Smart Solutions for Empowered Consumers: Hybrid Heating and Demand Side Management in Germany

An old boiler in a small German town was converted into a state-of-the-art heating installation, combining on-site and local renewable energy, liquid fuel back-up heater and demand-side management system.

IWO Pressebild Innovationshaus aussenIWO system

(The Innovation House in Wolfhagen. Photos: IWO)

Eurofuel’s German member IWO, the major heating appliance manufacturer Viessmann and the local public utility of Wolfhagen in northern Hessen have joined forces to install an ultramodern heating system in a small town single-family house, which is now known as the “Innovation House” in Wolfhagen.

A more than 20-year-old boiler was replaced with an innovative and efficient hybrid heater, which combines oil condensing technology and an electric heat pump. On-site renewable electricity is generated through photovoltaic panels, complemented with energy produced in local wind and photovoltaic energy parks. A smart appliance enables to switch the heat generation depending on economic and environmental factors: when sufficient renewable electricity is produced on-site or in the local grid at inexpensive tariffs, it is used to run the electric heat pump. When renewable electricity is unavailable on-site or only in limited amounts in the grid, with high prices, and when the storage units are empty, the system switches to the highly efficient oil condensing boiler.

Eurofuel meterEurofuel display

(The liquid fuel storage tank (l); the display on the condensing oil boiler (r). Photos: Eurofuel)

This modern installation is fully integrated with the town’s demand side management system. Wolfhagen generates on average 100 per cent of its electricity from local renewable sources. However, due to daily and seasonal fluctuations, solutions are needed to achieve better synchronisation between the demand and the supply. As the supply of wind and sun depends on the weather and can hardly be influenced, Wolfhagen’s public utility has introduced a smart management system of the electricity demand with progressive tariffs based on the availability of renewable electricity. The Innovation House in Wolfhagen contributes to a stable management of the demand, by using grid electricity for heating only when it is available in high amounts and low prices.

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(Wolfhagen's electricity generation and demand. Photo: Eurofuel)

Furthermore, liquid fuel with reduced greenhouse gas emissions will shortly start to be used in the long-term storage tank, which will further reduce emissions when the heat is generated by the condensing boiler.

The Innovation House was presented to the public on 4 December 2017, in presence of the homeowner, Ralf Rauwolf, following an interesting conference on the role of liquid fuels in the energy transition, particularly through energy efficiency, hybrid heating systems and the deployment of new fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Speakers included Adrian Willig (Director, IWO), Reinhard Schaake (Mayor of Wolfhagen), Margrit Schaede (Hessen’s Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Transport and Regional Development), Dr. Frank Voßloh (Managing Director, Viessmann Germany), Christian Halper (Project Leader for the Pilot Project, IWO), Markus Huntzinger (Team Leader for Renewable Energy, Wolfhagen’s public utility) and Klaus Lucka (Director, TEC4FUELS).

IWO speakers

(From left to right: Christian Halper, Dr. Frank Voßloh, Reinhard Schaake and Adrian Willig at the launch of the Innovation House. Photo: IWO)

Further information on IWO's website (in German)