Project News

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The final workshop of the ACA-MODES project was held in Offenburg, Germany on the 1st of July 2022.

About 60 participants from research, education, and industry met for an international conference to exchange and discuss the results of a multinational ACA-MODES project led by the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg.

The project “Advanced Control Algorithm for Management of Decentralised Energy Systems (ACA-MODES)” was launched in September 2019 with the specific aim to operate hybrid energy systems across borders in a grid-serving way and to increase the applications and innovations developed by cross-border consortia from the Upper Rhine region.

At the final workshop of this project, the main results and methods such as model predictive control, round-robin model validation tests and multi-criteria analysis were presented. Further details on the individual work packages, the results of the workshop and technical journals are available on the Downloads section of this project website.

The ACA-MODES project partners


The ICSREE 2022 conference (7th International Conference on Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering) was held successfully online on 5-7 May.

Our project partners from INSA Strasbourg Stefan-Dominic Voronca, a post-doctoral student, and Sonja Kallio, a doctoral student in the ICube Civil and Energy Engineering research team, were awarded the prize for the best paper at the Renewable Energy Systems, Power System and Electrical Engineering session. Read the full article here.

The English version of the article can be uploaded below:



The CISBAT 2021 conference (Carbon Neutral Cities – Energy Efficiency & Renewables in the Digital Era) was held in Lausanne, Switzerland on 8-10 September.

The contribution of the ACA-MODES consortium titled by “An energy-economic analysis of real-world hybrid building energy systems” is now published online and has open access in the Journal of Physics.


The project workshop at Hochschule Karlsruhe

The fourth project workshop was held online on 26th of November 2021.

The workshop included six interesting talks on the topics of optimization-based control and dimensioning of hybrid energy systems.

The welcome note by Angelika Altmann-Dieses (HKA) and four presentations were presented by the project partners Christion Braasch, Parantapa Sawant, Sonja Kallio and Adrian Bürger.

Additionally, Thomas Besselmann from FHNW Muttenz, Switzerland and Bratislav Svetozarevic from Urban Energy Systems Lab, Dübendorf, Switzerland had presentations as guest speakers.

The following presentations were held:

Thomas Besselmann – Power Meets Computation

Christian Braasch – Implementation and Optimization of a MPC for a CCHP system

Parantapa Sawant – Experimental Demonstration of Optimal Scheduling of a CHP System with Economic-MPC

Bratislav Svetozarevic – Deep reinforcement learning for building energy and occupant comfort control: Examples and scaling potential

Sonja Kallio – Nature-Inspired Intelligence in Multi-Objective Optimization of a Solar Energy System

Adrian Bürger – Coordinated operation of distributed, MPC-operated energy systems in the ACA-MODES project

The available presentations can be found on the Downloads – page.

Power Meets Computation” by Thomas Besselmann from FHNW Muttenz, Switzerland


The research article Experimental demonstration of grid-supportive scheduling of a polygeneration system using economic-MPCwritten by the project partners from Offenburg and Karlsruhe was published in the Elsevier international journal Energy and Buildings.

The article has 50 days’ free access using the following link:


The CPESE 2021 conference (8th International Conference on Power and Energy Systems Engineering) was held on September 10-12, 2021, in Fukuoka, Japan. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the conference was held fully online.

The ACA-MODES project partners from INSA Strasbourg ICube contributed to the conference with the paper titled “Hybrid renewable energy systems based on micro-cogeneration”. The paper was presented by Sonja Kallio and she was awarded the Best Presenter Award of the conference session “Power Battery and Energy Storage technology”.

The original news can be read on the website of INSA Strasbourg.

Closing ceremony of the conference. On the left side, the conference chair, Professor Hassan Bevrani, mentions the awards for the best presenters in each session of the conference. On the right side is the first slide of Sonja Kallio’s presentation.


The CISBAT 2021 conference (Carbon Neutral Cities – Energy Efficiency & Renewables in the Digital Era) was held in Lausanne, Switzerland on 8-10 September. The conference aimed to focus on the built environment’s transition to zero carbon emissions.

The ACA-MODES consortium contributed to the conference with the paper titled “An energy-economic analysis of real-world hybrid building energy systems” and the paper was presented in Lausanne by Parantapa Sawant from Hochschule Offenburg.

The conference proceeding will be available on the ACA-MODES website soon.

The ACA-MODES project results were presented in the CISBAT 2021 conference by Parantapa Sawant (left) from Hochschule Offenburg and Manuel Koch (right) from Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz.


Publication in BWK Energiefachmagazin

The first results of the ACA-MODES project were published in the BWK Energiefachmagazin which can be found here.


Our project partners published a research article in Optimal Control Applications and Methods – journal.

The article “Experimental operation of a solar-driven climate system with thermal energy storages using mixed-integer nonlinear model predictive control” has open access and can be found here.


SFT 2021 conference: 29e Société Française de Thermique, June 1-3. 2021

The 29th French national conference SFT 2021 was organized by the institute FEMTO-ST, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, CNRS from Belfort, France. The theme of the conference was “Thermal and energetic mix”.

The conference was held fully online in the innovative virtual platform that enabled really good quality of the online conference. Our project partners from INSA Strasbourg were accepted to the conference with the work titled by “Multi-objective design optimization of a hybrid renewable energy system”. The presentation is available in the downloads.


ICSREE 2021: 6th International Conference on Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering, May 5-7, 2021


The ICube research unit and INSA Strasbourg hosted the 6th International Conference on Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering (ICSREE 2021).

Renewable energies (solar energy, geothermal energy, biomass) are the subject of much research within the ICube research unit. Due to this the ICube research unit and INSA Strasbourg participated in the organisation of the “6th International Conference on Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering ICSREE 2021″.

This conference, initially planned in Strasbourg, was finally held from 5 to 7 May 2021 online, due to the health situation.

The event brought together international scientists from the fields of renewable energy and materials for sustainable development.

About 40 presentations allowed researchers from all over the world (Brunei, China, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Peru, Mexico, Morocco, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom) to discuss renewable energy in the context of sustainable development.

During this conference, Sonja Kallio and Dwinanto Sukamto, doctoral students at INSA Strasbourg, in the ICube research unit, presented their research work. Sonja Kallio’s work is conducted within the framework of the Interreg ACA-MODES project.

In addition, our colleague Jian Lin from the ICube research unit won the prize for the best presentation in the Thermal Energy and Power Engineering session.

Monica Siroux, Conference Chair, warmly thanks all colleagues for their involvement in making this event possible.

The original news in French is available on the INSA Strasbourg research website. Sonja Kallio’s presentation “A review – Renewable energy based micro-cogeneration and hybrid energy systems” is available here.

The conference proceeding can be uploaded below:


Project Workshop at FHNW Muttenz

The third project workshop was held successfully online on 23rd of February 2021.

The welcome note by Ralph Eismann and three presentations were presented by Parantapa Sawant, Manuel Koch/Adrian Bürger and Sonja Kallio. Additionally, Rahul Khatri from Hochschule Offenburg had a presentation as a visitor speaker.

The presentations summarized the accomplished project work of Work Packages 4, micro cogeneration sytem analysis and modelling, and Energy management of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises.


“Welcome!” by Ralph Eismann

“Comparison of the used Simulation Tools and Models for Energy Systems – Part 1” by Parantapa Sawant

“Comparison of the used Simulation Tools and Models for Energy Systems – Part 2” by Manuel Koch and Adrian Bürger

“Energy and Exergy Analysis of Biomass-fueled Stirling Engine Micro-CHP System” by Sonja Kallio

“Insights into Application of Optimisation Tools in Operational Coordination of Small- and Medium-scale Enterprises” by Rahul Khatri

All the presentations can be uploaded from the Downloads page.

The 3rd project workshop organized by FHNW Muttenz was held successfully online in Webex.


The ACA-MODES consortium displayed on the GeoRhena tool. This tool enables the presentation of all the projects from the scientific field financed by the Interreg Upper-Rhine program with the regional financial instrument « Science Offensive » and project partners.

Further information is available on

The ACA-MODES consortium displayed on the GeoRhena tool.

„Diese Karte wurde im Rahmen des Interreg V A Oberrhein-Projekts « Koordinationsbüro der Säule Wissenschaft » entwickelt und von der Europäischen Union (EFRE – Europäischer Fonds für Regionale Entwicklung) kofinanziert.“

« Cette carte a été développée dans le cadre du projet Interreg V A Rhin supérieur « Bureau de coordination du Pilier Sciences » et a bénéficié ainsi du soutien financier de l’Union européenne (FEDER – Fonds européen de développement régional) »


Our project partner Hochschule Offenburg is shifting their polygeneration laboratory set-up to the new RIZ Campus in Offenburg.

Work under progress at the RIZ Campus in Offenburg


STORENERGY 2020, Offenburg

Conference talk on “Grid-Reactive Operation of a Real-World Polygeneration System with Thermal Storages”


Mediterranean Conference on Power Generation, Transmission, Distribution and Energy Conversion, MEDPOWER 2020 in Cyprus was held virtually due to COVID-19 situation on 9-12 of November, 2020.

Our project partners from INSA Strasbourg had a following proceeding in the conference:

Analysis of a solar micro-cogeneration system, Sonja Kallio, Monica Siroux

The proceeding can be found here.


An article has been published in the international journal Energies

The peer-reviewed open-access journal Energies has published the article “Energy Analysis and Exergy Optimization of Photovoltaic-Thermal Collector” written by the project partners PhD candidate Sonja Kallio and Prof. Monica Siroux from INSA Strasbourg ICUBE University of Strasbourg.

The article was published in the Special Issue “Building Performance Simulation, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources for Buildings”.

In the study, the operation of the solar-based micro-cogeneration system (PVT) under two different European climates was analyzed in terms of energy and exergy performance. The comparison between the PVT and photovoltaic (PV) panel performance was conducted as well. Finally, the PVT design was optimized using the multi-objective optimization technique.

The full PDF version of the publication can be download from the Energies website.


A photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) collector is a solar-based micro-cogeneration system which generates simultaneously heat and power for buildings. The novelty of this paper is to conduct energy and exergy analysis on PVT collector performance under two different European climate conditions. The performance of the PVT collector is compared to a photovoltaic (PV) panel. Finally, the PVT design is optimized in terms of thermal and electrical exergy efficiencies. The optimized PVT designs are compared to the PV panel performance as well. The main focus is to find out if the PVT is still competitive with the PV panel electrical output, after maximizing its thermal exergy efficiency. The PVT collector is modelled into Matlab/Simulink to evaluate its performance under varying weather conditions. The PV panel is modelled with the CARNOT toolbox library. The optimization is conducted using Matlab gamultiobj-function based on the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm-II (NSGA-II). The results indicated 7.7% higher annual energy production in Strasbourg. However, the exergy analysis revealed a better quality of thermal energy in Tampere with 72.9% higher thermal exergy production. The electrical output of the PVT is higher than from the PV during the summer months. The thermal exergy- driven PVT design is still competitive compared to the PV panel electrical output.


Project Workshop at Hochschule Koblenz

The second project workshop was held successfully at Hochshule Koblenz partly online and on-site on 24th of September 2020.

The welcome note by Prof. Marc Nadler and three presentations were presented via Zoom. The presentations summarized the accomplished project work of Work Packages 3 and 4. Additionally, the outlook to ACA-MODES project was presented.


Energy and socioeconomic analysis on experimental data – methodology and results” by Christian Braasch

Modelling and simulation of hybrid systems – experiences from round robin simulations” by Adrian Bürger

Outlook to ACA-MODES – system simulation and design and control optimization” by Parantapa Sawant

All the presentations can be uploaded from the Downloads page.

Participants present at the Hybrid Workshop in Hochschule Koblenz.


Work package 3 report “Energy- and socio-economic analysis of existing field studies” is finalized by the work package leader, Hochschule Koblenz, with support of all partners and can be downloaded from the project website.


IFAC World Congress 2020 was held in Germany from 11th to 17th of July 2020. Our Project partners from Hochschule Karlsruhe and the University of Freiburg had the following proceeding in the conference:

pycombina: An Open-Source Tool for Solving Combinatorial Approximation Problems arising in Mixed-Integer Optimal Control
A. Bürger, C. Zeile, M. Hahn, A. Altmann-Dieses, S. Sager, M. Diehl
Proceedings of the IFAC World Congress 2020


ECOS 2020, 33rd International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems

The proceedings of ECOS 2020, 33rd conference, were published on Monday 29th of June. The conference paper of our project partners PhD student Sonja Kallio and professor Monica Siroux from INSA Strasbourg ICube Strasbourg University was accepted to the proceedings of ECOS 2020.

The conference paper Energy and exergy analysis of a photovoltaic-thermal system under two different climate conditions can be downloaded here:

The ECOS 2020 conference was meant to take place in Osaka, Japan on 29th June – 3rd of July 2020. However, due to the situation of COVID-19, the on-site conference was cancelled.


An article of the PhD student Sonja Kallio was published on the Research Blog of INSA Strasbourg.

You can read the article here.

Sonja Kallio having a presentation “Micro-cogeneration: State-of-Art and R&D activities” in the Project Workshop at the Offenburg University of Applied Science in January.


State of Art Report

Work package 2 output: State of Art Report has been published and can be uploaded from the project website.


The Elsevier journal Energy and Buildings published an article “Development and experimental evaluation of grey-box models of a microscale polygeneration system for application in optimal control” written by the project partners from Hochschule Offenburg, Hochschule Karlsruhe and University of Freiburg.


Optimisation based economic despatch of real-world complex energy systems demands reduced order and continuously differentiable component models that can represent their part-load behaviour and dynamic responses. A literature study of existing modelling methods and the necessary characteristics the models should meet for their successful application in model predictive control of a polygeneration system are presented. Deriving from that, a rational modelling procedure using engineering principles and assumptions to develop simplified component models is applied. The models are quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated against experimental data and their efficacy for application in a building automation and control architecture is established.

February 2020

The Elsevier journal Heliyon published an article “Application and analysis of a model based controller for cooling towers in compression chiller plants” written by the project partners Parantapa Sawant and Jens Pfafferott from Hochschule Offenburg.


Cooling towers or recoolers are one of the major consumers of electricity in a HVAC plant. The implementation and analysis of advanced control methods in a practical application and its comparison with conventional controllers is necessary to establish a framework for their feasibility especially in the field of decentralised energy systems. A standard industrial controller, a PID and a model based controller were developed and tested in an experimental set-up using market-ready components. The characteristics of these controllers such as settling time, control difference, and frequency of control actions are compared based on the monitoring data. Modern controllers demonstrated clear advantages in terms of energy savings and higher accuracy and a model based controller was easier to set-up than a PID.

31.01.2020 Offenburg, Germany

Project Workshop at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences

About 40 participants came to the first user workshop within the ACA-MODES project at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences on Friday, 31 January 2020, to learn more about the planning and operation of decentralised energy systems.

The scientific director of the ACA-MODES project, Prof. Dr. Jens Pfafferott, was pleased about the great interest of the participants.

During the workshop, the ACA-MODES project team gave the industrial partners, energy consultants, energy service providers, municipalities, energy cooperatives and scientists insights into the practical application of advanced tools for modelling and simulation of hybrid energy systems, for model predictive control and for data analysis. In addition, experts from renowned energy system research institutions and regional partners presented case studies and gave the participants insights into sector coupling and grid integration of building energy systems, which can be flexibly adapted to the size and market structure of the local energy system. During the lunch break, the participants were also able to get an impression of the new Regional Innovation Centre for Energy Technology (RIZ), which is currently under construction.

In the end, all participants agreed that the goal of the ACA-MODES project team – to build a bridge between science and users – had been achieved.

All the presentations of the workshop can be downloaded from here.


ScienceLab 2020, Berlin

Conference talk: “Verbundbetrieb von zwei autonom arbeitenden Microgrids”

The workshop was organized in the C/Sells framework and Hochschule Offenburg was invited to present a talk. Conference proceedings are available in download section.