8 March 2021 | updated: 27.10.2021

Consuming energy in the same place as it is produced has many advantages. To ensure such energy is used as efficiently as possible, researchers at TU Dresden are currently developing a box that can be easily installed in buildings and determine the energy flows there. Regional broadcaster Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk recently reported on the project.


A single-family home can act as an autonomous cell. Energy experts consider this to be the case whenever residents primarily use energy produced on site for their own requirements. Researchers refer to this as a “cellular approach”. The aim is that energy consumption and production are largely in tune with each other. Instead of feeding surplus electricity produced from a rooftop photovoltaic installation into the grid, for instance, it can be temporarily stored in a battery and later used to charge an electric car.

To ensure that this takes place in as economical, efficient, and environmentally friendly a manner as possible, an intelligent control system is required. To this end, scientists at TU Dresden’s Institute of Power Engineering are currently working on the development of a small box, which uses algorithms that analyse the thermal and electrical requirements of a building. Based on these analyses, the operation of the systems in the house can be improved. This takes place through the optimized regulation of systems, technological amendments, and adjustments to operating algorithms, for example. The intelligent box is thus able to optimize elements such as the communication between the photovoltaic installation, the car battery, and the heat pump. The development of the box can be partly traced back to the EnEff:Stadt project focused on a thermal/electrical system (TEK-EKG) for buildings and districts.

System put to the test in a car dealership

A thermal/electrical system, known as the TEK-EKG box, is used to conduct a preliminary analysis of suitable premises. This box comprises a mobile, plug-and-play short-term measurement system for thermal and electrical values as well as extensive analysis software. To ensure that the new box is able to work in a straightforward manner and to gather new findings, the scientists are currently conducting field tests at various locations. Over a period of three to six weeks, they are recording key figures relating to the thermal and electrical requirements of a car dealership, a collection of buildings at an educational institution, and an industrial plant. They will then optimize the system based on the data they gather.

MDR reports on the project

Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk recently reported on the EnEff:Stadt project for a thermal/electrical system (TEK-EKG) for buildings and districts in a TV programme, which looked at whether the energy transition might threaten the stability of the electricity supply. The programme can be found in MDR’s media library. (bs)



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