Freiburg hosts decentralized energy district

A district within the south-western German city of Freiburg is to use a mix of solar thermal and district heating for its entire power and heat requirement.

The Gutleutmatten project will produce heat and hot water production for the district using 2,287 m² of solar collectors. During periods with low solar irradiation, the buildings will be supplied with heat from a district heating system.
The plan is to use this clean energy technology to service 500 new residential units, each with a heated floor space of roughly 40,000 m² and housing about 1,300 people.

The German Federal Environment Ministry is supporting the € 3.5 million project with a € 330,000 contribution.

Austrian solar thermal expert TiSun will supply the thermal collectors totalling an area of nearly 2,300 m² for the installation of 34 single solar thermal systems on the roofs of these buildings.

With an expected solar thermal heat generation of 700 MWh per year, the new systems will generate enough heat to supply the district during the summer months. When there is not enough sunlight to provide hot water and heat all the buildings, the houses will receive their heat from a cogeneration plant in the area.

The concept for the combination of district heating and solar thermal energy was developed by the regional energy service provider Badenova Wärmeplus in cooperation with the institute for solar energy systems Fraunhofer ISE.

The institute will accompany and analyse the development of the urban district to collect new insights that could prove useful in later projects.

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