Applied research on district energy systems

Decentralizing the Swiss energy system and electrifying the mobility sector gives rise to completely new issues in a district energy system. Emphasis is laid on the integrative aspects of multi energy systems, during the design stage and the operational stage. A multi objective view not only regarding the energy efficiency of a technology, but also lifecycle aspects, maintenance, and overall system performance are investigated.

such as:

  • How do decentralized energy systems affect upper layer grids?

  • What is the importance of new technologies in the local energy system – such as fuel cells, combined heat and power units, new kinds of heat pumps and heat and electricity storage or hydrogen technologies?

  • What level of energy autonomy is possible, and which one is useful?

  • How can buildings – as energy consumers as well as generators with their various forms of energy (heat, electricity and gas) – be coupled usefully with the energy demand in mobility?

  • Which factors affect the balance between central and decentral storage systems and demand site management?

  • Where are efficient and fair economic and ecological solutions for all stakeholders?

These research questions are tackled at Empas ehub group together with industry and academic partners.