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News – What`s happening in energy research

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External view of the Science College Overbach: The building is compact and innovatively equipped
© Ingenieurbüro für Umweltfragen (ifu), Aachen
Research projects revisited:
27.09.2011

Heliostats in the ceiling illuminate the interior of the Science College Overbach
© BINE Informationsdienst

Science College – Concept has proved successful

The first measurement results confirm the efficient building concept for the Science College Overbach, which opened in June 2009: the data from 186 measurement points are continually captured via the building’s services technology and enable continual monitoring, analysis and optimisation of the technical systems. In terms of the primary energy, the building is doing very well: it only consumed 83.4 kWh/m² p.a. in the first year. Not only do the figures add up, the students are also thrilled by their new school. Whereas 15% of the students used to opt for technology and 85% for the three foreign languages on offer, 60% of the students are now choosing a scientific subject in order to enable them to attend lessons in the attractive new building.

During the commissioning of the Science College Overbach (SCO) there was an intensive exchange of information between the school, operator, measurement team and designers, enabling a quick response to faults. For example, as a result of the initial findings during the monitoring, the cycle times for the heat pumps were changed in order to increase the efficiency. With an annual coefficient of performance of 4.9 (compressor) and 4.5 (compressor and brine pump), the output of the pumps at the Science College is up to 0.7 higher than the annual coefficients of performance determined in a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE). This is principally a result of the low supply temperatures and the use of geothermal heat via the array of borehole heat exchangers. Thanks to the excellent building envelope that has been constructed to a passive house standard, the building can be heated with a supply temperature of just 27 °C via the concrete core temperature control. In the summer time, on the other hand, a supply temperature of 17 °C is sufficient to cool the building. The overheating protection in summer is supported by the dimmable Econtrol windows and the movable heliostat reflectors on the roof, which can shade the skylights.

With 19.1 kWh/m², the heat consumption of the building during the first year of operation was somewhat above the passive house standard. However, the scientists expect the value to reduce to 15 kWh/m² p.a. by the end of 2011 as a result of the improved efficiency of the heat pumps and the better adapted user behaviour.

The SCO facilities are also used for extracurricular activities, such as summer schools and workshops. The users are instructed on site about the special features of the building technology and a contact person is continually on hand during the duration of the courses. You can find further information about the SCO at www.science-college-overbach.de.

BINE-Projektinfo brochure

The BINE Projektinfo brochure „Innovative Schools – Scientific Education Centre“ presents the building, its efficient technology and the educational concept behind the facilities.

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