Characterization and technology

The municipality of Rainau in Ostwürttemberg is planning to implement a zero-emission concept for its 5 partial localities with a total of approximately 3200 inhabitants. The new supply concept is analyzed and optimized with the modern methods of the ENsource network.

The conversion of the energy supply will take place in the areas of electricity and heat energy supply, but also in long-term for the transport sector.

Due to this the potentials of energy saving and efficiency as well as the load cycles of the heat and cooling requirements and the electrical loads were determined in the first step. The future power supply is to be ensured mainly by the use of photovoltaics, wind power and combined heat and power plants. Excess electricity produced by wind power and photovoltaics is to be converted into hydrogen by means of an electrolyzer. In the planned local multiphase biogas plant, the biological methanisation of hydrogen to biomethane will be done. The heat demand of the municipality can be covered by the use of biogas, biomethane, solar thermal energy, various firing plants operated with renewable raw materials and


Objectives and research questions

The aim is to develop a sustainable energy concept that includes intelligent load management and a control system for energy generation, consumption and storage at the municipal level as well as supraregional. By this means also the regional added value can be increased. The main element of the case study Rainau is the use of biological methanisation as a possibility to store excess electrical energy from wind power and photovoltaics. This technology is of great importance for the decentralized compensation of load peaks in power plants. Prior to the construction of such a pilot plant it is necessary to simulate the interaction of all components in the energy system and to carry out the correct dimensioning. Combinations of different technologies and dimensions are simulated in the interdisciplinary ENsource-project and an efficient energy system will be developed and optimized step by step. In the long term, parts of the electricity and gas production from wind power and photovoltaics will be used as fuel in the transport sector.


Type of settlement: rural housing

Technologies: Biological methanisation, wind power, PV, solar heat, heat and power cogeneration

Energy management: approx. 60 smart meters, decentralized energy management with participatory involvement of consumers

Business models: financing concepts for project start, new business models for network operators EnBW / ODR and for private individuals



Prof. Dr. Martina Hofmann