Innovative energy concepts for buildings

The team led by Professor Dr Sabine Hoffmann, Stefan Spies (centre) and Professor Dr Björn-Martin Kurzrock develops the energy concepts.
Credit: RPTU/Voss

Sustainable and cost-efficient retrofitting and planning.

Rising energy prices pose a great challenge to private individuals and companies. At the University Kaiserslautern-Landau, a team from the fields of building systems and building technology as well as real estate studies creates energy concepts for buildings that are newly planned or retrofitted for clients from industry and business. In doing so, it always takes into account the economic efficiency, makes a risk assessment and includes new technologies in order to be as CO2-neutral or even self-sufficient as possible. At the Hannover Messe, it will present its services at the Rhineland-Palatinate research stand (Hall 2, Stand B46) from 17 to 21 April.

The sharp rise in energy and electricity prices is not only a problem for private individuals, but also for industrial companies and real estate operators in particular. In addition, the energy turnaround must be further advanced in order for Germany to meet its climate targets. “The need for energy concepts is currently great. Measures are to be taken quickly to reduce energy consumption or to become completely energy self-sufficient,” says Stefan Spies from the Department of Building Systems and Building Technology at the University Kaiserslautern-Landau.

But for whom is which method suitable? How many photovoltaic systems are worthwhile for an industrial company, for example? And what about biogas? Is a combined heat and power plant worthwhile? Is it possible to switch from natural gas to hydrogen? How can climate-neutral heating be achieved? What possibilities are there for energy-saving air-conditioning systems? Many companies that want to build a new production hall or renovate an administrative building are concerned with questions like these.

The team led by Professor Dr. Sabine Hoffmann and Professor Dr. Björn-Martin Kurzrock addresses such needs. They develop energy concepts and management systems. The clients come from different sectors. “For example, we work with automotive groups, retail chains or housing cooperatives,” Spies continues. “The first thing is to clarify the individual requirements. What does the company want? What are the future challenges that may arise? Then it is a matter of defining the individual goal. This can be, for example, balance sheet CO2 neutrality, complete CO2 freedom, but also self-sufficiency in the areas of electricity and/or heat.” Then current technologies are selected. “In the process, we always look to the future to plan for innovations. We develop different scenarios, consider the economic viability and prepare a risk analysis. We present the package to the clients.”

An important topic at the moment is power-to-X, for example. This refers to technologies that can store electricity surpluses when there is an oversupply of renewable energies. “Hydrogen, for example, is suitable for this,” Spies continues. “There are losses in the conversion, but the current global economic situation has encouraged and accelerated interest in this. With increased energy prices, the economic framework now gives more possibilities.”

The researcher team in Kaiserslautern is always in contact with various manufacturers to know what technologies will be coming onto the market in the next few years. To work out its energy concepts, it also needs knowledge from different fields. Therefore, the team consists of researchers from building technology, building physics, energy management, computer science and real estate economics.

Optimisation problems often play a major role in the work, as Spies explains with an example: “In the case of photovoltaic systems, the largest possible one is not profitable for every company. We determine what is economically viable depending on the customer.” In simulations, the team can also look at the thermal situation of buildings, among other things, and see which renovation measures make sense. “We always look into the question of what we can improve,” Spies continues. In doing so, the team checks the thermal quality of a building if, for example, a new building is planned. “This is important in terms of cooling-heating requirements. There is always a lot of potential for optimisation here.”

At the Hanover Messe, the team will present its offering with examples and also show results and concepts from previous research projects, which could also be of interest to future clients.

Questions can be directed to:
Stefan Spies
Department of Building Systems and Building Technology
University Kaiserslautern-Landau / Campus Kaiserslautern
Tel.: 0631 205-4274
E-mail: Stefan.spies(at)

Klaus Dosch, Department of Technology, Innovation and Sustainability, is organizing the presentation of the researchers of the University Kaiserslautern-Landau at the fair. He is the contact partner for companies and, among other things, establishes contacts to science.
Contact: Klaus Dosch, E-mail: klaus.dosch(at), Phone: +49 631 205-3001

About RPTU
Since January 1, 2023, the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (TUK, University of Kaiserslautern) and the University in Landau have become the University of Kaiserslautern-Landau (RPTU). With over 20,000 students and more than 300 professors, the RPTU is the second largest academic institution in the state. As a place of top international research and an academic talent factory for business and science, RPTU offers excellent study and research conditions as well as a cosmopolitan environment. RPTU is also an innovation and transfer partner for politics, business and society. Those who study, learn, research or work at RPTU are part of a vibrant university community and shape the world of tomorrow.

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Melanie Löw Universitätskommunikation
Rheinland-Pfälzische Technische Universität Kaiserslautern-Landau

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