Efficient energy management for buildings

Energy flows in ‘smart’ residential buildings

In the future, ensuring an energy supply based on renewables will require a fundamental transformation of our existing energy systems. In particular, the systems for supplying power, heat and mobility, which have previously been considered separately, will be increasingly coupled. The energy flows in our modelled residential building clearly show the benefts of this cross-sectoral use of energy. For all inhabitants, the basic requirement is that the supply of different types of power – for electricity, heating or drive systems for cars – must be reliable. In future, the previously separate supply channels for electricity, gas, oil, petrol or diesel will be interlinked in a decentralised, cross-sectoral system for ‘smart’ residential buildings.

An active building envelope provides the basis for the energy supply. It converts sunlight into power and heat by means of photovoltaic or solar thermal energy. This energy is either used directly within the home, stored or converted into synthetic biogas, to give one example. As such, solar energy is not only usable after a time delay, but is also available as a suitable source of energy, for heating systems and other purposes.

The key challenge for reliable energy supply in decentralised systems is to achieve intelligent energy management. The DLR Institute of Networked Energy Systems focuses on this very topic by investigating system-oriented issues in its work on coupling the power, heat and mobility sectors effciently. The scientists are looking at different levels of system, from individual units and ‘smart’ buildings through to networked residential districts and cities. In addition, the Institute is evaluating energy systems at a national and international level based on self-developed network structure models and technology assessment methods.

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Alexander Dyck · E-Mail: alexander.dyck@dlr.de · DLR.de/en