RES4BUILD combines an ensemble of different building-integrated renewable energy technologies in a cost-efficient solution for decarbonizing the energy consumption in buildings. The approach of the project is flexible, so that the solutions are applicable to a wide variety of buildings, new or renovated, tailored to their size, their type and the climatic zones of their location. In the heart of the solution lies an innovative multi-source heat pump with a cascading configuration, including a magnetocaloric (bottom cycle) and a vapour compression (top cycle) heat pump. This innovative heat pump will be combined with other technologies, which will be selected on a case-by-case basis from a mix of standard equipment available in the market and from innovative components that will be developed within the project. The novel components include innovative collectors that integrate in one panel photovoltaic cells with solar thermal energy collectors (PV/T) and borehole thermal energy storage (BTES).

   The ambient (and where applicable geothermal) energy used by the heat pump will be complemented by solar energy harvested through innovative collectors that integrate in a single panel photovoltaic (PV) cells and thermal collectors resulting to a PV/Thermal (PV/T) collector. The heat pump will be mostly driven from the electricity that the PV/T collectors will generate, while it will operate at solar-assisted mode during winter, i.e. the heat pump will be supplied by low-temperature heat produced by the PV/T, increasing the performance of both the solar panel and the heat pump at cold ambient conditions. Additional electricity to cover other building needs can be provided by PV or building-integrated PV (BIPV) solutions.

   A simple, low-temperature, short-term thermal energy storage will be used for storing the heat produced by the PV/T in the form of hot water. The temperature of the stored heat will be controlled, in order to maximize the integrated performance of the heat pump and the PV/T in winter. Two additional small buffer tanks are included for storing the produced heat for space heating and for domestic hot water (DHW), providing an additional degree of freedom to the control system. On top of that, borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) will be used, when applicable, for long term/seasonal storage.

   Moreover, an innovative modelling and control will be developed and will be integrated in a Building Energy Management System (BEMS). This will allow to optimise the use of the system, while respecting the needs and requirements of the end-users. As part of this process, demand response will be activated, exploiting the value of demand flexibility, which can be enhanced through smart appliances and smart charging of electric vehicles.

   The testing of the prototype systems will take place in Greece, Denmark and Belgium. The countries have been selected to represent different climatic conditions, but also based on the location of the partners that have the expertise and facilities to carry out the testing.

   The project adopts a co-development approach, where the end-users and other relevant stakeholders are engaged in an interactive and iterative process, resulting in a co-designed RES4BUILD system that meets technical and non-technical user and installer requirements. In parallel, a full life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle economics (LCE) analysis will be carried out, showing from an early stage the real impact of each proposed design.

Below, the overall concept for winter and summer operation are illustrated, respectively.

Fig. 1. RES4BUILD concept at summer operating mode

Fig. 2. RES4BUILD concept at summer operating mode


Partnership partners