Development and demonstration of digital energy services to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a research campus

© Graz University of Technology
© Green Energy Lab

Usage-centered planning and regulation of complex, sustainable district energy systems

More and more innovation districts are establishing themselves around the world in order to realize energy-related and sustainable goals in research and industrial parks, but also in office and residential areas. The use of so-called “Digital Energy Services” in the planning, generation, distribution and consumption of energy shows great potential. Based on the new possibilities of data processing, methods relating to simulation, IoT platforms, machine learning, artificial intelligence and user integration lead to completely new approaches to designing smart energy systems.

In the UserGRIDs project, this is to be used for the expansion and transformation of the TU Graz Campus Inffeldgasse, which is to develop into the innovation district “INNOVATION DISTRICT INFFELD” by 2030.

The aim of the project is to be able to operate this research and teaching campus at TU Graz with minimal greenhouse gas emissions. This is supported by digital planning methods and optimal management of thermal and electrical storage, as well as the provision of energy from renewable, volatile sources (photovoltaics, geothermal energy and waste heat). For this purpose, a forward-looking and self-learning control is used, which is intended to continuously improve operation in terms of minimizing emissions.

Smart energy systems for numerous players thanks to energy-relevant real-time data

The project creates added value, especially for operators of complex energy systems and facilities, as the use of different energy services to optimize energy systems in neighborhoods is developed, tested and evaluated. The complexity of these systems results from the multitude of interacting technical subsystems and the large number of actors and users who act on the basis of the most varied of needs.

The processing of energy-relevant real-time data and user feedback supports the adaptation of the systems to optimize comfort, efficiency and emissions.


Demonstration and scientific monitoring of the project

The demonstration takes place in the innovation district “INNOVATION DISTRICT INFFELD” of Graz University of Technology, in which 30 buildings, with approx. 125,000 m² gross floor area, with extremely different requirements and usage behavior, as well as strongly fluctuating consumption and generation characteristics, are connected to a complex energy system.

Scientific support from several institutes at Graz University of Technology and the BEST competence center ensures scientific documentation and evidence, on the basis of which the exploitation and scaling to other applications can be promoted. As the largest public landowner in Austria, BIG will integrate the results into its sustainability standards and into marketing.


Thomas Mach
T: +43 316 873 7814

Project key facts

01.03.2021 - 29.02.2024

funding program
Flagship Region Energy

Project type
Cooperation project experimental development

Project budget
1.599.000 €

Project management

Technische Universität Graz

The following model solutions are being developed in the UserGRIDs project: