Fraunhofer study on the potential of PV and heat pumps in urban neighborhoods

The »Cluster of Excellence Integrated Energy Systems CINES« under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB – Advanced System Technology branch (IOSB-AST) has presented a study on the use of solar power as a local energy supply in an urban residential area. The research team investigated a residential quarter with 13 residential buildings and a total of 81 residential units – i.e. a comparatively loose development for inner cities – of the Vonovia housing company in Bochum, Germany. Around 1.3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) are required annually for heating and hot water, and 260,000 kWh for electrical energy. Photovoltaic systems with an output of 227 kilowatts are installed in the neighborhood.
In various scenarios, »flexibility options« like energy storage, electric vehicles, and heat pumps, were deployed to maximize self-consumption and the supply share from renewable energy sources in the total demand. The result was »self-consumption rates of almost 80 percent and a reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions of over 50 percent.« The IOSB-AST concludes that this also results in long-term price stability for residential quarters and, assuming appropriate operational management, a reduction in the burden on the »upstream energy system«.

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