Energy transition in rural areas - Digital excursion to the company Heizomat and Dornhausen's heating network

Heating with wood chips - The fully automated biomass combustion plant of the Dornhausen local heating cooperative People in a production hall, one with a video camera

[Translate to English:] Menschen in einer Produktionshalle, einer mit Videokamera

(from left to right) LEnZ project manager Katharina Winterhalder, EffNet project manager Stefan Arlt, Heizomat sales manager Gerd Christ and video service provider Lucas Fuchs (lichtschreiber) preparing the video for the digital tour of the Heizomat production site in Maicha.

On 28th January 2021, the Institute of new Energy Systems (InES) of Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI) organised a digital excursion for the interested participants from business, research and politics. The key aim of the digital excursion was to provide novel insights into the topic of "Regenerative solutions for heating networks in rural areas" to the participants.
The event was organised within the framework of the two ongoing InES research projects "EffNet - Blended Learning for Energy-Efficient Heat Networks in Rural Areas" and "LEnZ - Rural Energy Supply of the Future". Due to the effects of the Corona pandemic it took place digitally via video conference. Through an innovative form, the more than 70 participants from all over southern Germany were nevertheless able to take part in a digital guided tour, a virtual 360°-degree inspection of Dornhausen's heating plant and followed expert presentations on the topic of "Rural energy supply of the future - interaction between entrepreneurial and cooperative players".  

Following the welcome and brief presentation of the EffNet and LEnZ projects by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tobias Schrag, the first expert speaker was Gerd Christ, Sales Manager of the company Heizomat - Gerätebau + Energiesysteme GmbH. The focus of his presentation was on biomass combustion systems and their suitability for regenerative heat generation in heating networks. After a short break, Christoph Bachmann, chairman of Nahwärme Dornhausen eG, took over and presented Dornhausen's local heating network solution to the participants. In his presentation, he specifically addressed the conceptualisation and implementation of such projects in rural areas through cooperatives. In addition to Mr. Christ's entrepreneurial perspective, Mr. Bachmann's presentation represented the demand-oriented perspective of the cooperative.     
Besides a theoretical part with expert lectures, an essential part of the InES excursions are the "on-site visits". This time, a tour of the Heizomat production site and the Dornhausen heating center had been planned. To offer the event participants an informative and exciting digital experience, the InES team made use of extraordinary tools so that the planned tours could also be depicted digitally. With the support of a video service provider, the tour of the Heizomat production site was presented via an interactive, approx. 20-minute video. The tour of the Dornhausen heating center was successfully compensated through a prepared, virtual 360° tour. After the individual items on the agenda, the event participants were able to address questions to the speakers or clarify questions about the two digital visits.

The department "Technology Transfer and International Projects" of the InES is dedicated to networking of applied research with regional and international players in the field of renewable energies. This also includes public events as part of the projects located in this area. This is intended to promote both knowledge transfer and discussion on the future of renewable energies and related technologies.

Short presentation of the EffNet & LEnZ projects - lecture by Prof. Schrag
Heat for an entire village - Nahwärme Dornhausen eG - presentation by Bachmann
Renewable solutions for heat supply in rural areas - Heizomat GmbH - presentation by Christ

Video of the excursion:
Heizomat company tour as part of the EffNet-LEnZ excursion 28.01.2021