Logo FlexBlue

FlexBlue – Flexible cooling supply systems against the backdrop of increasing decarbonization

The flexibilization of cooling and heating supply supply systems offers great potential for reducing electricity procurement costs and CO2 emissions, but this potential has hardly been utilized in practice to date. Building on the predecessor project FlexKälte at the IAI, the “FlexBlue” project, which was launched on January 1, 2024 (joint project: FlexBlue – Flexible cooling supply systems against the backdrop of increasing decarbonization; sub-project: Development, construction and analysis of an active cooling storage system) will investigate the technical and economic feasibility of flexibilization through storage in the cooling and heating sector. To this end, a real demonstrator is being set up at the IAI in one of the FlexBlue sub-projects. Further sub-projects aim to address existing obstacles and hurdles to promote a broad implementation. Under the consortium leadership of Fraunhofer UMSICHT, relevant actors in the refrigeration flexibilization process chain from industry and research are being brought together to jointly develop practical approaches for the energy transition.

As scientific consortium partner in the project, the IAI is involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of two demonstrators, which will investigate the functionality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the undertaking. The first demonstrator, which is being built on the IAI's premises, combines photovoltaics, battery storage and a compression chiller (German: Kompressionskältemaschine, abbreviated KKM) with an actively controllable cold buffer storage system with phase change materials that significantly increase the thermal storage capacity. A second demonstrator is being built on the premises of RÜTGERS GmbH & Co. KG, which is providing its expertise in system design as a project partner. In this demonstrator, an active multi-layer latent heat storage system with a booster heat pump is operated in combination with a combined heat and power plant, an adsorption chiller and a cold buffer storage unit.

The project “FlexBlue – Flexible cooling supply systems against the backdrop of increasing decarbonization” is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (German: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, abbreviated BMWK).

For detailed information please see
Flexibilization potential in the cooling sector - Fraunhofer UMSICHT


Overview sketch FlexBlue Demonstrator