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EXCESS project investigates positive energy buildings in four climatic zones

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At the start of October, the H2020 Excess project (FleXible user-CEntric Energy poSitive houseS) was officially initiated in Graz. The project brings together 21 partners from 8 European countries and is coordinated by the Joanneum Research Institute.

The aim of this 4-year project is to show that it is possible to transform nearly-zero energy buildings into positive energy buildings (PEBs). This means that a building which is producing the majority of the renewable energy it uses itself, after refurbishment, will be producing more energy than it actually needs. The technologies will be tested in 4 climatic zones, EnergyVille/VITO investigates the scale-up of buildings into PEBs and is involved in the Belgian demo set up together with Cordium, the social housing company in Hasselt.

 

To make Europe carbon neutral by 2050, the Energy transition of the EU building stock is an important objective. Although Nearly Zero Energy Buildings are slowly emerging, they are not sufficient to meet the climate objectives aimed for. An important role will therefore be played by positive energy buildings (PEB). A PEB is a building that, over the timespan of a year, produces more energy than it uses. In doing so they make optimal use of their own generated renewable energy (instead of using the grid for solving seasonal balancing issues). The energy not being used immediately, will be stored or used to provide energy for the adjacent buildings.

 

PEBs will be an important part of positive energy districts (PEDs) but still require developments with regard to materials, technologies and regulations. The European H2020 Excess project, coordinated by the Joanneum Research Institute, addresses the matter and investigates in 4 climatic zones (Finland, Austria, Belgium and Spain) how PEBs can be optimized, implemented and demonstrated. In doing so, the focus not only lies on new materials, technologies and integrated technologic systems, but also on the optimization of the synergy between the local energy production, storage and the energy use on building and district level. It aims to upgrade single technologies to be part of a larger system, enabling also local trading of energy and offering new services to grid operators or utilities.

 

EnergyVille/VITO is involved in the PEB definition and upscaling potential analysis. Additionally, they investigate the technology development of thermal energy storage and the Building Energy Management System applied in the Belgian demo of the social housing company Cordium in Hasselt.

 

Together with the 21 partners involved, the project had its official kick-off beginning October 2019. It runs over a period of 4 years. Demonstration will be accompanied by co-innovation, replication and exploitation activities to maximize the project technical, social and economic impact and to prepare for a future market roll out of the positive energy building concept.

 

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