Project leader: Fabian OchsLogo FitNeS

Project leader University of Innsbruck: Fabian Ochs

Project employees: Fabian Ochs, William Monteleone, Mara Magni

 Project Partners

  • element design - Stephan Breier e.U.
  • drexel reduziert GmbH
  • Ingenieurbüro Rothbacher GmbH
  • wInterface GmbH
  • Innsbrucker Immobilien GmbH & CoKG
  • Drexel und Weiss Energieeffiziente Haustechniksysteme GmbH

Funding program: ENERGIE DER ZUKUNFT, SdZ (FFG: the Austrian Research Promotion Agency)

Call: SdZ 5th call (2017)

Project Period: 01/09/2018 - 31/08/2021

Keywords: Modular, Fassade-integration, Heat pump, Renovation

Major topic and goals:

For future buildings – so-called nZEBs according to the EPBD – for both new constructions and renovations, efficient and cost-effective heating systems are required that can be operated in a flexible way with a high share of renewable energy (in particular PV/BIPV). The claim for comfortable indoor climate in summer increases and at the same time, the efficiency in the building sector must be considerably enhanced. Heat pumps are considered among most experts as one of the key technologies in the building sector, however in particular in high-density housing areas source exploitation is strongly limited. Accordingly, the market does not provide real alternatives to apartment gas boiler and electric boilers.
So-called mini-split heat pumps are a promising alternative solution, because these are available due to the extremely high quantities at low prices. Split type heat pumps with low power (in the range below 2.5 kW) can be made compact and cost effective and thus offer new possibilities. However, these split type heat pumps represent a real alternative only if the acceptance for them can be improved by means of improved modularity, design, architectural attractive integration in the building envelope, and reduced sound emissions.
The goal of FitNeS is the development of modular split heat pumps with compact and silent façade-integrated outdoor units for heating and domestic hot water preparation (and optionally cooling in combination with PV). The outstanding features of the concept are a modular design with a high degree of prefabrication and representing a visually and architectonically attractive, economic and sustainable solution for both new constructions and renovations.
In the project FitNeS different concepts for façade-integrated outdoor units will be developed and evaluated with regard to design, façade construction, accessibility (for maintenance), building physics, efficiency, etc. on the basis of the technical and non-technical boundary conditions. Diverse concepts for different capacities (e.g. 0.5 kW to 2.5 kW) and accordingly fan types/configurations and evaporator types/configurations will be designed and developed. The best of these concepts for façade-integrated outdoor units for split heat pumps will be selected and developed in detail and optimized with CAE and CFD tools. Functional models of the façade integrated outdoor unit will be produced and tested for pressure loss and sound emissions. One of the main development goals is the minimization of sound emissions by means of optimized flow control. Then, one functional model for a split-HP with the optimal façade-integrated outdoor unit will be build and tested laboratory with regard to performance and efficiency.
With a holistic and systematic approach all aspects of building physics, primary energy saving and efficiency will be evaluated and optimized while the architecturally attractive design remain in the foreground. The verification of compliance with the efficiency and the comfort criteria as well as indoor air quality is carried out by means of extensive dynamic building and system simulation using models validated with the laboratory experiments.
Finally, a functional model will be tested in one flat of a demo building with respect to performance, sound emissions and practical suitability (e.g. maintenance).


Project website on the FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) projectdatabase.

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