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Institute of Thermal Engineering of Graz University of Technology (IWT TUG)

The Institute of Thermal Engineering (IWT) is part of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Graz University of Technology. The institute employs a scientific staff of currently 20 researches and covers the research areas Thermal Energy Systems and Biomass, Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning and Energy-Efficient Buildings. IWT has been involved and is involved in research activities in the field of Solar Thermal Energy and Heat Pump Technology in many national and international projects, e.g. several Tasks of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme and several Annexes of the IEA Heat Pump Programme. Research at IWT is focused both on the component level (development and testing of components, development of simulation models for components) and on the system level (simulation and optimization of thermal systems and buildings). The laboratory of the institute is equipped with several heat source and –sink systems, a climate chamber, a chemical laboratory and measurement and data acquisition equipment. Software like EES and CFD tools are used for the development and optimization of solar thermal components and heat pumps. System simulations and optimizations are performed with the software TRNSYS, for which IWT has developed several component models. IWT is the Work Package leader of WP4: Advanced Heat pumps and heat pump circuits.

The scientific work of IWT focuses on:

  • The evaluation of breakthroughs in heat pump technology (WP4) based on detailed heat pump modeling integrated into dynamic system simulations (WP7).
  • The evaluation of breakthroughs in thermal energy storage based on phase change materials applied on the hot and on the cold side of the heat pump (WP5).
  • Smart control including weather forecast (WP6).
  • System simulations concerning different control strategies for the combination of heat pump and solar thermal system (WP7).

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