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Renewables for clean energy buildings in a future power system

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RES4BUILD (Renewables for clean energy buildings in a future power system)

Reporting period: 2020-11-01 to 2022-04-30

RES4BUILD (Renewables for Clean Energy Buildings in a Future Power System) combines different building-integrated renewable energy technologies in a cost-efficient solution for decarbonising energy consumption in buildings. The approach, using a combination of ambient, geothermal and solar energy sources and energy storage systems along with flexible control solutions, is applicable to a wide variety of buildings in Europe.
Decarbonising energy consumption in buildings is a priority in order to meet EU targets for a clean and efficient energy future. While the use of renewable electricity in buildings has progressed, the uptake of renewable energy heating/cooling solutions in the built environment has been slower. Their larger energy share within buildings, together with the many technological options available and the diverse types of buildings and requirements of the end users makes it difficult to find a standard solution.
RES4BUILD will address these challenges by developing integrated cost-competitive renewable-energy-based solutions that are tailored to the needs and requirements of the users and the installers. The project will:
• Improve the performance and reduce the cost of the most innovative components of the RES4BUILD solutions.
• Develop tools for simulation, sizing and control; making optimal use of the IES and the flexibility of consumption, while respecting the wishes of the end-users.
• Engage all relevant stakeholders in co-designing IES that suit current needs and future expectations.
• Test and validate various RES4BUILD solutions in different climates to pave the way for bringing the developed solution to the market, ensuring wide adoption.
Innovative combinations of promising and established technologies designed together with the main stakeholders will deliver IES to decarbonise the energy used in the main building types in Europe. RES4BUILD prioritizes the space heating, space cooling and hot water needs of buildings, while managing the electricity generation and the buildings energy demand, ensuring that the interaction with the grid is minimised. The co-design process will assist towards obtaining consensus of an integrated package of energy measures fit-for-purpose – resulting in clean, more efficient and affordable energy options for consumers in buildings across Europe.
The project started on May 2019 and during the first 36 a lot has been achieved. Below we give a highlight of the main results achieved so far:
1) PVT collectors with an improved design have been developed, produced and tested. The electrical and thermal optical efficiency have been improved by 19 % and 3 %, respectively and the annual yield has improved by about 14 % for a wide range of HTF temperatures (25-65 ºC).
2) A prototype magnetocaloric heat pump has been tested in the first half of the project showing Carnot efficiency of up to 26%, significantly above the previous record for magnetocaloric devices of 18%. In the second half of the project Carnot efficiency of 39.2% was measured . This is a significant improvement and a milestone for the sector. However this has been achieved using more expensive material and a balance between performance and cost has to be found.
3) A simulation tool has been developed that can be used for multi-parameter optimisation of the design and sizing of an integrated energy system for buildings, tailored to the specific conditions of each case.
4) An advanced algorithm has been developed that is integrated in a Building Energy Management System for optimising the operation achieving user defined objectives (such as minimising cost or emissions) within the parameters that are also defined by the user.
5) Two pilot systems (in Greece and Denmark) have been developed and are testing integrated energy systems using the innovative components and controls developed in the project.
6) A report on good practice approaches for Integrated Energy System development has been completed, dealing with the whole spectrum of technical, financial and social issues.
7) There has been deep engagement with local stakeholders in six case studies in Poland and the Netherlands. The case studies represent different types of buildings and end-users and a wide range of possibilities is explored regarding improvements of their energy systems. The learning from this process will be documented and used within the project as well as distributed widely.
8) The potential impact of the project has been assessed showing that compared to a typical gas boiler and AC system, the RES4BUILD system could deliver Green House Gas emission savings of 75% on average taking into account the total EU building stock
9) The communication and dissemination work has resulted in a well-established presence in social media and in common activities with several other H2020 projects working on similar topics.
RES4BUILD will deliver solutions that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for providing electricity, heating and cooling in buildings. Several cross-cutting priorities are addressed - international cooperation, clean energy, open innovation and contractual public private partnerships, and energy efficient buildings.
Besides establishing strong interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international collaborations, the participation of industrial organisations will help advance the implementation of innovative scientific ideas. New knowledge generated outputs will be relevant beyond the application of the project, with opportunities for adapting them to develop products and/or services in any aspect of the building sector and potentially other industries.
The integrated solution is intended to be implemented on a building-scale that has the potential to supply all a building’s heating, cooling and electricity needs, allowing for implementation without excessive requirements. The flexible approach allows for solutions to be applicable to a wide variety of buildings, new or renovated, tailored to their size, type and the climatic zones of their location. The final RES4BUILD Integrated Energy Systems (IES) will cover an estimated 80 - 100% of the energy needs for new multi-family buildings across Europe - leading to more efficient operation and optimised interaction with the grid, and thus a lower energy bill for European consumers. Some versions of the integrated approach is expected to be cost competitive compared to traditional solutions by 2025, considering the effect of economies of scale.
The co-design process will help improve understanding of the best process to approach renovations of energy systems in a more integrated and systematic way. This approach of RES4BUILD will address the complex social priorities and needs in order to accelerate the energy transition. The project will lead to buildings which provide higher comfort levels and wellbeing for their occupants. Well-heated and ventilated buildings reduce negative health impacts caused by dampness. In addition, the increased construction activities in the form of renovation will lead to job creation and increase economic growth in the EU.
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