The Building

 

The E.ON Energy Research Center (E.ON ERC) is proud to own an excellent research infrastructure which is hosted in the lab space divided in 1.000 m2 in our experimental hall, 650 m2 in our main building and 50 m2 in the SENSE building. The experimental hall offers a wide range of capabilities for experimental work in the areas of heating and air-conditioning systems, generation and storage systems, energy concepts for buildings and communities as well as room airflows. The lab space in the main building hosts several infrastructures: a comfort room with the aspects of thermal comfort, air quality and acoustics and a lab for variable test benches; a lab with a real-time simulation infrastructure, along with communication and automation equipment; a lab with high-quality technical equipment for measuring a variety of rock physical properties and geophysical parameters in the field and in boreholes. The SENSE building offers the Smart Energy Lab which is currently being built and will host computing facilities, work places for electronics development, a visualization system for City District Energy Systems as well as components of the FI-lab cloud system aiming at providing a test bed for cloud-based Energy Services for Smart Cities.

Apart from the facilities in the direct vicinity of the E.ON ERC, the Energy Storage Group maintains an extensive test- and analysis facility in the eastern part of Aachen. There is a wide range of test setups ranging from about 500 programmable electric test benches for battery cells, to high power test stands for battery packs to a HIL-setup for PV-storage-systems to thermographic instrumentation and a shock and vibration test bench.

 

Energy Concept of the Main Building

Cooling and Heating System E.ON ERC

Constructing energy efficient buildings and ensuring the thermal comfort of the occupants is a hard task to be fulfilled by architects and engineers. A common solution for this task is to very strongly insulate the surrounding walls and windows. For office buildings this strong insulation shifts the annual energy consumption from heating and cooling energy.
Therefore the energy concept of the E.ON ERC Main Building reduces the energy demand for heating and cooling with a responsible insulation. This is achieved by highly integrated and complex energy generation, conservation, distribution and benefit transfer. More

 

Architecture and Construction

E.ON ERC Building Peter Winandy

The plans for the E.ON Energy Research Center provide for a cubic, compact structure positioned on a plane built like terrace into the hillside, which is gently sloping towards the southeast. The plane thus figures as a counterpart to the existing experimental hall. The room layout is organized on four levels. The ground floor features the main entrance an foyer, the adjacent administrative facilities, as well as seminar and meeting rooms. Workshops, laboratories and technology space are found on the basement floor. Office space for the five institutes and a number of smaller CIP pools are located on the first and second floors. The top level consists of the technology floor and PV test field, accessible for teaching processes. More

 

Energy Monitoring

Energy Monitoring Graph E.ON ERC

The monitoring system allows the users to see beneath the surface of the building, offering a better understanding of how the building and its technical equipment work and how it can be improved. Different types of data can be collected by a complex network of sensors, for example weather data like outside air temperature and global radiation, indoor comfort data like CO2- concentration and air humidity, energy data like flow and return temperatures of the concrete core activation circuits. This information can be used to identify problems in the operation of the technical equipment. Furthermore they can be used validate the thermal simulation models for the building. Using these models new control strategies can be tested before applying them in the actual building. More

 

Control Strategy

Control Panel E.ON ERC

Optimizing building automation systems includes a large potential in terms of energy efficiency and thermal comfort. Once parameterized, building automation systems are often let well alone as handed over after construction’s completion due to the lack of skilled professionals, time or money. Two approaches, cognitive based and algorithm based, are carried out to optimize the building automation at the new E.ON ERC Main Building. The process of increasing the understanding of the energy concept’s characteristics, developing new control strategies, their evaluation via simulations, and, given superiority, applying to the building is termed cognitive optimization. More