Solar Decathlon building becomes research base for disaster management technology

A building designed at Darmstadt University of Technology (TU Darmstadt) for the 2009 international solar architecture competition »Solar Decathlon« has now been renovated and technically expanded after various stops in recent years to serve as an »eHUB« for research into technology for crisis and disaster management – especially for long-lasting supraregional power outages. Various departments of the German university as well as other stakeholders are involved as part of the »emergenCITY« project.
In the house, which is energy self-sufficient thanks to its photovoltaic system, it will be investigated, for example, whether island operation can be established for emergency communication in order to receive and forward messages from the disaster control service. Factors being tested include »ranges, run times and data volumes of emergency communications« when the building is cut off from the power grid. For the public, a network of eHUBs distributed throughout the city could be used, for example, to display important information on displays or provide electricity for the very most critical needs.

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