Energy industry

Energy sector coupling and energy system analysis as a foundation for the transformation of the energy system

The transformation of the energy system is currently one of the essential tasks facing society. A holistic analysis of the energy system with its diverse energy sources, storage facilities and consumers is a key challenge.


Energy system must be viewed holistically and with foresight

Our energy system is in a state of upheaval: In recent years, the share of renewable energies in electricity generation has increased massively and their use in the heat sector is also picking up speed. The number of electric vehicles is also rising sharply in many areas, and the decarbonization of production processes is increasingly coming into focus. This comprehensive restructuring of the energy system can only be successful through a holistic and forward-looking approach.  

Fraunhofer IFAM is pursuing precisely this comprehensive approach.In addition to research projects on energy sector coupling (e.g. in the Quarree 100 project), our experts test innovative components and systems in pilot projects and real laboratories and advise energy suppliers and large-scale industry on the sustainable restructuring of their energy systems. 


"MuGriFlex" tool analyzes options for energy supply

Fraunhofer IFAM develops energy system and climate protection concepts and scenarios for decision-makers at the municipal, regional, and federal levels. In this context, the institute is an established partner of the energy industry in the areas of district and local heating systems with combined heat and power (CHP). Our employees have many years of experience in this field and have also been contributing this experience for many years to the further development of legislation, such as the CHP Act.  

With the institute's own model "MuGriFlex", we have a tool with which energy supply options can be analyzed with regard to energy efficiency and economic viability. "MuGriFlex" offers the possibility to combine and configure diverse components, such as CHP plants, heat storage, electric boilers, heat pumps, battery and heat storage, but also renewable generation plants. The tool is used in research projects as well as in the investigation and optimization of supply for companies in the housing sector and in consulting for planning offices or energy supply companies. In addition, changes in the energy industry framework conditions, in particular regulation, can be mapped in scenarios.


Detailed knowledge of respective energy supply areas is essential

In the future, regenerative electric vehicles will be able to act as an intelligent swarm to serve the grid (vehicle-to-grid (V2G)) and thus relieve and stabilize the power grid. Digital networking between electric vehicles, buildings, and the power grid, as well as reliable forecasts based on historical data of energy demand, generation, and mobility, play a decisive role in this: Only in this way is it possible not to restrict mobility at any time and to efficiently relieve the power grid and develop new business models. 

In projects for energy suppliers and communes, detailed knowledge of the supply area is the basis for an integral approach. Fraunhofer IFAM uses geoinformation systems to record and display the heat and electricity demand for each building in order to visualize the energy demand in energy demand maps. These are the basis for determining potentials for the future orientation of district and local heating supply by CHP, the selection of plant locations for the use of renewable energies, and the system integration of storage systems. Not only the status quo is considered, but also future developments of heat and electricity demand as well as economic aspects and regional economic effects can be taken into account.