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Start of pilot plant experiments at the lab of AEE INTEC for the upgrade of fermentation residues


In the frame of the research project ‘BioProfit’ supported by the Austrian Cooperative Research (ACR), a process upgrading the digestate from biogas plants to valuable liquid fertilizer and humus is being developed. The solid phase of the digestate contains most of the plant-available nutrients and carbon, while the liquid phase contains particularly high amounts of nitrogen. Using a membrane distillation (MD) process, a high-quality liquid nitrogen fertilizer can be produced from the liquid fraction. This fertilizer can be deployed as a base fertilizer in agriculture, for example.

With regard to the development of the membrane distillation process an important milestone could be reached in November 2022: the test series using a container-scale MD pilot plant with large-scale membrane modules was successfully started. The aim is to investigate the 24/7 continuous operation process with regard to different fermentation residues from agriculture as well as the food industry and to analyze and further optimize the process under real long-term operation conditions. In addition to the optimization of the operating parameters, the focus is on the analyses of the product quality and the membranes used for the process.


AEE INTEC coordinates activities with respect to IEA ES Task 43

© shutterstock.com/Deboro

Thermal activation of building components has been used primarily for heating or cooling purposes. However, structural elements of buildings can also be part of the building’s energy storage devices by selective overheating or undercooling. Thus, these components offer advantages for the volatile, renewable-based energy system of the future. At this stage, however, standardized use of building components as energy and flexibility storages is not yet widespread, as key questions remain unanswered.

AEE INTEC therefore launched an initiative to define a new project (task) within the framework of the International Energy Agency and coordinated the definition phase. After a one-year definition period, the final work program was adopted by the IEA Executive Committee in mid-November 2022. Austria's strong role continues after the definition phase - AEE INTEC will take over the overall management of Task 43 with Christoph Rohringer as Task Manager.


Industrial Decarbonisation – finalisation of the R&D project CORES

© AdobeStock

Renewable and secure energy supply is of high importance for industry, intensified by the current energy crisis. Industrial companies need ready-to-implement solutions in all areas. Due to the high share of industrial heating and cooling demand in the temperature range below 400 °C with regard to total energy demand, and the high availability of applicable renewable technologies, a consortium coordinated by AEE INTEC has focused on energy efficiency, the use of waste heat, heat pumps, solar thermal, photovoltaics and PVT and necessary thermal storage in the frame of an R&D project.

A workshop at the end of the project "CORES - Integration of Combined and Renewable Energy Systems in Industry" took place in Vienna on 17th of November 2022. Three industrial companies were involved in the project and the methodology was developed, applied and simplified on the basis of their existing energy systems. The results, which included a quick check tool for easy identification of useful concepts, were presented and discussed in an exciting panel discussion with funding bodies, technology experts and stakeholders.

CORES was funded by the Climate and Energy Fund and carried out within the framework of the "Energy Research" programme


Soziales Engagement unserer Mitarbeiter*innen

© Steirische Kinderkrebshilfe

Das Jahr 2022 war in vieler Hinsicht ein spannendes Jahr mit erheblichen Veränderungen und neuen Herausforderungen, insbesondere in Folge der geopolitischen Entwicklungen. Uns wurde wieder deutlich, wie notwendig es ist, die Klimaziele umzusetzen und von Öl und Gas unabhängig zu werden.

Die Mitarbeiter*innen von AEE INTEC haben auch in diesem Jahr mit vollem Engagement daran gearbeitet, unseren Teil zu einer nachhaltigen Energiewende beizutragen. Aber auch die Solidarität gegenüber den Mitmenschen, die auf Unterstützung angewiesen sind, ist uns wichtig. Deshalb haben die Mitarbeiter*innen von AEE INTEC wieder über € 12.000,– für soziale Einrichtungen gespendet. In diesem Jahr erhält die „Steirische Kinderkrebshilfe“ mit € 3.000,– den größten Betrag.

Stellvertretend für unsere Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter wünschen wir Ihnen frohe Weihnachten sowie ein erfolgreiches und insbesondere gesundes Jahr 2023.

Christian Fink, Ewald Selvička und Christoph Brunner


Erweiterung des wissenschaftlich-strategischen Beirats von AEE INTEC

Treffen des wissenschaftlich-strategischen Beirats mit dem Führungsteam von AEE INTEC im November 2022 (© AEE INTEC)

Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Christina Hopfe und Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Elimar Frank verstärken seit November 2022 den Beirat von AEE INTEC.

Bereits seit der Gründung im Jahr 1988 darf AEE – Institut für nachhaltige Technologien auf die Unterstützung eines wissenschaftlich-strategischen Beirats zählen. Im Spektrum der Forschungsschwerpunkte von AEE INTEC setzt sich der Beirat aus Vertreterinnen und Vertretern aus Wissenschaft & Forschung, der Industrie sowie einschlägigen Stakeholdern aus Wirtschaft und öffentlicher Hand zusammen.


Issue 04 | 2022 of "nachhaltigen technologien" is online

As part of the Green Deal, the European Commission has set itself the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Therefore, an important pillar is the transformation of our linear economic system in the direction of a sustainable circular economy. This aims at increasing the value of resources along the entire value chain and at closing material cycles.
There are three basic thrusts in the circular economy: using products for as long as possible, keeping materials in the cycle for as long as possible and, above all, using materials carefully and selectively.
This requires a collective change in thinking and the commitment of various stakeholders and responsible parties from politics, business and research, but also the civilian population.
In this issue of our journal "nachhaltige technologien" you will find a comprehensive overview of different research activities, all of which aim to generate value and close material loops.


New Energy for Industry (NEFI)-Young Scientist Award für AEE INTEC-Nachwuchsforscherin

© OÖ Energiesparverband

Im Rahmen der Konferenz, die am 13. und 14. Oktober 2022 in Linz stattfand, diskutierten rund 35 Expert*innen aus Forschung, Wirtschaft und Politik Lösungen und Rahmenbedingungen für den Weg zu einer klimaneutralen Industrie. Jana Reiter, Wissenschaftlerin in der Gruppe „Industrielle Systeme“ bei AEE INTEC, präsentierte aktuelle Forschungsergebnisse ihrer Arbeiten zum Thema digitale Energieeffizienz- und Lastmanagementoptimierung in einer Bäckerei. Die Forschungsarbeiten wurden im Zuge des Projekts „DSM_OPT - Demand Side Management: Betriebsoptimierung von industriellen Energiesystemen“ durchgeführt und vom Klima- und Energiefonds gefördert.   Das Projekt beschäftigt sich mit der Entwicklung eines Entscheidungsunterstützungssystems für die Energiebedarfssteuerung zur energieeffizienten und flexiblen Planung von Industrieprozessen.


AEE INTEC gewinnt einen von drei ACR-Innovationspreisen

© ACR/APA-Fotoservice/Juhasz; Fotograf: Krisztian Juhasz

Einmal im Jahr zeichnet das Forschungsnetzwerk ACR - Austrian Cooperative Research zusammen mit dem Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Wirtschaft besonders innovative Projekte im Rahmen der ACR-Enquete aus. Am 19. Oktober 2022 wurden vor rund 130 Gästen aus Wirtschaft, Forschung und Politik der ACR Woman Award, der ACR Start-up Preis und drei ACR-Innovationspreise vergeben.


Large-scale thermal energy storages – Central elements of future heat supply systems

The need for thermal energy storages will increase considerably on our way to a completely decarbonized energy supply due to the discontinuous availability of renewable energy sources. Large-scale underground hot-water thermal energy storages can play a central role. They can be used as multifunctional energy hubs for the flexible storage of renewable heat in future energy systems. In addition, this technology has great economic potential and offers attractive integration possibilities into the urban environment.

The development of the necessary know-how as a basis for the successful implementation of large-scale thermal energy storage projects in Austria was the goal of the ACR project "MoreStore". After completing the project, a service portfolio is now available for relevant stakeholder groups (e.g., energy utilities). The portfolio ranges from initial information and techno-economic preliminary assessments to in-depth consulting services such as numerical simulations and has already been successfully applied by AEE INTEC in the frame of feasibility studies for future projects.


Innovative renovation concept is being implemented

©thomas.buchsteiner Towern3000

In the future, energy-active facades will be used to produce, store and distribute renewable energy in a city quarter of Graz. This concept has been developed in the european project “EXCESS” (FleXible user-CEntric Energy poSitive houseS) and is currently being implemented in a high-rise building.

The holistic energy concept transforms an existing building into a plus-energy building in passive house standard. Prefabricated façade elements, which are at the same time supporting structures for façade-integrated photovoltaics, thermal insulation and a surface heating and cooling system, are at the heart of the concept. The energy produced by the photovoltaic system serves as an energy source for a cascading groundwater heat pump system where the heat and cold is used for the building's temperature control and, in the event of energy surplus, can be temporarily stored in the structural mass of the existing walls.


BTTAB – Breitentest von Gebäuden mit thermischer Bauteilaktivierung - als flexibler Energiespeicher

© Betonmarketing Österreich

Der Ausbau erneuerbarer Energieerzeugung und umfangreiche Möglichkeiten der Energiespeicherung sind zentrale Eckpfeiler einer notwendigen Energiewende. Die thermische Bauteilaktivierung kann hierbei eine wesentliche Schlüsselkomponente sein, da sie multifunktional als Wärme- und Kälteabgabesystem sowie als Speicher für fluktuierende Erneuerbare eingesetzt werden kann.

Ziel des großangelegten Breitentest ist es, die thermische Bauteilaktivierung in der Marktdurchdringung zu verstärken und die Leistungsfähigkeit in der Anwendung als Speicher- und Energieflexibilitätspotential zu analysieren. Gezielt soll die Steigerung regionaler erneuerbarer Energiequellen, die Nutzbarmachung von Stromüberschüsse aus dem lokalen Netz und das Erhöhen der Flexibilität für das Lastmanagement von Wärme- und Kältenetzen demonstriert werden. Das Portfolio der ausgewählten 18 Demonstratoren (je Bundesland 2) besticht dabei durch hohe Diversität, durch die harmonisierte regionale Verteilung, unterschiedlichste Gebäudenutzungen und -größen (Wohnbau, Büro- & Verwaltung, Beherbergung, Bildung, Gesundheitsbereich, Fertigung, Lager, etc.), unterschiedlichen Bauweisen und aktivierten Materialien (Beton, Ziegel, Holz), verschiedenster Arten der Integration erneuerbarer Energien sowie durch unterschiedliche Ausgangssituationen (Neubau, Bestandssanierung). Durch die Ausstattung der Demonstratoren mit einem Energie- und Behaglichkeitsmonitoring soll ein Aufschluss über die Leistungsfähigkeit des Speicher- bzw. des Energieflexibilitätspotentials und über wesentliche Erkenntnisse in Bezug auf Nutzerkomfort, Nutzerzufriedenheit, ökonomischer Aspekte in Errichtung und Betrieb sowie Funktionalität der Prozessabläufe gegeben werden.

Insgesamt werden bei einer Brutto-Grundfläche von rund 123.000 m² der 18 Demoobjekte eine aktivierte Fläche von ungefähr 164.000 m² als flexibler Energiespeicher analysiert und bewertet.

Die flexible Energiespeicherung optimiert nicht nur die Ausnutzung der regionalen erneuerbaren Energien und entlastet die Netzinfrastrukturen, sondern kann auch Kostenvorteile für zukünftige Stromtarifmodelle generieren. Auch die Optimierung von Wärmetarifen durch die Erhöhung der Leistungskapazitäten von Netzabschnitten sowie Erzeugungsanlagen, kann dabei die ökonomische Effizienz des Gesamtsystems verbessern.

Neben dem detaillierten Einblick in 18 Demoobjekte werden die Ergebnisse zielgruppenspezifisch am Ende des Projektes zur Verfügung gestellt.

Weitere Informationen unter:


Projektleiter: DI Walter Becke, w.becke@aee.at


Innovative Energietechnologien in Österreich - Marktentwicklung 2021

The documentation and analysis of the market development of technologies for the use of renewable energy create a data, planning, and decision-making basis for numerous groups of actors in politics, the economy, and the field of research and development. The present market study "Innovative Energy Technologies in Austria - Market Development 2021" creates this basis for the fields of biomass, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, heat pumps, and wind power.

In addition to documenting sales figures for the domestic and export markets, key economic figures are presented in the areas of sales, jobs, and the CO2 effects of these technologies.

Austrian companies in the fields of biomass, photovoltaics, solar thermal, heat pumps, and wind power were able to achieve a turnover of 7.7 billion euros in 2021 and employ more than 39,200 people. The application of these innovative technologies provided 74.6 terawatt-hours of renewable energy in Austria and avoided climate-damaging emissions amounting to 15 million tons of CO2 equivalent.

Authors: P. Biermayr, C. Dißauer, M. Eberl, M. Enigl, H. Fechner, B. Fürnsinn, M. Jaksch Fliegenschnee, K. Leonhartsberger, S. Moidl, E. Prem, S. Savic, C. Schmidl, C. Strasser, W. Weiss, M. Wittmann, P. Wonisch, E. Wopienka


Renewable energies for the automotive industry

Decarbonization of process heat demand is one of the biggest challenges in the context of the heat transition by 2050. So far, efforts have focused on the electricity sector. However, to achieve climate targets, greater attention must be paid to the heating sector, which has been severely neglected to date, through the use of solar process heat. There are implementation barriers, especially regarding the lack of knowledge about intelligent integration possibilities and possible upstream optimizations, as well as an untapped cost reduction potential in the planning and implementation of SHIP plants (SHIP - Solar Heat for Industrial Processes). Against this background, the bi-national project "Solar Automotive" provides results in order to

(1) identify solutions to overcome the implementation barriers of solar process heat,

(2) provide information about possible applications of solar process heat, and

(3) initiate demonstration plants.


Climate-neutral district heating for Gleisdorf

© Ulrich Gutmann

In future, the city of Gleisdorf will generate climate-neutral district heating from wastewater and biogas. The concept was developed within the lead project ThermaFLEX. On February 4, the responsible experts presented the underlying concept, which also is the starting point of implementing a new district heating center at the waste water treatment plant.

The concept envisages extracting unused heat from treated wastewater by means of heat exchangers and heat pumps. The biogas produced at the wastewater treatment plant will also be fully converted into thermal energy. Thus, it contributes to the efficient use of the resource, as the flaring of the biogas is avoided. The energy produced can be fed into the district heating network all year round. In the first expansion stage, a concept of 500 kW heating capacity will be implemented. On an annual average, around 4,000 MWh of energy can thus be generated in a climate-neutral manner. This results in CO2 savings of around 1,000 tons compared to the use of natural gas.


Michael Gumhalter wins Young DECA Award 2022


On the 14th of February 2022, Michael Gumhalter received the Young DECA Award in the course of the 2nd Austrian Energy Efficiency Conference, held in Vienna. This award is endowed with 1000 Euro and is granted by DECA, the association of Austrian providers of Energy Efficiency and Contracting Services. The Young DECA Award supports scientists younger than 30, who work on energy efficiency topics. The prize gives them the chance to present their research topics to the industry experts participating at the conference.

Since 2020, Michael Gumhalter works as scientific researcher at AEE INTEC, department of Technology Development, where he develops Model Predictive Control systems in the context of buildings energy systems. His main focus is on energy efficiency and maximizing the usage of on-site renewable energy.


Efficient renewable local heating for Central Europe


ENTRAIN encouraged the adoption of a systematic energy planning to reduce carbon footprint and intensify the use of renewable energy sources in 5 target regions in Italy, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia and Poland.

This was supported through capacity building, initialisation of investments and the development of innovative financial tools. In train-the-trainer webinars, stakeholders were trained by experts from Austria and Germany, who have many years of experience in this field.

ENTRAIN also focused on the translation of documents (e.g. the updated Planning Handbook) and the transfer of the Austrian quality management system “QM Heizwerke” for biomass district heating plants to the target regions. Especially in Italy, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, intensive work is ongoing. Also quality managers based on the Austrian model have been trained by AEE INTEC there.

All training material and translated documents are freely available on the project website.


buildingTwin.at Plattform nimmt Gestalt an


Im Rahmen des buildingTwin-Projekts untersucht AEE INTEC gemeinsam mit Projektpartnern, unter der Leitung der Österreichischen Bautechnikvereinigung (ÖBV), die Verbindung von virtuellen Gebäudemodellen mit Daten aus dem Gebäudebetrieb zu digitalen Gebäudezwillingen. Die Kopplung von BIM (Building Information Modeling)-Modellen mit Betriebsdaten und anderen externen Daten zu einem digitalen Zwilling ermöglicht Gebäudeeigentümer*innen und Betreiber*innen einen besseren Einblick in die Echtzeit-Gebäudeperformance während des gesamten Lebenszyklus.