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Renewables for clean energy buildings in a future power system

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - RES4BUILD (Renewables for clean energy buildings in a future power system)

Reporting period: 2022-05-01 to 2023-04-30

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.
The project was designed to:
• 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 Integrated Energy Systems (IES) and the flexibility of consumption, while respecting the wishes of the end-users.
• Engage all relevant stakeholders in co-designing Integrated Energy Systems (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.
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 solar fluid temperatures (25-65 ºC).
2) A prototype magnetocaloric heat pump has been improved and tested showing Carnot efficiency of up to 26%, significantly above the previous record for magnetocaloric devices of 18%. Later in the project we achieved an even higher Carnot efficiency of 39.2%. This is a significant improvement and a milestone for the sector. However, this has been achieved using a 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 (BEMS) 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 used for testing integrated energy systems using the innovative components and controls developed in the project, also benchmarking the developed optimised control.
6) Another two sites in Belgium were used for testing the advanced algorithm/BEMS to control a combination of solar energy and geothermal heat pump (in a single-family home) and the Borehole Thermal energy Storage control system (in an office building)
7) The testing of the Integrated Energy Systems and controls in four different sites under different climates covering weather conditions of all four seasons proves the concept of the technical feasibility/benefits of the developed solutions.
8) The data from the pilot plants have been used to calibrate/validate the developed simulation tools, models and LCA. The validated models have been used to assess the impact scaled up systems of the RES4BUILD solutions could have when adopted widely.
9) 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.
10) 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 were documented, including practical guidelines for co-design of IES.
11) An extensive market analysis has been carried out in 8 countries, resulting in preliminary selection of priority segments as a suggested target for the next steps of the project results exploitation.
12) All the work of the project was reviewed internally with the support of the Innovation Committee and the Advisory Board, resulting in a collection and documentation of 15 Knowledge Outputs, which have been included in an updated PEDR. Out of these, three were deemed high-priority Key Exploitable Results. One patent was submitted by MG Sustainable Engineering, but it is still under evaluation. Of the remaining finalised KOs, many have been shared at events and in publications, and since the first round of this research has been completed, they were added to the Horizon Results Platform.
13) All achievements were included in a final booklet which was made available online and shared at the final event, a workshop that was organised in Brussels bringing together representatives from academia, industry, policymakers and society to discuss the decarbonisation of buildings in Europe.
RES4BUILD delivers 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 helps advance the implementation of innovative scientific ideas. New knowledge generated outputs are 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. Our calculations using the validated models have shown that the scaled-up RES4BUILD Integrated Energy Systems (IES) when applied in real buildings and using up to 70% of the roof space can fully cover heating, cooling and hot water requirements. And this applies to any kind of building in any climate (we considered multi-family buildings, single-family houses, offices and schools in the Netherland, in Greece in Ireland and in Poland). For the case of the single-family homes and the schools, even the electricity needs could be covered by the RES4BUILD system, reaching a net 100% energy coverage on-site on an annual basis.
The co-design process helped improve understanding of the best process to approach renovations of energy systems in a more integrated and systematic way. This approach of RES4BUILD addresses 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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