The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing €15m (AU$23m) to fund a research, development and education platform in the field of refrigeration and air conditioning technology.
The Refrigeration and Energy Technology Research Platform will be established by Chemnitz University of Technology, the Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration Dresden, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.
As well as investigating new refrigerants and storage materials, the platform is also planning to develop refrigeration machines, heat pumps, recoolers, and heat and cold storage systems. The new research project will be hosted in Reichenbach im Vogtland.
“In recent years, the Free State of Saxony and the Vogtland region have developed into a knowledge region for refrigeration technology. World-class companies and high-performance educational institutions have their home here,”
“Our goal is to set international standards for resource-saving refrigeration and energy technology through this promising project. We are addressing a megatopic of the energy transition: Around 50 percent of Germany’s final energy consumption is needed to supply heating and cooling.
“To achieve our climate protection goals, we need solutions for an energy-efficient and climate-friendly cold supply that is affordable and socially acceptable at the same time. In the long term, the research platform has what it takes to become a national and international pacesetter in this regard.”
According to Sebastian Gemkow, Saxony’s State Minister for Science, the project extends beyond traditional refrigeration technology.
“In the future, new processes in refrigeration and energy technology will be understood, developed, and implemented there in combination with artificial intelligence,” says Gemkow.
“This platform enables interdisciplinary research at a high level as well as the development of new academic learning and training methods. At the same time, it strengthens university engagement in the region.”
The project is funded as part of the German government’s 7th Energy Research Program – “Innovations for the Energy Transition.” The €15m fund will be appropriated for use from March 2021 to April 2025.