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Issue 01 | 2024 of "nachhaltigen technologien" is online

“The energy transition to renewable energies cannot be reached without the intensive use of green hydrogen”, this statement can be heard often, and it should be discussed.
Hydrogen as a direct substitute for natural gas could offer several advantages - part of the existing infrastructure can be used, conversion technologies do not need to be changed and the energy supply is secure. But is this the case? Where will the green hydrogen that is needed come from in future? Will Europe shift from fossil dependencies to hydrogen dependencies as it will not be possible to meet the European demand with production capacities located in Europe? What price will Europe have to pay and is hydrogen the most suitable energy source or will there be competitive alternatives like ammonia, methanol, or dimethyl ether?
These are just a few questions raised that the current issue of “nachhaltige technologien” tries to answer on a scientific basis.
In addition to well-known technologies such as electrolysis, new efficient methods for biogas production, the application of methane pyrolysis or highly innovative technologies such as photocatalytic conversion of wastewater into hydrogen or methanol will be developed in future.
In order to successfully meet the challenges of the energy transition within the given timeframe, the use of all renewable energy sources is essential. It will be crucial to use all available technologies reasonably and efficiently. This is the only way Europe is able to become independent of external energy sources and global crises.


AEE INTEC wins ACR Woman Award

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

The ACR Woman Award has been presented to a female researcher from the ACR network in the field of science and technology since 2010 and makes their individual achievements visible, creates awareness of female career paths in research and, in the best-case scenario, motivates young women and girls to embark on a career in science and technology.
This year's ACR Woman Award was presented to Dagmar Jähnig for her 20 years of research in the field of solar thermal systems, energy storage methods and digital building twins.
Together with her team, Dagmar Jähnig has developed a software solution that enables real-time adaptation of the building simulation via a so-called digital twin. The methodology is based on a combination of real-time data, simulation techniques and intelligent control strategies.
A digital twin offers the opportunity to significantly reduce a building's energy consumption. A detailed real-time simulation model of the building and its system technology provides the control system with much information, which can be used to optimize the operation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This makes it possible to respond much more precisely to the current weather conditions and the actual use of the building.

Dagmar Jähnig


AEE INTEC wins one out of three ACR Innovation Awards

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

The cooperative technology development CEPA - thermal-regulating façade system developed by AEE INTEC and Towern3000 deals with the topic of building refurbishment at the level of technical solutions and was awarded the ACR Innovation Prize 2023. The technology focuses on the activation of existing building masses by means of multifunctional, serial façade elements, which, in addition to the insulation level, also include an energy-active level for conditioning the building (heating and cooling) from the outside. The prefabricated facade can be installed on the construction site in a minimally invasive manner and within a very short time. In addition to the heating and cooling functionality, CEPA can also be used to store energy in the building envelope. Thanks to a special design and installation process, the achieved thermal contact between the panel heating and the wall is used to heat the existing wall over the entire wall depth or, if necessary, to cool it.

Compared to conventional, non-serial refurbishment solutions, the technology impresses with a high degree of prefabrication and a holistic thermal-energetic solution in a single implementation step. AEE INTEC developed scientific tools for the industrial partner that accelerate and considerably simplify the decision-making and planning process of the CEPA system and thus form the basis for the scalability of the technology.

Thomas Ramschack


RENOWAVE.AT Impact Days successfully took place in Graz

from left to right: Susanne Formanek (RENOWAVE.AT), Christian Fink (AEE INTEC), Landesrätin Simone Schmiedtbauer (Land Steiermark, Lebensressort), Theodor Zillner (Federal Ministry Republic of Austria for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology), Ulla Unzeitig (RENOWAVE.AT)
Photograph by: Christoph Hütter

As a founding member of RENOWAVE.AT and co-organiser of the RENOWAVE.AT Impact Days, we highly appreciate the outstanding success of the first RENOWAVE.AT Impact Days, which took place in Graz on October 17th and 18th. Over 300 enthusiastic participants* gathered for two days with top-class speakers to explore and discuss the latest trends and innovations in the field of climate-neutral renovation.
The event featured a diverse program of 25 exciting presentations, two thought-provoking panel discussions, and seven interactive workshops covering topics such as serial retrofits/Energiesprong, climate-neutral retrofits of entire neighborhoods or working-class housing developments, circular economy, digitalization, and current frameworks such as EU taxonomy.
One thing is clear: the necessary knowledge to tackle the challenges ahead is there - now it's a matter of translating it into action!
It was a special honor for the organizing team, that after her election in the Styrian parliament and the appointment by the Styrian governor to the life department of the State of Styria (Lebensressort Steiermark) the first public obligation of State Councilor Simone Schmiedtbauer (responsible for housing and renovation amongst others) was the participation at the RENOWAVE.AT Impact Days. We are looking forward to future fruitful cooperation!


ThermaFLEX project honored by Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler as an outstanding example of the "Vorzeigeregion Energie" research program

© Klima- und Energiefonds/APA-Fotoservice/Schedl 
vlnr: Christoph Brunner (AEE INTEC); Bernd Vogl (Klima- und Energiefonds); Umweltministerin Leonore Gewessler (BMK), Christian Fink und Ingo Leusbrock (AEE INTEC)

On September 6, 2023, Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler opened the annual event of the “Vorzeigeregion Energie” with the title "Energy Innovations Made in Austria - Opportunities for Austrian Companies on the World Market".

In the speeches of the Minister and of Climate and Energy Fund Managing Director Bernd Vogl, the successes of the research funding program "Vorzeigeregion Energie" were honored. The flagship project ThermaFLEX was recognized as an outstanding example: AEE INTEC was head of the large-scale research project implemented in the frame of the Green Energy Lab showcase region which won the Energy Globe Award Austria (Fire category) in June 2023 for its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions of the district heating sector.
The project with 28 partners in Styria, Vienna and Salzburg used ten large-scale demonstrators to showcase that large-scale technical implementations are possible in a relatively short time. As soon as all demonstration plants of the ThermaFLEX project have been fully implemented, up to 45,000 tons of carbon dioxide can be saved each year. In addition to this direct contribution to climate protection, the elements and solutions developed will also serve as a blueprint for other national and international heating networks.

The lead project ThermaFLEX was funded by the Climate and Energy Fund and carried out in the frame of the Green Energy Lab which is part of the "Vorzeigeregion Energie" program.


Issue 03 | 2023 of „nachhaltigen technologien“ is online

Installation figures for compression heat pumps are steeply going up both nationally and internationally. In Austria, over 60,000 heat pumps were installed in 2022, representing a market growth of 60 percent compared to 2021. Predominantly, compression heat pumps are used for space heating in private residential buildings using outside air as the heat source. Despite the huge potential of applying heat pumps in existing multi-story residential buildings, in industry and commerce, as well as in local and district heating networks, these applications are still virtually nonexistent. The background to this fact is that, on the one hand, specific product developments are needed to cope with operating conditions that are significantly different compared to single family homes, and on the other hand, there is a lack of standards regarding different heat sources and their system integration. It is interesting to note that there are further promising heat pump technologies, such as rotating, thermoacoustic and thermally driven heat pumps suitable for these areas of application.

The present issue of the magazine "nachhaltige technologien" gives insight into pilot projects using compression and thermally driven heat pumps and reports on the state of development of rotating and thermoacoustic heat pumps.


International spotlight on smart facades for energy-efficient high-rise buildings

International consortium meeting in Innsbruck © Bartenbach GmbH

Representatives from partners AEE INTEC, South China University of Technology, China Academy of Building Research (CABR), and Nussmüller Architekten ZT GmbH gathered at an international consortium meeting in Innsbruck at Bartenbach - The Lighting Innovators. The meeting was part of the Austrian-Chinese research project "TechAdZero - Key Technologies for Adaptive Building Envelopes in Net Zero Energy High-Rise Buildings." TechAdZero explores the energy potential and optimal technology configurations for intelligent, adaptive facades of nZEB high-rise buildings. The goal is to maximize energy efficiency in high-rise structures by utilizing intelligent, actively adaptive facade elements. The project examines Austrian and Chinese facade technologies that allow for dynamic control of renewable energy generation and solar radiation, light, and air transmission properties.


A lot of hot air at AEE INTEC - Series of tests with mobile herb drying plant


In the frame of the SolSorpDry project, the first prototype of a drying plant was built that guarantees high product quality with the lowest possible energy input. It can be adapted for different drying materials. The energy supply for the plant shall be covered 100 percent from renewable energy sources. To this end, options for solar thermal energy, heat recovery and photovaltaics and their combination with a sorption storage system are being investigated.

In July 2023, the first series of tests started with the drying goods cornflower, basil, peppermint, thyme, and garlic. Extensive knowledge was gained about the characteristics of the plants during drying and a positive drying result was achieved for each crop. For example, the drying time of cornflower was halved. The quality of the end products was positively evaluated by the experts of the Experimental Station for Special Crops of the Province of Styria in Wies.


Japanese Company Takasago Thermal Engineering visits AEE INTEC


On July 18, 2023, AEE INTEC was pleased to welcome seven experts from Takasago Thermal Engineering to Gleisdorf. Takasago Thermal Engineering is a traditional HVAC company founded in 1923, initially specializing in cooling and ventilation systems. Building on this expertise, technical concepts for clean rooms, conditioning of industrial manufacturing environments and thermal energy supply were developed and included in the company's product portfolio. Now, the central topic of energy efficiency solutions also includes the aspect of sustainability. Takasago Thermal Engineering sees itself as an "environmental creator". In the frame of the visit, AEE INTEC was able to present results from ongoing or recently completed research projects. The stay was complemented with an excursion to the wastewater treatment plant of Gleisdorf, where a heat pump has been installed during the Thermaflex lead project which directly feeds into the local district heating network.


Energiespeicherexpert*innen der Internationalen Energieagentur zu Gast in Wien

© Christian Fink, AEE INTEC

Anfang Juni trafen sich die Ländervertreter und Task Manager des Technology Collaboration Program (TCP) „Energy Storage“ der Internationalen Energieagentur (IEA) anlässlich des halbjährlichen General Assembly in Wien. Christian Fink von AEE INTEC durfte dabei in seiner Funktion als österreichischer Vertreter 25 Expert*innen im Themenfeld Energiespeicher aus praktisch allen Teilen der Welt im Klimaschutzministerium begrüßen. Im Laufe des Wiener Meetings wurden über die aktuellen Ergebnisse der acht laufenden Arbeitsgruppen berichtet und diskutiert sowie der Grundstein für den Start von 4 weiteren neuen thematischen Arbeitsgruppen gelegt. Damit kann das TCP wichtige Beiträge zur Transformation unseres Energiesystems leisten. Einen ausgezeichneten Einblick in die Aktivitäten des TCP bietet der Jahresbericht 2022, der beim Meeting in Wien präsentiert wurde.

Weitere Informationen zum TCP: https://iea-es.org

Downloadmöglichkeit des Jahresbericht 2022: https://iea-es.org/publications/annual-report-2022/

Im Rahmen einer Exkursion konnten interessante Einblicke in die österreichischen Unternehmen CellCube, Hersteller von Vanadium-Redox-Flow-Batterien sowie Beyond Carbon Energy, Energiedienstleister und Betreiber des größten österreichischen kalten Fernwärmenetz im Wiener Quartier „Viertel Zwei“ gegeben werden. Den Abschluss bildete ein Besuch beim Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) und die Besichtigung der Laborinfrastruktur zur Energiespeicherentwicklung.

CellCube - www.cellcube.com
Beyond Carbon Energy - www.beyondcarbon.energy
AIT - www.ait.ac.at


Ausgabe 02 | 2023 der „nachhaltigen technologien“ ist online

Für ein Gelingen der Transformation unseres Energie- und Mobilitätssystems kommt Städten eine besondere Rolle zu. Denn global gesehen sind unsere Städte für 78 Prozent des Energiekonsums bzw. für rund 75 Prozent der CO2-Emissionen verantwortlich. Aufgrund eines flächenbezogen hohen Energieverbrauchs bei gleichzeitig limitierter Flächenverfügbarkeit für Energiekonversion ist die Transformation der Energieversorgung deutlich komplexer und herausfordernder als im ländlichen Raum. Vor diesem Hintergrund ist es essenziell wichtig, dass städtespezifische Transformationspläne erstellt werden, dabei auch Stakeholder und Bürger*innen eingebunden sind und die Zielsetzungen einer zukünftigen Energieversorgung verbindlich in Stadtent¬wicklungs¬konzepten niedergeschrieben werden. Einige österreichische Städte sowie auch zahlreiche andere europäische Städte folgen bereits diesem Weg und werden durch nationale Programme (in Österreich beispielsweise „Klimaneutrale Stadt“ und „Pionierstädte“) als auch durch internationale Programme (zum Beispiel „100 European Climate-Neutral-Cities by 2030“) gelenkt und unterstützt.

Der Schwerpunkt der „nachhaltigen technologien“ Ausgabe 02-2023 gibt Einblick in diese Programme, präsentiert konkrete Transformationsfahrpläne beispielhafter Städte und berichtet über Erfahrungen in der proaktiven Partizipation von Bürger*innen und Stakeholdern in urbanen Transformationsprozessen.


Biomass district heating plants awarded

© Österreichischer Biomasse-Verband/Krisztian Juhasz

On 19 January 2023, Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler (BMK) and klimaaktiv QM Heizwerke awarded nine Austrian biomass district heating plants in the frame of the 7th Central European Biomass Conference in Graz. The showcase projects meet the highest technical and economic efficiency criteria and were awarded for the use of renewable energy sources, their coherent overall concepts and the special commitment of the plant operators. The award-winning projects are convincing, for example, due to comprehensive optimisation measures, (active) flue gas condensation and waste heat utilisation. In addition, a planner and QM Heizwerke Q-manager received an award for his pioneering achievements regarding the integration of absorption heat pumps in biomass heating plants and for the implementation of innovative system concepts to increase the overall system efficiency.


Customized, eco-efficient polyolefin materials for sustainable energy technologies

Forschung vom Rohstoff über Halbzeug zur fertigen Komponente an ökoeffizienten Polyolefin-materialien in SolPol-6 entlang der Wertschöpfungskette. @ AEE INTEC

In SolPol-6, science and industry are working hand-in-hand to develop polyolefin materials for various key technologies with regard to the necessary energy transition. It is intended to contribute significantly to the use of renewable energy technologies and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Through targeted development of customized and eco-efficient polyolefin materials, hybrid laminates and membranes, innovations in photovoltaics, heat storage and ammonia recovery from wastewater are to be created. The project consists of three work packages along the value chain:

  1. Polyolefin materials for photovoltaics (PV): Development of reliable and recyclable PV modules instead of glass-foil modules with environmentally critical fluoropolymers.
  2. Polyolefin materials for thermal energy storage (TES): development of impact modified materials and barrier laminates for thermal energy storage. Easy-to-lay oxygen- and vapor-tight sealing materials will be developed.
  3. Polyolefin materials for membrane technologies: Development of PO membranes for energy-efficient recovery of ammonia from wastewater instead of ecologically questionable membranes made of fluoropolymers.

AEE INTEC will take over the project management in work package 3 (MEM) together with SFC-Umwelttechnik. Furthermore, AEE INTEC will provide civil engineering expertise on ground source heat storage systems as well as long-term metrological expertise regarding the planned laboratory test rigs for storage temperature profiles in work package 2 (TES).


Trend-setting urban concept Post City Gardens Linz


Until the end of March, the project team of the Green.Diversity.Linz project is developing a set of measures for a sustainable new city district at the site of the former postal distribution center next to the Linz train station. An interdisciplinary team of developers, architects, greening and biodiversity experts, landscape planners, and AEE INTEC as a research partner for sustainable technologies took an in-depth look at how biodiversity promotion, principles of Animal Aided Design, building greening, rainwater management, on-site renewable energy production, and energy optimization processes can work together synergistically and creatively in a new urban quarter.

AEE INTEC is pleased to present the results of the energy research together with the concepts for biodiversity promotion, building greening and climate change-adapted stormwater management developed by the project team on March 29, 2023 at the international BauZ!  - Congress for sustainable buildings in Vienna.


Project for the modernization of biomass-based heating networks successfully launched

© Klimafonds / Krobath

Biomass-based district heating networks and systems play a central role in sustainable heat supply covering around 2,400 systems in operation in Austria. Currently and in near future, there is an increased need for retrofitting and modernization of these existing heating networks, especially of the first and second generation, in order to meet current and future technical, economic and regulatory challenges combined with a sustainable and strategic expansion of the heating system.

To support the transformation processes the R&D project BM Retrofit was launched. The project is dedicated to the development and demonstration of holistic retrofitting and modernization concepts as well as portfolio expansion of biomass-based district heating networks and systems.

A transdisciplinary team of 13 project partners, consisting of research institutions, energy suppliers & infrastructure operators as well as know-how & technology providers, has set the goal of developing and implementing modernization as well as expansion measures for existing heating networks.


Development of a photocatalytic reactor for producing solar fuels

© AdobeStock

In the frame of the European project DESIRED, a technology for the solar conversion of CO2 and water to green gases is being developed on a pilot scale. The project was started in November 2022.
Currently, significant improvements in photocatalysts and reactor technology are necessary to make solar fuel production technically feasible, scalable, affordable, safe, sustainable and efficient. Experts in the fields of photocatalysis and photoelectrochemistry work together in order to reach a milestone within the next four years with the development of a solar reactor at AEE INTEC. The goal is to develop solar fuels for sectors where switching to hydrogen or electricity is not technically feasible or cost-efficient, for example in the aviation sector.


Besuch von Klimaschutzministerin Leonore Gewessler bei AEE INTEC in Gleisdorf


Am 19. Jänner besuchte Leonore Gewessler, Bundesministerin für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologie das Forschungsinstitut AEE  INTEC in Gleisdorf. Begleitet wurde Frau Bundesminister Gewessler von vier weiteren Kabintettsmitarbeiter*innen. In einer Kurzpräsentation durften wir Frau Bundesminister Gewessler und ihrer Begleitung einen Überblick über unser Institut, unsere Arbeitsschwerpunkte sowie Inhalte einzelner Großforschungsprojekte geben. In sehr angenehmer Atmosphäre war es dann spannend, über die zukünftige Ausgestaltung unseres Energiesystems zu diskutieren und welche Beiträge unsere Technologieentwicklungen bzw. Forschungsarbeiten für die Transformation leisten können. Bevor die Frau Bundesministerin wieder zum nächsten Termin weitermusste, nahm sie sich noch Zeit, um sich mit einzelnen Mitarbeiter*innen über deren Forschungsschwerpunkte auszutauschen und wir konnten zum Abschluss auch noch ein gemeinsames Foto mit unseren Mitarbeiter*innen machen.

Vielen Dank für den Besuch und den interessanten Austausch!

AEE – Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien

Ewald Selvicka, Christoph Brunner und Christian Fink
Geschäftsführung AEE INTEC

Feldgasse 19, 8200 Gleisdorf
T: +43 3112 5886-236
E: c.fink@aee.at


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 Vertreter*innen aus Wissenschaft & Forschung, der Industrie sowie einschlägigen Stakeholder*innen 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 Nutzer*innenkomfort, Nutzer*innenzufriedenheit, 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.