After an impressive renovation and construction period of seven years, the incampus technology park was officially inaugurated in September 2023. On the former refinery site, Audi and its partners are working together to shape the future of mobility. This impressive campus is home to a variety of facilities, including the energy center, a state-of-the-art vehicle safety center, the Audi data center and the largest tech hub of CARIAD, the software company in the Volkswagen Group.

The energy center is strategically positioned to the north-east of the project house and not only has the task of providing energy. It also forms the heart and brain of the overall energy concept for the incampus. TRIPS has been involved in this exciting project for more than three years and has supplied the control and regulation technology and the necessary switchgear that are essential for the smooth operation of the energy center – in a sense, the nervous system for the heart and brain of this impressive energy complex.

The automation system was planned as a digital, interdisciplinary, networked DDC system in accordance with the VDI 3814 and DIN 32734 standards. Our control cabinets control the technical systems for ventilation and air conditioning, cooling, cooling towers, the innovative LowEx network, heating, sanitary facilities and other media. All main media consumers are recorded centrally via an energy management system, and consumption is recorded in accordance with DIN EN13757 using the M-Bus protocol.

A central component of the innovative energy concept is the so-called LowEx network, a water-based piping system that supplies all buildings on the incampus with both heating and cooling. Plastic pipes with a considerable diameter of around 60 to 80 centimetres were laid in the floor of the first construction phase. Buildings with high cooling requirements, such as the computer center, release their waste heat into this network, while buildings with a high heating load draw the necessary energy from the LowEx network. This concept transforms consumers into simultaneously generating units. The grid temperature is deliberately regulated so that it is between 5 °C and 30 °C, which is ideal for feeding environmental heat or waste heat into the grid. The required system temperatures are ensured with the help of reversible heat pumps in the respective buildings.

Another important component in the energy center are thermal energy storage units, which make a significant contribution to load management and increasing the overall efficiency of the system. With an impressive capacity of around 3,000 cubic meters, they are able to store both heat and cold. The energy concept is extremely flexible and modular. The medium-term vision is to develop the incampus into a zero-energy campus that relies heavily on self-generated and renewable energy. Innovative elements are constantly being integrated, whether in the form of highly efficient photovoltaic systems or industrial fuel cells – and technologies that are not yet available on the market are also on the agenda.

Image source: AUDI AG