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The research activity at the HRI is focused on three main topics:
- Building Energy Engineering
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Contamination Control
Building Energy Engineering (BEE)
The achievement of the energy turnaround enacted by the Federal Government of Germany is one of the greatest challenges facing our society. Due to their demand for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, buildings account for about 40% of Germany’s total energy consumption. A so-called heating energy transition will therefore play a key role in the success of the global energy transition.
The HRI conducts research in this area on three different levels: city districts, buildings and indoor spaces. Essentially, this involves the distribution, storage, control and transfer of heat/cold in water- and/or ventilation systems.
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
In industrialized countries, people spend about 90% of their time indoors. Buildings are usually constructed to protect users from uncomfortable outdoor conditions and to provide them with a pleasant and healthy environment. The IEQ depends on six interdisciplinary factors: acoustic, visual, thermodynamic, olfactory, hygienic and psychological. Individual assessment criteria on how a person perceives the respective sensory stimulation and what influence it has on his or her comfort and health exist for each of these categories. However, there is no uniform standard for determining the IEQ in its entirety. It is thus currently impossible to predict whether the occupant of a room is/will be in a pleasant and healthy environment.
The HRI has been researching Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as components of IEQ for decades. Particularly these days’ energy-saving solutions often lead to poorer IEQ, which means that the topic is once again of relevance and gaining priority.
Contamination Control (CC)
Contamination Control is one of the IAQ's areas of expertise. In rooms with increased demands on the contamination concentration (particles, microorganisms, gases, etc.), the air circulation is essential for the dispersal and sedimentation, as well as the reaerosolization. A strongly increasing number of processes take place under clean environmental conditions of different quality (standards/demands).
As a proven expert in the field of indoor air flows, the HRI has in recent years carried out intensive research on the control of airborne contaminations. Our focus lies on the development of effective and efficient protection concepts, which aim at reliably fulfilling local cleanliness requirements with as little airflow as possible.