Energy Systems

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The aim of our work is to develop efficient energy systems. We develop and optimize energy-efficient and economical energy systems through the interaction of energy supply, distribution, storage, and use. The focus lies on local energy systems and the integration of renewable energies.

Municipal Energy Transition and Grid Transformation

We develop solutions to design transformation pathways for municipal energy systems and heating networks. In doing so, we cooperate closely with public utilities and municipalities. We develop integral concepts, create measurement concepts and evaluate them, investigate dynamic system behavior and perform multi-criteria evaluations. Furthermore, we prepare demonstration projects and implement promising energy concepts together with our partners.

Energy System Optimization

The future of energy supply is regenerative, but also dynamic and diverse.  Short-term fluctuations in regenerative electricity generation must be compensated for by a large number of small, spatially distributed plants. At the same time, the sectors of electricity, heat and gas supply, and production and mobility are increasingly converging. These complex requirements are countered by a multitude of system variants and operating options. With the help of mathematical optimization models, we develop energy-efficient and economical energy systems. We optimize the dimensioning and operation of energy supply plants and storage facilities in future markets.

Optimized District Systems

Whether for existing buildings or new construction projects – we support you both in the climate-neutral and economical design of districts. Our distinctive feature: the integrated consideration of electricity and heat supply as well as refurbishment options and e-mobility. With the help of appropriate models and mathematical optimization, we select the ecologically and economically most suitable concept from the numerous technology and efficiency options. By considering different scenarios, we make the district ready for the future.

A look at research in the Energy Systems department



Flexibilization potential in the cooling sector

By making cooling supply systems more flexible, CO2 emissions can be reduced by 22 to 39 percent. Fraunhofer UMSICHT came to this conclusion in the "FlexKaelte" project. At the same time, the researchers found that there are still a number of obstacles and hurdles on the way to flexibilization. How these obstacles can be overcome is the focus of the follow-up project "FlexBlue"



Municipal heat planning in practice

The "Heat Planning and Decarbonization of Heating Networks Act" requires Germany's municipalities to undertake a municipal heat planning by developing strategies for the conversion of their energy supply to renewable energies and unavoidable waste heat. The partners in the joint project "KommWPlanPlus" are focusing on how these plans can be designed across sectors and successfully implemented in practice.


Tools and measures for shaping the heating transition

In the "PlaWaTT" project, Fraunhofer UMSICHT and ASEW want to evaluate and characterize tools and measures for shaping the heating transition and make them available via an online platform.


Model-based planning of energy systems

With ESyOpT® to sustainable supply


Climate-friendly thermal energy for 836 residential units in Oberhausen

Energetic district development: Refurbishment concept relies on intelligent cogeneration of electricity and heat and ensures energy-efficient living space.


Hydrogen concepts in urban districts

The supply of tomorrow, already thought today


Hybrid urban Energy Storage®

Intelligent, efficient and reliable

Reference projects of the department Energy Systems



Energy-efficient district development


QUENTIN is creating energy-efficient and affordable living space in the urban quarter Tackenberg of Oberhausen by planning, implementing and investigating four local heating islands with flexible CHP systems and refurbishment concepts.



Accelerating the energy transition in the neighborhood

In the "Future-iQ" project, integral neighborhood solutions for the socially acceptable decarbonization of existing residential neighborhoods are being developed.


Stadt als Speicher

Virtual storage of

Fraunhofer UMSICHT has investigated how virtual energy storage systems can be practically implemented in urban regions. The results show which systems should preferably be integrated and how the technical connection and control can be realized.



Redox flow batteries for private homes

Fraunhofer UMSICHT is researching the development of innovative energy concepts and the system integration of redox flow batteries using photovoltaic systems in private homes at its model site for renewable energy supply in Herne.



Concept for combined heat and power generation

A new concept for combined heat and power generation reacts to fluctuating market prices and compensates for bottlenecks in the local grid. The combination of CHP with heat storage and power-to-heat is a building block in the energy transition.



Hybrid Energy Storage Hospital

The project "Hybrid Energy Storage Hospital" (HESKH) deals with the question of whether and how the supply systems of hospitals can be used for electrical energy balancing. In addition to determining the potential itself, the project also examines the importance of precise heat load forecasts for the planning of flexible system operation.



Making cooling supply systems more flexible

The aim of the project "FlexKaelte" is to develop basics for the evaluation of the flexibilization of cooling supply systems and to show the potential for electrical energy balancing in Germany.



New strategies for municipal utilities

Within the framework of SW.Developer, a development environment is being created that supports municipal utilities in evaluating energy technologies as well as aligning their product portfolio with the requirements of the future energy system.



Municipal utilities as local players in the energy transition

Municipal utilities as local players in the energy transition: Within the framework of TrafoSW, solutions for the transformation and reorientation of municipal utilities were developed.