Research in Energy and Hydrogen Systems

Research Focus

The research on Energy Systems centres on the interrelations between urban design, energy and climate with a strong focus on energy generation, distribution and consumption in the urban environment. It considers the implications of distributed energy provision solutions as well as the user acceptance of such systems. This also includes research on energy efficiency measures and the integration of renewable and sustainable energy technologies into buildings and the urban built environment. Recent work has focused on the potentials of hydrogen systems in a future energy system, looking at an integration over several infrastructure sectors, spanning electrical grid management, hydrogen based mobility, hydrogen heating systems and municipal waste water treatment.

Research Themes

The following eight key research themes are derived from the research focus given above:

  • Energy systems and energy flows in the urban environment,
  • Cross‐sectoral integration of energy systems / hydrogen solutions,
  • Hydrogen systems in a changing energy market,
  • Integration of renewable energy and storage systems into buildings and the urban environment,
  • Weather data for energy performance simulation,
  • Impacts of climate change on the urban environment and its infrastructure,
  • Energy efficiency in relation to urban design,
  • Energy efficiency in buildings / building refurbishment.

Besides these key research themes other research interests include:

  • Impacts of user behaviour on energy consumption,
  • Thermal comfort studies,
  • Energy performance certification and energy policy.

Current Research Projects

The current research projects of the group relate to the research themes listed above and have a particular focus on hydrogen infrastructure development. For example, the current work on the project LocalHy centres on the use of oxygen generated in the water electrolysis process for hydrogen production in the aeration basins of municipal sewage works. By this the fans usually required for aeration can be substituted, while at the same time achieving a more effective waste water treatment. Further to this, the overall implications of distributed hydrogen solutions installed on municipal sewage worksare being assessed in view of a future energy system spanning the sectors electricity generation, mobility and waste water treatment. Complementing this work, the project H2-Well aims at taking the hydrogen economy to the next stage by showing its implementation potentials in the region between the rivers Main and Elbe through developed research demonstrators. A further project Sektorlyseur, that is being conducted together with local industry, deals with the development of a compact electrolysis unit for building and district applications.

→ current research projects

Completed Research Projects

Two research projects were completed successfully to date. Research within the project SusTherm that was completed in December 2016 dealt with investigating the potentials for thermally improving the Bhutanese building stock. The collaborative research project TestReal, which was looking at energy efficiency in relation to urban form, was completed in March 2015.

→ completed research projects

PhD Research

Current PhD research of the members of the group is related to the research project LocalHy. Completed PhD research of the group spans models for predicting the energy demand in the residential sector of a country. This work on energy modelling, which was conducted by Dr.-Ing. Aner Martinez Soto, looked at the transferability and accuracy of existing modelling approaches with the aim of developing and subsequently validating an enhanced prediction model that can be applied to countries worldwide. The results of this work, which has been completed in May 2017, have been presented at national and international conferences and published in the journals Energy and Buildings and Building Research & Information.

→ PhD thesis by Dr.-Ing. Aner Martinez Soto (in German)

Research Outputs

Results of the research by the group are frequently published in international journals and presented at workshops and conferences.

Journals in which the research has been published to date include:

  • Renewable Energy
  • Building and Environment
  • Energy and Buildings
  • Energy for Sustainable Development
  • Building Services Engineering Research and Technology
  • Solar Energy
  • Building Research & Information
  • Proceedings of ICE: Energy
  • Future Cities and Environment

→ view publication list