Foto: Frontansicht der Schule Schwanenstadt

InnoGOK – Investigation of the energetic and ecological usability of solar radiation on urban spaces and paths

Examination of the suitability of street space or other paved or not paved surfaces in urban areas for promoting renewable heat from solar radiation. Thus offers a high potential for increasing energy efficiency and conserving resources in urban contexts. Besides, the dissipation of heat from large solar-heated surfaces promises to prevent urban heat islands.

Short Description




Starting point / motivation

Concerning the consequences of global climate change, and consequently increasing urban warming, the question arises how to provide suitable energy supply for public spaces, while maintaining a comfortable urban microclimate. That is particularly important, because health and general well-being of the city inhabitants, working and living in buildings as well as in open areas, depend decisively from urban microclimate conditions.

The “thermal threshold” of cities has to be lowered sufficiently by reducing urban heat island effects to retain comfort and physical fitness criteria of city inhabitants.

On the other hand, environmentally-friendly measures have to be found to fulfil those comfort criteria in combination with lowest possible energy demand.

Contents and goals

The aim of this research project is to work out the feasibility of the use of solar energy, collected on the huge amount of existing horizontal surfaces in cities (highways, squares, parks, sports grounds). This option is seen as an alternative for conventional thermal solar energy systems, mounted on buildings´ facades or roofs, which would be necessary to provide the same amount of energy. Besides, this option would save technical efforts and costs of conventional solar systems.

The energy gained from urban surfaces is thought to be used in the close surroundings (e.g. for heating water, or keeping traffic routes clear of ice), in combination with intelligent energy storage methods for time-delayed use of the gained energy.


The HTL (higher technical college) in Krems is equipped with ideally suited outdoor test surfaces and energy storage devices (ice storage unit, ground storage tank). These testing facilities will be modified and adapted with measuring devices, in coordination with the research project.

On this basis, the HTL test plant will be monitored thoroughly.

Expected results

The transformation of the knowledge, gained from monitoring the test plant to urban scales will show how great urban surfaces can be used for solar energy production.

An important result will be, in case of a positive pre-evaluation, to create an implementation concept for a field test in an urban scale, planned to be carried out in a future research and development-project.

Last but not least, the participation of the college students will raise awareness for a holistic approach to urban planning concepts. By this, the future generation will gain deeper environmental awareness and a shift of priorities in a consolidated system of values in modern society.

Project Partners

Project management

DI Dr.techn. Daniela Trauninger, Department for Building and Environment, Danube University Krems

Contact Address

Danube University Krems – Department for Building and Environment
Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30
A-3500 Krems
Tel.: +43 (2732) 893 - 2774


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