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Refrigeration and Energy Technology Research Platform in Vogtland Funded with 15 Million Euros from Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Chemnitz University of Technology, Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration Dresden, and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE Freiburg are developing an innovative platform for research, development, and education in the field of refrigeration and air conditioning technology in Reichenbach in the Vogtland region of Germany

http://www.mytuc.org/KETECThe German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding a Research Platform for Refrigeration and Energy Technology. This platform is being established by Chemnitz University of Technology, the Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration Dresden, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE Freiburg in Reichenbach im Vogtland with a total of 15 million euros.

On March 11, 2021, Thomas Rachel, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Education and Research, explains: "I am pleased about today's starting gun for the establishment of the Refrigeration and Energy Technology Research Platform. In recent years, the Free State of Saxony and the Vogtland region have developed into a knowledge region for refrigeration technology. World-class companies and high-performance educational institutions have their home here. We are now expanding this portfolio to include a strong research innovation platform that combines the area’s strengths of science, education, and business. Our goal is to set international standards for resource-saving refrigeration and energy technology through this promising project. We are addressing a megatopic of the energy transition: Around 50 percent of Germany's final energy consumption is needed to supply heating and cooling. To achieve our climate protection goals, we need solutions for an energy-efficient and climate-friendly cold supply that is affordable and socially acceptable at the same time. In the long term, the research platform has what it takes to become a national and international pacesetter in this regard."

Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer emphasizes: "Innovation and research are the hallmarks of the Free State of Saxony. The research platform is an important part of the planned federal competence center for refrigeration and air conditioning technology in the Vogtland region. In the future, energy-efficient solutions for companies will be developed using the know-how of industry and science available in the region. The Free State of Saxony has been committed to the implementation of this innovative project for quite some time. I am pleased that the federal government is giving this joint project a powerful boost with 15 million euros." Sebastian Gemkow, Saxony's State Minister for Science, added: "The ambitious project in Reichenbach is not just about classic refrigeration technology. In the future, new processes in refrigeration and energy technology will be understood, developed, and implemented there in combination with artificial intelligence. This platform enables interdisciplinary research at a high level as well as the development of new academic learning and training methods. At the same time, it strengthens university engagement in the region."

Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier, President of Chemnitz University of Technology: "We are extremely pleased about the funding decision for the establishment of the Refrigeration and Energy Technology Research Platform and would like to express our sincere thanks to the Federal Government as well as to the Free State of Saxony for their support. This will not only enable us to make an extremely important contribution to the energy transition, but also to press ahead with our plan to establish a center of excellence as a branch of Chemnitz University of Technology in Reichenbach. I would like to congratulate Professor Urbaneck and Professor Richter very warmly for their extremely successful work for Chemnitz University of Technology."

Project coordinator Prof. Dr. Thorsten Urbaneck, Head of the Department of Thermal Energy Storage at the Professorship of Technical Thermodynamics at Chemnitz University of Technology, emphasizes that the platform’s focus is on our society’s energy technology and energy industry requirements: "In terms of content, the topics include the best possible application of electricity from renewable energy sources, the greater use of waste heat, the use of new ecological refrigerants and efficient energy storage. The related technical problems and solutions we will be working on in the future are significant, for example, for food supply, air conditioning in buildings or district cooling supply, energy supply in industry and the operation of data centers."

Background: Refrigeration and Energy Technology Research Platform

The Refrigeration and Energy Technology Research Platform will be established in Reichenbach im Vogtland over the next four years. New refrigerants and storage materials will be investigated there. Furthermore, the development of refrigeration machines, heat pumps, recoolers, and heat and cold storage systems is planned. Accompanying research work will be concerned with the application of information technology and artificial intelligence methods in this field. The research results and the platform will also be used for academic education. The project is funded from March 2021 to April 2025 with approximately 15 million euros from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the German government's 7th Energy Research Program - "Innovations for the Energy Transition." The project is coordinated by the Professorship of Technical Thermodynamics at Chemnitz University of Technology. Research partners are the Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE Freiburg.

Additional information: www.mytuc.org/KETEC

(Source: Joint press release from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Saxon State Chancellery, supplemented with quotes from Chemnitz University of Technology)

(Author: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Mario Steinebach
12.03.2021

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