Solar-supported district heating networks - Future-oriented energy and heat supply in the region visited

Last Thursday, the Institute of new Energy Systems (InES) of the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI) offered interested persons from research, business, and politics the opportunity to get to know an innovative housing project with solar-supported heat supply on site. During an excursion of the projects "EffNet - Blended Learning for Energy Efficient Heat Networks in Rural Areas" and "LEnZ - Rural Energy Supply of the Future", participants gained insight into how solar thermal energy supply can be realised in rural district heating networks.

Dr Hermann Riess explains to the participants all the work steps in solar panel production with two production lines. In the first, collector frames are glued.

Dr Hermann Riess explains to the participants all the work steps in solar panel production with two production lines. In the second, the panes are mechanically fixed with glazing beads.

View into the solar panel production hall of CitrinSolar GmbH, which was built of wood in 2008 - the floor with concrete core activation ensures a pleasant room temperature of 18-19° in summer and winter. Up to 90 collectors are produced daily.

The 200kW woodchip boiler supplies the factory as well as the Sonnensiedlung with its KFW40+ houses. In addition, a collector area of 700m2 on the roof and 150m2 on the façade of the company enables up to 40% solar coverage for the Sonnensiedlung.

In the Bavarian town of Moosburg, a climate-neutral alternative to natural gas and oil-based heating was created by setting up a solar-supported district heating network which supplies the Sonnensiedlung. Since this year, 34 residential units in the form of six semi-detached and terraced houses as well as twelve condominiums in two apartment buildings are inhabited and supplied by solar thermal energy and the heat of a biomass boiler. The power supply is provided by photovoltaics and battery storage enabling the implementation of a mobility concept with the neighbourhood's own loanable e-vehicle and an e-cargo bike. The planning of the energy concept as well as the components of the solar thermal system and storages come from the local company CitrinSolar GmbH.

At the beginning of the excursion, the 25 participants were guided through the company premises of CitrinSolar GmbH by Dr. Hermann Riess and got to know the solar panel production as well as the central district heating station with the wood chip boiler. After lively discussions and the opportunity to see the components of the district heating network up close, Prof. Tobias Schrag gave a brief introduction to the EffNet and LEnZ projects. Afterwards, Hanns Koller, Managing Director of CS Wohnbau und CitrinSolar GmbH, presented the concept and the implementation of the CS Sonnensiedlung as a sustainable housing project with a local supply by solar thermal energy. Subsequently, Mr. Riess and his colleague Mr. Beckenbauer explained the possibilities of solar thermal energy integrated in rural district heating networks and presented planning, implementation and operation options based on scientific results. In the lively discussion that followed, the visitors exchanged views with the speakers, especially on the technology of the solar-supported district heating network and on the implementation possibilities of other innovative housing concepts.

The Technology Transfer and International Projects section of the InES is dedicated to networking applied research with regional and international players in the field of renewable energies. This also includes public events within the framework of the projects located here. These are intended to promote both the transfer of knowledge and the discussion about the future of renewable energies and the associated technologies.