching research project “LowEx-Bestand” analyses scientific issues which can be interesting for all partners of the network.

In the framework of LowEx-Bestand 8 doctoral thesis are being completed by the research partners Uni Freiburg, Fraunhofer ISE and Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). At the meeting Stefan Hess remarked the positive results of the cooperation so far: “the activities within the thematic network are very varied and the interests of the partners differ. The common objective is however the sustainable supply of heat in renovated multi-family houses. Therefore, the intense professional exchange offers a high-added value”.

Arnuf Dinkel, architect at Fraunhofer ISE, coordinates the demonstration projects. He emphasised that LowEx-Bestand is open for further partners from the housing sector. “The Fraunhofer Institute ISE supports the planning of innovative renovation projects and helps with the application for funds”, explains A. Dinkel. Along the running technology projects and the planned demonstration projects, the research results of “LoxEx-Bestand” were also exposed. Prof. Andreas Wagner of KIT presented a result report analysing the stock of multi-family houses in Germany and reported on the indoor-climate test stand LOBSTER that examines the comfort level of various heat transfer systems.

The meeting concluded with a workshop on the opportunities and obstacles for heat pumps in multi-family houses. The experts agreed that the heat pump plays an important role as a future heating technology because of its potential for the sector coupling. Identified challenges are the availability of heat sources, high temperatures for domestic hot water and the likely installation mistakes. The partners are now working on renovation solutions that, depending on the construction year, renovation stand, existing heating technique and type of urban area, would allow to equip multi-family houses with heat pumps in a cost effective way.

The project is being promoted by the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie.

Information on the technology projects and the report analysing the housing stock are available under www.lowex-bestand.de.

Dr. Stefan Hess
Chair of Solar Energy Systems
Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering - INATECH
Phone:  +49 761 203 54191
Mail:  stefan.hess(at)inatech.uni-freiburg.de
Web: www.inatech.uni-freiburg.de


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