Research Group ETA
Research project

ETA in existing structures/facilities | Technology and method kit for increasing energy efficiency in existing structures/facilities in the metalworking industry

Coordinator: Fabian Borst M. Sc.
Duration: 11/2020 – 10/2023
Funded by: Federal Ministery of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), joint project

Initial situation

Previous studies in industrial projects at the PTW show that significant energy saving potentials can be raised by transferring energy efficiency measures to existing industrial facilities – depending on the application and system boundary, between 25 and 40 % of the total energy demand. However, the transfer of measures is linked to a high degree of complexity and many technical and organisational barriers. In regular operation without external support, therefore, only the “low hanging fruits” for increasing energy efficiency are usually exploited. However, a comprehensive exploitation of the complex, systemic energy efficiency potentials in the German industrial facilities is absolutely necessary in order to achieve the ambitious climate targets of the German government.


Against this background, solutions are to be developed in the joint project “ETA in existing facilities” (FKZ: 03EN2048A-I), which will enable the rapid, comprehensive and economic expansion of energy efficiency technologies in the German industrial landscape.


The project is divided into six networked sub-projects (see figure). In the sub-projects (SP) 1, 2, 3, energy efficiency improvements are developed at the level of the production machines. In SP 1, the development of retrofittable solutions for energy-reduced machining is to take place. SP 2 addresses the reduction of energy demand in aqueous component cleaning through holistic thermal management at machine level. In SP 3, energy efficiency increases in heat treatment are realised through further development of process exhaust gas combustion, improved oven design and field studies. In SP 4, a typification of existing industrial buildings and possible energy-related renovation measures, the investigation of building-side air conditioning and waste heat utilisation concepts, as well as the development and testing of modular building supply and air conditioning components are planned. SP 5 plays a central role in the connection of all topics. The content of SP 5 is the development of user-oriented energy efficiency tools to support the technical planning of energy efficiency measures. The tools are intended to provide support in analysing the status quo with regard to energy-relevant process information and energy flows in existing factories, in estimating and evaluating technical potential for increasing energy efficiency, and in creating and evaluating possible technical concepts for implementation. Within the scope of SP 6, the tools developed will be applied using real case studies from industry and the research demonstrator of the ETA factory.

Structure of the project


The project started in November 2020 with a planned duration of three years. Funding is provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the German government's seventh energy research programme. The project is supervised by the Project Management Organisation Jülich (PTJ).

Funding source

Project sponsor