Integrated Multi-Energy Systems

Integrated energy systems are investigated at Empa both in theory, i.e. based on computer simulations and models, and practical experiments. Various factors are crucial for a sustainable energy concept in a building complex or neighborhood: the building’s energy consumption itself and its possible optimization, such as through the use of a new insulating material; the microclimate around the building; the potential for harvesting, converting, storing and transporting renewable energies; and the integration of sustainable mobility. Modeling these general multi-energy systems is of paramount importance here.

“Energy hubs” are energy networks at neighborhood level. The aim is to provide fresh insights into how a larger area’s electricity, cooling and heating needs can be met. Energy flows in the mobility and leisure sector are coupled and the technical and economic boundaries determined. Moreover, gas, heating/cooling and electricity grids are operated jointly. Such a combined network can absorb energy, and store, convert and re-release it again as and when needed. Empa studies and researches energy hubs. It carries out computer simulations and modeling and operates initial networks in a realistic environment, such as in the demonstrator NEST with an integrated energy hub, which facilitates a dynamic combination of different energy sources and storage possibilities through different conversion paths for both the building and mobility sectors.

Dr. Kristina Orehounig

Dr. Kristina Orehounig
Head Urban Energy Systems Laboratory

Phone: +41 58 765 4357