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Univerzitní centrum energeticky efektivních budov logo

Univerzitní centrum energeticky efektivních budov

The University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings (UCEEB) is an independent research institute of the Czech Technical University in Prague and a national centre of competence in the field of green buildings. Based in Buštěhrad near Kladno, its mission is to transfer innovations from research to industrial applications. It was established to facilitate university-industry cooperation and develops innovative solutions with a crossover to international projects. It has not only top experts, but also modern instrumentation, spacious laboratories and extensive experimental areas. It is staffed by an experienced interdisciplinary team of more than 200 collaborators divided into 16 scientific teams. The main research domains are sustainable construction, energy, indoor environment, materials for green buildings and intelligent monitoring and control systems.

One of UCEEB's successful technologies, MAGDA (Mobile Autonomous Water Generator from Desert Air), produces drinking water from extremely dry desert air. It is a mobile version of the S.A.W.E.R. device, which was awarded the "Best Innovation" prize by the organizers of the General World Expo in Dubai in March 2022. The MAGDA technology can be transported in a van and is fully autonomous. Just 30 minutes after starting the device, you can enjoy a glass of drinking water. 

The research team has developed glazed solar hybrid collectors that are designed to produce heat and electricity simultaneously. The collectors are particularly advantageous for applications where the area for installing solar elements is limited (e.g. hotels, multi-generation buildings). Analyses show that, compared to the installation of a conventional solar system consisting of a combination of solar thermal collectors and photovoltaic modules, glazed hybrid collectors yield 35% more energy produced per year for the same built-up area. The collector concept uses a unique technology of encapsulating the photovoltaic cells in a gel instead of the commonly used ethylene vinyl acetate lamination. The non-standard process of encapsulating the PV cells in the gel is UCEEB know-how that can be conveniently integrated into the manufacturing process of the collectors.

Innovative ventilation unit with thermoelectric modules for air temperature control

The Electronic Systems and Diagnostics team has developed a prototype residential ventilation unit that allows year-round control of supply air temperature without the need for cooling and heating systems. 

The technology uses thermoelectric modules to locally adjust the air temperature. It also includes an intelligent control module with a link to indoor environmental quality and locally available renewable energy, which it can use efficiently and locally in cooling mode.

The residential ventilation unit uses a unique design with a pair of heat exchangers to ensure its function. The first is a highly efficient counter-current passive heat recovery heat exchanger, the second is an active heat exchanger using thermoelectric modules. With this exchanger, the unit provides heating or cooling of the supply air simply by reversing the polarity of the electric current to power the thermoelectric modules. 

IAQ sensors

IAQ sensors monitor the quality of the indoor environment in buildings. They combine the measurement of several parameters in a single device - temperature, humidity, CO2 concentration, volatile organic compounds, and optionally dust particles.

The research team has also developed sensors that monitor the quality of the outdoor environment in cities, because while elevated CO2 concentrations are the biggest problem indoors, the concentrations of gases produced in the combustion engines of vehicles (nitrogen oxides) are often critical outdoors. Particulate pollution is also a problem around arterial roads or busy intersections.

The sensors are characterized by a wide range of communication interfaces (WiFi, RS485, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT) and the openness of the communication protocols used, which the user can choose and configure according to his needs (MQTT, HTTP, Modbus), facilitating the integration of sensors within more complex building management systems. 

Family house in Omice

A family house that serves the owners for normal living and also serves as a test object for researchers to develop smart control of the cooperation of the rooftop photovoltaic power plant with the house batteries, distribution network and appliances in the house, including the electric car.

The project is part of the RESOPT research project of the Centre for Advanced Materials and Efficient Buildings (CAMEB), which aims to optimise renewable energy systems for near-zero energy buildings. 

The aim of the verified and further developed energy-efficient building control is to ensure quality indoor environmental conditions for the users with low electricity consumption and low operating costs. It is equipped with a user-friendly interface and is ready for the implementation of new features.

The developed solution takes advantage of the current rise in energy prices for the benefit of the house occupants. Based on the PV generation forecast and market energy prices, the control manages to cover the household consumption and uses the remaining battery capacity to purchase/supply to the grid to maximize profit. Which further helps to stabilize the distribution grid as the share of PV resources increases. 

At the Innovation Week event, you will be able to check online how much electricity your house is producing and consuming, according to the current remote metering.