In most industrial countries, more than 40 % of the final energy demand is attributed to the building sector. The majority of the energy is used for indoor conditioning and comfort: heating, cooling, ventilation, dehumidification and humidification as well as for hot water heating and artificial lighting. As a result, the building sector plays a central and influential role in achieving the climate goals.
Fraunhofer ISE’s business area Building Energy Technology addresses relevant areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy use for all building types: both residential and non-residential buildings as well as new and existing buildings.
In 2015 Fraunhofer ISE greatly expanded its laboratory space and range of equipment in the field of heating and cooling technologies. With the onset of the energy system transformation, electricity and heat applications are beginning to merge together more and more. Heat pumps, both electric and gas-driven, are becoming the most dominate heating technology. Therefore, their further development and implementation in the building energy system as well as the creation of flexible, grid-supportive operating concepts are important research topics at Fraunhofer ISE.
At the same time, a holistic approach for integrating solar energy converters, like photovoltaics and solar thermal, into the building envelope is becoming more relevant. It is necessary to consider both the architectural and building construction factors in the integration.
Beyond concepts for single family homes, Fraunhofer ISE is also working on solutions for urban quarters or even entire cities. Approaches for quarters that share a heat grid or detailed simulations to assist cities in implementing concrete steps to achieve their climate protection goal are just some examples of the support that Fraunhofer ISE can provide.