Workgroup Thermal energy systems
Test building for new solar active house concept with direct solar thermal activation of building slabs and heat pump system instead of large buffer storage and wood stove
Test facility (in laboratory) for different near-surface ground heat sources (at the outdoor test area)
Our primary goal is to increase the efficiency of thermal energy supply systems through an intelligent system integration of cutting-edge heating circuit components. In this way, we achieve a significant reduction or even a complete avoidance of fossil fuel usage for the heat supply. For this, we use our comprehensive understanding of the interaction between solar collectors, storage tanks, heat pumps, and fossil fuel based heat generators. The expertise of the group is available to the entire Solar Systems department.
Solar supported heat pump systems
In light of the increasing interlinking of different energy sectors, systems with heat pumps are becoming more and more important. We have years of experience with increasing efficiency and lowering costs through linking near-surface geothermal sources (borehole heat exchangers, horizontal heat exchangers, heat baskets or helix heat exchangers) and solar thermal heat generation both on the source and on the sink side of the heat pump.
High solar thermal fractions for single- and multifamily houses
With regard to single-family homes, a core research area is the development of cost-efficient systems that have high solar thermal fraction and high yield in winter. One example for our innovative approaches is direct space heating using a solar thermal collector which directly feeds thermally activated building slaps and has the capability to store heat in the building mass. In addition, we analyze both commercially available and innovative heat supply systems for apartment buildings, using the hardware-in-the-loop test facility in our lab, low-cost and minimally invasive measurement systems in the field, as well as detailed system simulations. The identified weaknesses and shortcomings inherent in the system, e.g. heat distribution losses, can then be reduced, for example by system optimization and utilizing solar heat.