Research focus area "Urban Energy System"

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Integrative district concepts open up new energy sources and increase efficiency of energy use

The main task of the forthcoming phase of the energy system transformation is the system integration of renewable energies across the board. Volatile renewable energies have a determining influence on the entire energy system und their further extension requires the practical integration, both in technical and especially economic aspects, into an increasingly flexible operating overall energy system. Flexibility is a key demand both for complementary (residual) power generation through conventional power stations and plants of combined heat and power generation as well as for consumers for consumers in order to adapt loads as flexibly as possible to the current supply. This furthermore involves a cross-sectoral integration, thus flexible use of electric power in other sectors of consumption such as heat supply and mobility. At the same time, energy storages are able to support the system integration by disclosing temporal compensation between supply and utilization.

Main research topics

Concepts of regional
energy transition

Demonstration projects of local energy transition in different urbanistic levels
System optimization for supply of all sectors by local renewable energies
Coupling of energy sectors in urban environments and city-country interaction
Networks and cooperations of development on municipal and regional level

Coupling technologies

  • Contracting methods to optimize operations and grid-assistance of heat pumps
  • Integrated wind-heat/cooling systems for real estates, trade and industry
  • Heat pump for existing buildings and districts
  • Electricals drives and its charging concepts using the example of inland water transportation

Planning tools

  • Combined planning of different grid infrastructures (power-heat-gas-grids)
  • Planning of energy concepts for districts with regard to regulations and guidelines
  • GIS-based regional analysis of potential and extension prognosis 
  • CO2 balancing of counties, municipalities, districts and cities

Energy management

Energy management, grid operation and commercialization of renewable energies based on artificial intelligence
Software systems for holistic flexibilisation of market-grid-prosumer
Interaction and scaling of energy management systems

Business models

  • Survey on future business models of utility companies and the influence of digitalisation
  • Network building regarding new business models in the urban energy system 
  • Evaluation of new business models and value chains
  • Analysis of price and cost structures, value added mechanisms and investment incentives

District Lab

  • Installation of a laboratory infrastructure for testing of innovative district heating systems
  • Testing of operational concepts and control strategies with hardware-in-the-loop-units
  • Real testing of the technical lifetime of pipelines
  • Validation of simulation models and components

Energy Transition Hub

  • Communication and collaboration center for globally distributed work 
  • Dialogue with stakeholders of international energy transitions
  • Development of a demonstrator of a collaboration and presentation software
  • Further initiation of international cooperation on a community and city level

Please feel free to contact us for any further questions. We would be happy to advise you.

Dietrich Schmidt

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Dietrich Schmidt

Department management Thermal Energy System Technology

Fraunhofer IEE
Joseph-Beuys-Straße 8
34117 Kassel, Germany

Phone +49 175 35 65 972

Katharina Habbishaw, M.Sc.

Contact Press / Media

Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. Katharina Habbishaw, M.Sc.

Fraunhofer IEE
Joseph-Beuys-Straße 8
34117 Kassel, Germany

Phone +49 561 7294-428