Local Energy Communities (LECs) will be an important element of the future energy system.
These community-led cooperatives cooperate in the production, distribution, storage and
supply of energy at local level with the aim to maximize the on-site generation and the selfconsumption
of renewable energy. To implement a LEC, local stakeholders with their energy
planners (the need owners) must be enabled to identify the optimal structure of their LEC
energy system and assess the related benefits in order to convince the citizens to join the
cooperative. To identify the optimal energy system design of a LEC is a challenge, since the
availability of local energy resources must be considered as well as the coupling of the electricity,
heating, cooling and mobility sectors, the temporal dynamic by renewable energy
sources, the flexibility options and the local energy cost structure. Since related design, control
and monitoring tools for LECs are not available yet, CLUE will develop and validate such
an innovative planning tool for LECs. Components providing flexibility are key for LECs,
CLUE will evaluate different flexibility technologies in five demonstration sites to understand
their potential under different framework conditions. The integration of the LECs in the surrounding
energy system is another aspect covered by CLUE, by identification of KPIs, which
are relevant for the DSO of the surrounding electricity system to interact with the LEC in an
optimal way. The integration of LECs in the future ICT architecture (hierarchical/decentral)
will be analyzed based on existing architectures (e.g., web-of-cells approach). CLUE will
demonstrate the tool as well as evaluate different technological flexibility options in 5 demos
In an innovation lab in Austria further flexibility from e-mobility combined with contact-less
automatic charging will be integrated (Burgenland) and the combination of a central storage
and several intelligent energy management systems (Styria).
New smart energy products and services will be explored, implemented and tested in the
LECs as for example blockchain-based services (e.g., energy ledger, contact-less automatic
charging of e-vehicles). The different types of LEC stakeholders (need owners), e.g. cooperatives,
project developer, DSOs, owners and operators of LECs, utilities, supplier of energy
and ICT infrastructure will participate in CLUE. Thereby, the relevant internal and external
drivers, success factors and barriers (technical, economic and regulatory) for LECs can be
identified in co-creation workshops and transition paths can be developed. LECs differ a lot
since their energy and organizational structure must be adapted to local framework conditions
(energy sources, demand, regulation, etc.). CLUE will contribute to the replication of
LECs by providing the experiences from different best practice solutions, an innovative planning
Additional Research Projects
Local Energy Communities (LECs) will be an important element of the future energy system.
Energy flexibility aims to combine conflicting interests of energy suppliers, grid and building operators and developers, as well as users and society by furthering the utilization of predictable but volatile renewable energy supply of future magnitudes.
Energy flexibility further relieves energy grids and reduces the necessity of additional energy storage capabilities.
Buildings and Quarters play a vital role in this process, their construction, appliances and usages lending themselves to adaptation for flexible utilization of renewable energy.
Users are however known to react very sensitively to changes in building operation and control over building comfort. Further research on user’s acceptance of energy flexible services is therefore needed, as monetary incentives – although intensely researched - represent only one aspect of evolving user behaviour.
The current challenge is to quantify and balance the multiple dimensions of advantages and disadvantages, which arise from flexible energy services for each stakeholder.
This project aims to improve planning of energy flexibility in construction and refurbishment in three key areas:
4. Extension of existing static models of thermal user comfort to include dynamic effects
5. Quantification of the ancillary service by energy flexibility by preparation of a quarter-hourly resolved carbon emission and “availability-of-RES”-signal for the future Austrian power grid
6. Holistic evaluation of the developed comfort model and ancillary service signals on three different examples of possible plus energy quarters including the evaluation of investment and life cycle cost and life cycle assessment.
The project results are
1. Experimentally verified dynamic user comfort model, that allows inference on user’s acceptance on thermal energy flexibility measures
2. A quarter-hourly resolved carbon emission and availability-of-RES-signal for the future Austrian power grid according to the main RES scenarios 2030 – 2050, allowing for the assessment of energy flexibility in the context of energy transition
3. Holistic evaluation of three potential flexible plus energy quarters including results 1 and 2, as well as heuristic methods for its optimization
A large proportion of renewable energy sources, often generated in a volatile way,
places high demands on integration and security of supply of the entire energy.
Trends towards a high level of on-site generation (keyword positive energy districts)
should be realised without additional peak loads from feed-in peaks (PV) or
simultaneous consumption (e-cars, peak in heating consumption).
In dense urban areas, on the one hand demand side management and storage can
help to solve these problems by adjusting local energy feed-ins and consumption to
volatile on-site generation. On the other hand, energy storages in the district can
bring increased flexibility to the energy grid. District heating networks have
enormous potential in this respect, since the aforementioned approach is still
relatively unknown in the arena of district heating and because there is an evident
need to optimize networks in order to sustainably ensure new connections to the
grid in the future. But integrated energy systems also provide new flexibility to the
The project aims to develop a concept for incorporating innovative (positive energy)
districts with a high level of on-site energy generation into the existing transmission
grid infrastructure (electricity and district heating grid) in a grid-supportive manner.
This will create a ‘win-win’ situation for suppliers and grid operators, as well as for
consumers, investors and developers. Moreover, comprehensive analyses
concerning technical, economical, legal and social issues will be conducted in an
integrated way. The project’s innovative content is the development of a scientific
method for optimal system design including storage technologies as well as the
development of a local control strategy to enable interaction with the entire
network. In this way the district’s envisaged daily, weekly and seasonal storages
could react in a flexible, cross-sectoral manner to the needs of the grid and prevent
or reduce power peaks. The envisaged HVAC concept will be subject to a sociological
acceptance assessment and will result in several user-friendly, practicable load
shifting measures. Life cycle based cost optimizations supported by suitable business
and operator models complement the analysis.
Another innovative element of the project is the involvement of a real-life positive
energy district in the Vienna district of Floridsdorf (Pilzgasse) and the intended
consultation with other possible positive energy districts and relevant stakeholders
throughout the project.
This should result in clear conclusions regarding the need for adaptation during the
planning stage. Intensive collaboration between scientists and property developers
(or their planners) should lead to findings that are robust and applicable in real life.
The findings and solutions from “Zukunftsquartier 2.0” will be developed into
instruction manuals and instruments of planning and process support for further
district developments so the project can have a broad impact. These widely
applicable technical, economic and methodological findings about how to plan
(positive energy) districts in a grid-supportive way will be disseminated among
relevant target groups (planners, property developers, cities) via targeted activities.
ENGINE: Engineering goes international
In order to prepare for diverse labour markets and to recruit international students, the offer of foreign language (especially English) higher education with an international profile becomes increasingly important. The project ENGINE project addresses this need with several measures.
Together with international partners, ENGINE develops an engineering case study in mixed international teams. This also enables students with limited physical mobility (e.g., due to professional obligations) to make virtual experiences abroad. Case-development is based on extensive previous experience from interdisciplinary workshops and case studies. The student teams have to solve several technical and non-technical, country-specific tasks. Solutions are presented online to world-wide distributed lecturers. In order to ensure a sound practical orientation, the case study scenarios are based on real-world companies use cases. The small (20%) research part of the project develops country-specific parameterizable demonstrators for the teaching case study (for example a 3D-printed robot vehicle).
In the course of the case studies, ENGINE expands the existing international university network and defines 1-3 focus partners for the FHTW study programs in mechatronics/ robotics, mechanical engineering and international business engineering, with whom a particularly intensive co-operation should be set up (e.g., joint degree, joint curriculum development, research projects).
In order to make UAS Technikum Wien courses sustainably attractive in an international context (establishing the university as an adequate academic partner), ENGINE examines the areas in which foreign-language engineering courses could be created in cooperation with the international partners, and defines respective internationalization measures in the curricula (learning content, learning targets, methods, lecturers, literature and also mobility windows). In terms of content, ENGINE identifies country-specific differentiation requirements for teaching in the engineering environment (e.g., due to different technical standards, intercultural peculiarities, deviating financial/ legal systems). Teachers may be supported with training courses. Also important are gender/ diversity goals (e.g., taking into account the heterogeneous professional experiences of engineers who work in fundamentally similar engineering projects worldwide).
UAS Technikum Wien students benefit from this offer in many ways: They are able to actively apply their expertise in the international science language. They are better prepared for the international labour market, and already have own intercultural experiences, even in case, their personal situation (e.g., occupation, care obligation, salary, health restriction) does not permit a stay abroad. As a synergy effect ENGINE strengthens the possibilities for student mobility and enables international encounters with incoming students "at home" by expanding the worldwide network of partners.
Well-chosen dissemination measures stimulate university-internal multi-use and external accessi-bility to the project results for Viennese (higher) schools, companies and the population.
Biokunststoffe - vom Wissen zur Anwendung
A tailor-made seminar on bioplastics and their application is carried out for 10 Austrian companies. Motivation: ""Bioplastics"" are materials made from renewable resources and/or biodegradable. Well-known examples are thermoplastic starch (TPS) and polylactic acid (PLA); Bioplastics are characterized by a higher sustainability than fossil plastics (e.g. resource conservation, climate change, microplastics in the sea). However, they are also more expensive than fossil plastics and have a narrower processing window. Today, bioplastics have a market share of 2%, and their distribution is steadily increasing. In practice companies struggle with unknown characteristics and processing difficulties of bioplastics, as well as with questions of positioning. Among the 10 companies, there is a high level of knowledge about conventional plastics. However, bioplastics require special knowledge, which is not common. This knowledge is typically built up by the manufacturers individually, and there is no wide educational offer with regard to bioplastics. This was confirmed by a research in the German-speaking world in July 2017.
Qualification objectives: The participating companies have experience with conventional plastics; The knowledge about bioplastics is still very limited. The aim is to increase the level of knowledge of bioplastics to that of conventional plastics. The seminar aims at specific applications (1 product per affiliate company). Within the framework of this project, production-safe and market-oriented bioplastics products and their positioning are discussed. In advance, there was a joint preparatory workshop (1/2 day on June 9, 2017) to detail the needs of the companies. The measure ""BioKSem"" consists of a 5-day training. After the training, there is an individual follow-up with the participants (one day each) to ensure the transfer into practice (outside project budget and scope, provided by the organizers). The focus of the qualification measures is based on the practical feasibility.
IoCEST - Internationalisation of the Curricula in Engineering, Environmental, Smart Cities and Sport Technologies
IoCEST („Internationalization of the Curricula in Engineering, Environmental, Smart Cities and Sport Technologies“) is a project dedicated to establishing structural and curricular frameworks in the context of internationalization of teaching/teacher training/didactics. Its aim is to provide all students at FH Technikum with the opportunity to obtain a variety of intercultural and international competencies which serve as beneficial and profitable key skills for the national and international employment markets.
Despite the fact that internationalization works as a strategic and defining factor at FH Technikum, only a number of students is able to profit from the ideal parameters of its diverse programs, which is, in part, due to the diversity of the student body. In order to fulfill our role as an institution of higher education, to meet economic as well as societal expectations, and to prepare all students for the job market to the best of our abilities, this project pursues three main objectives: First, IoCEST is invested in internationalizing the curricula of 13 selected degree programs at FH Technikum in order to embed the acquisition of key competencies and skills within the respective courses.
The formulation/verbalization of “international learning outcomes” forms the basis of this objective; within this frame, measures with the regard to the internationalization of the respective programs can be taken. In collaboration with 9 strategic international partner institutions, this project seeks to create synergies within the frame of FH Technikum’s curricula as well as student and staff mobility in order to support and foster research cooperation and carve out the additional benefits of teamwork for all involved parties. Second, the project intends to develop and implement a “Certificate for Cross-Cultural Competences for Engineers.” In the context of program modules, all students at FH Technikum will be given the extracurricular opportunity to obtain this intercultural certificate and thereby make their international and intercultural skills visible and marketable. The third objective concerns the development and realization of a study module in the context of “Industrial Engineering.”
This program, which uses English as its medium of instruction, comprises courses in the fields of mechanical engineering, renewable energy, smart cities, mechatronics, sports technologies, as well as gender and diversity, and is mainly offered to incoming international students. This module will be interconnected with the “Certificate for Engineers” and thereby made available to all students as a type of “internationalization at home.” IoCEST is predicated on the diversity of the study body and is set on joining internationalization with the unique qualities of the individual subject disciplines. In this way, students devoted to technical modules and programs receive optimal preparation for the national and international employment markets. FH Technikum’s international orientation as well as its investment in domains such as Industry 4.0, Renewable Energies, Smart Cities, and Sport Technologies innervate its status as a high-value, forward-looking tertiary institution, both in Vienna and on an international level. On a larger scale, FH Technikum strengthens Vienna as a business and industry site in this way.
eLearning Endowment Professorship
By implementing a sustainable eLearning strategy for the university as a whole , the eLearning Endowment Professorship aims to make an essential contribution to the flexibilization of vocational studies. eDidactic methods and eLearning tools are going to be systematized. Subsequently these methods and tools are going to be enrolled to all types of study degrees at UAS Technikum Wien. The implementation of new Blended Learning study types additionally contributes to the flexibilisation of vocational studies. Trainings about eDidactic methods and eLearning tools as well as Gender Mainstreaming trainings and Diversity Management activities are going to secure and increase the quality of the employees‘ competences. The efficiency of these trainings is going to be verified by the qualification program „eQUAL“, which will also be developed during the eLearning endowment professorship. Furthermore, the Professorship‘s online platform will support continuous information and knowledge transfer.
Photonics - Foundations and industrial applications
The project is focused on the implementation and extension of student courses and laboratory sessions in step with actual practice. The connection to practical applications will be established by experiments that are suitable for use in lectures and laboratory sessions. Experiments are planned from the fields of quantum cryptography, imaging systems, light-emitting-diodes and foundations of optics. The experiments are planned in high reproduction to ensure small student groups and efficient learning and gender equality. In project sessions students will work with colour- and brightness-controll-units. Photonical concepts of sensorics, instrumentation and optomechatronics will be studied and the use of photonical technologies from traffic and intelligent transport systems for image processing, augmented reality will be used in laboratory and project sessions.