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New opportunities with new technologies

Energy-optimised buildings are already technically realisable today. But also in the building trade, new technologies offer new opportunities. New materials, technologies and systems for construction engineering and for buildings' technical equipment can make buildings more comfortable, slimmer, more energy-efficient, more flexible, more convenient, more cost-efficient, or more durable. Here, on an ongoing basis, we present new technological approaches arising from research into "buildings of the future", show the pilot projects in which prototype systems are already proving themselves, and show which hurdles must yet be surmounted before market entry is possible.

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The modular heat storage system contains phase change materials (PCM) and is sold under the brand name Thermobatterie, and can be integrated into heating and hot water preparation like an ordinary storage system.
Technology status: Phase 3
Framework project LowEx

Performance of heat storage systems with PCM

Phase change materials (PCM) are used only sporadically in construction, although various products and systems have been available on the market for several years now. Within the research project PCM-Demo II, the practicality of PCM in heat storage systems for heating and domestic hot water is now to be tested and scientifically evaluated. The systems are built into normally used buildings and their performance is evaluated. In this research project, different central heat storage systems are being investigated that consist exclusively of either PCM, or PCM in combination with water as a conventional storage medium.

The cooling ceiling in a classroom of the Landesversicherungsanstalt Münster was expanded with vertically suspended extruded aluminium profiles, which are filled with phase change materials (PCM).
Technology status: Phase 4
Framework project LowEx

Performance of surface cooling systems with PCMs

Phase change materials (PCMs) are only used sporadically in construction although various products and systems have been available on the market for several years now. The PCM Demo II research project now aims to test and scientifically evaluate the practicality of PCMs in buildings. A sub-project is focusing on PCMs in surface cooling systems. For this purpose, such systems are being incorporated in commonly used buildings and their performance is investigated more precisely.

The PCM compact storage of the manufacturer Rubitherm is fitted with PCM storage plates. It was developed for use in ventilation systems.
Technology status: Phase 3
Framework project LowEx

Performance of ventilation systems with PCM

Phase change materials (PCM) are used only sporadically in construction, although various products and systems have been available on the market for several years now. Within the research project PCM-Demo II, the practicality of PCM in ventilation systems is now to be tested and scientifically evaluated. The systems are built into normally used buildings and their performance is evaluated.

The investigation is carried out using a combination of experiments in a climate chamber and coupled simulations of buildings, systems and ambient air flows. The picture shows a model of a simulated office space with two persons, different ventilation sys
Technology status: Phase 4

Sensor position affects energy requirements and spatial comfort

How does the sensor arrangement affect the energy requirements of heating and air-conditioning systems? And how can this impact be quantified under differing usage conditions? In this research project, these questions are answered on the basis of coupled system and flow simulations in conjunction with experiments carried out in a climate chamber.

Samples taken as part of the field trial to investigate corrosion in hydraulic systems. Corrosion and anti-corrosion measures are being assessed with a newly developed mobile corrosion sensor.
Technology status: Phase 3

Corrosion in hydraulic systems

With this research project, corrosion processes are being investigated in heating and cooling systems. In addition to laboratory tests, a field test is also being conducted where real buildings will be evaluated in energy terms. At the same time, corrosion and anti-corrosion measures are being evaluated with a newly developed corrosion sensor. Based on the experience gained in the project, work is being conducted on guidelines to help designers to prevent corrosion and to document possible remedies.

The capillary tube mats are applied as a surface heating system on the exterior of the facade.
Technology status: Phase 3
Framework project LowEx

Building refurbishment with exterior wall heating

For this fundamentally new heating concept, a minimally invasive refurbishment system is combined with the low-exergy heating principle. Here, a surface heating system is applied to the outside of the facade during the refurbishment of the building. It is then covered with an insulating layer so that the building can be tempered or heated via the exterior wall even with small temperature differences. For this purpose it is possible to use renewable heating or cooling energy from the ground, solar heat or waste heat.

The energy management system developed in the research project iHEM is mainly based on dynamically projected generation and demand profiles.
Technology status: Phase 2

Management system for the solar-based energy supply of residential buildings

In the research project "iHEM", an integrated energy supply using solar energy is being developed for housing construction. A specially developed energy management system coordinates the systems for generating solar power and solar heat with both power and thermal storage systems as well as a micro-CHP unit. The underlying management concept is based on dynamically generated forecasts of production and demand profiles.

Decentralised fans for central air conditioning systems:  Test rig at the University of Kassel
Technology status: Phase 1
Framework project EnBop

Decentralised fans for central air conditioning systems

Is it possible to reduce the electricity energy demand of central mechanical ventilation systems and increase comfort at the same time? The presented research project examines this issue in the field of demand controlled mechanical ventilation in non-residential buildings. The new idea is to use decentralised fans to deliver the airflow of a central air handling unit to the individual rooms instead of variable airflow dampers.

Building automation with SmallCAN: Gebäudeautomation mit SmallCAN: Automation for student study hall
Technology status: Phase 4

Building automation with SmallCAN

SmallCAN could be used to considerably simplify the automated operation of buildings. The simple and flexibly extendable field bus system has its origins, in terms of its basic structure, in the automotive sector and requires very little power itself. It is also relatively inexpensive to implement and extend. This research project sought to extend the slim-line building automation system SmallCAN with the addition of several automation functions for use specifically in public buildings. The project also scientifically evaluated practical feasibility in actual operation in two buildings.

Multi-family house (MFH) with a solar collector system: in a research project, simulations were used to investigate how the efficiency of heat distribution can be significantly increased even without a retroactive insulation of the distribution lines.
Technology status: Phase 5
Framework project EnSan

Compensation of heat distribution losses in multi-family houses

Heat distribution in multi-family houses is subject to losses, and this applies in particular to heating and hot water circuits in existing buildings, considering they are often insufficiently insulated. These uncontrolled heat losses diminish the saving effects brought about by thermally insulating the façade. The heating up of the buildings as a result of inadequately insulated pipes is often not desirable or usable. In this research project, thermal losses were examined more closely by means of simulation methods, and two strategies were developed that can be used to limit energy expenditure without retroactively insulating the distribution lines.