Urban Energy Lab 4.0

  Projectpicture_uel4 Copyright: © e3D

Together, the participating scientists want to create a unique and highly networked infrastructure for the conception and analysis of new urban energy supply concepts. Future urban energy systems are characterised by decentralised generation, sector coupling and the possibilities of digitisation. The planning, construction and operation of components of these energy systems must meet a wide range of requirements that can only be met through interdisciplinary and synergetic interaction between construction technology, technical building equipment, network planning and automation.

The new research infrastructure is a flexible experimental field for controlled experiments, ranging from the supply of a room to the energetic observation of a city quarter. New technologies can be tested and sustainable solution concepts for a safe and environmentally friendly urban energy supply will be developed. The necessary scaling from real scale to laboratory scale is done using a hardware-in-the-loop platform. A power supply system with the size of an entire city is replaced in some areas by complex simulations so that real building blocks of the energy system can be operated in the laboratory under realistic boundary conditions. This hardware-in-the-loop approach is unique in terms of scale, flexibility of expansion and the high degree of interdisciplinary.

The following subprojects are currently in the detailed planning and construction phase:

  • The Raumklimalabor (Laboratory for room climate) serves as a test environment for the investigation of user comfort and behavior.
  • The flexible facade test stand FlexFass includes a climatic chamber, among other things, and thus enables the investigation of the influence of facades on an interior space under various climatic conditions.
  • The refrigerant laboratory HELENA is investigating the electrification of the heat supply with heat pumps.
  • In the subproject RTLab, high-performance systems are used for the real-time mapping of energy flows in an urban quarter.
  • With the integrated research infrastructure InFIS, all subcomponents are networked on the basis of intelligent automation and supplemented by simulations.


Picture of Daniel Kastner © Copyright: E3D


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Project term:

07/2018 – 09/2023


Project partner:

  • Chair of Energy Efficient Building (E3D), RWTH Aachen
  • E.ON Energy Research Center (ERC), RWTH Aachen
  • Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD), RWTH Aachen


The Urban Energy Lab 4.0 is funded by the European Fund for regional development.