New Energy research group news


RESPONSE - Integrated solutions for positive energy districts and sustainable cities


The recently launched RESPONSE project aims at creating a vision for the transition of the smart cities towards climate neutrality by 2050. The overall focus of the project is to create resilient and safe cities whilst increasing the quality of life and lowering the impacts of climate change. The five-year project has received EU funding for 6,6 million euros.

At the core of the project are positive energy districts (PEDs). Positive energy districts and neighborhoods refer to areas producing more net energy than what they are consuming. In the RESPONSE project, positive energy districts are being developed in the lighthouse cities of Turku and Dijon (France). The other cities, involved in the project as fellow cities are Brussels (Belgium), Zaragoza (Spain), Botosani (Romania), Ptolemaida (Greece), Gabrovo (Bulgaria) and Severodonetsk (Ukraine).

The project introduces ten integrated solutions, which in Turku are executed in the Student Village (Ylioppilaskylä) area. The solutions include innovative technologies and tools, aiming at changing the existing and new building stock. As for the energy systems, the goal is to reduce the CO2 emissions of electricity-, heating- and cooling systems and improve the resilience, synergies and the storage capacity of the grids.

As part of the Turku project ecosystem TUAS and the New Energy research group bring expertise on renewable energy production, energy storages, DC microgrids and sustainable mobility to the project. The creation of positive energy districts is not only a matter of technology but also requires efforts from the citizens. Together with the Student Village inhabitants TUAS is developing ways to engage the citizens.

The City of Turku leads the project ecosystem in Turku and other local partners include e.g. TYS, Turku Energia and Turku City Data. The whole project consortium is led by EIFER (European Institute for Energy Research) and the consortium consists of 53 partners. The project has officially commenced 1.10.2020 and it has received funding from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation Programme.

See the news of the project commencement at the TUAS official website (in Finnish).



TIGON project launched!


We’re happy to announce the start of a new project in which we are involved in as a partner. The project TIGON is set to demonstrate how direct current (DC) microgrids can help make the EU's electricity grids greener, more efficient, and more resilient as the world turns to renewable energy.

Most grid infrastructure is based on alternating current (AC) However, most popular renewable energy sources generate DC output, either directly or through a power converter. As they are intermittent, their power must be stored in batteries – again in DC. Furthermore, most modern electrical equipment such as laptops, mobile phones and LED lighting operate on DC. The question then arises: how do we draw on the legacy of the AC grid infrastructure when generation and consumption are increasingly DC?

TIGON aims to make a business case for advanced hybrid microgrids. The project will develop and demonstrate flexible solutions in two microgrids in France and Spain. The demonstrations will integrate solar power, energy storage systems, electric vehicle charging points and other DC loads using highly efficient grid technologies such as solid-state transformers, DC/DC converters and energy management systems.

The replication potential of the demonstrations will be tested in two use cases, the other one being the DC microgrid at Naantali Luonnonmaa residential district near Turku. Our role in the project is to lead the the analysis and provide results and conclusions on TIGON replication potential in Finnish infrastructure and legislation, and on the benefits of extending the DC network and improving its interaction with the main grid. Some of the solutions developed in TIGON are intended to be used in the DC microgrid currently being developed in one of our other project, SLEPS.

The international project consortium of TIGON is led by CIRCE (Fundación CIRCE Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energéticos) from Spain. The four-year project is funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. 




We made a move!


With great joy, we are announcing the good news. We have moved!

A brand new EduCity campus building in Kupittaa has recently opened its doors. All our laboratory equipment has been moved to the modern and spacious premises of the new campus. The new address of our laboratory is Joukahaisenkatu 7, Turku or simply EduCity, and our facilities are found at the bottom floor. Our team has also retrieved a new office space in the adjacent ICT-City building, at room C 5093, found in the 5th floor, wing C.

The new EduCity building is equipped with many comfortable rooms and spaces. Students are treated with modern learning facilities and working spaces and there are also rooms for meetings. Cozy and stylish armchairs, big windows and open terraces provide opportunities for relaxation, and an indoor spiral slide some excitement! Sustainable development, including energy and material efficiency have guided the design. There are solar panels on the roof, good thermal insulation, and the sedum roofing of the terraces absorb and store carbon.

The new facilities are convenient to reach for both locals and visitors. Buildings are within a 200 m walking distance from the Kupittaa Railway Station and local bus lines 32 and 42 have a stop very near. If you are arriving by car, there are some paid parking spaces available. We couldn’t be more excited about the brand-new facilities and look forward to making them our home!




Samuli Ranta
Research Leader
+358 40 355 0833