A new case study in Italy

A new demo case has been introduced within the project. This demo will be used to test the Plug&Play Energy Hub (PPEH) technology developed within 4RinEU by partners Eurac Research and Thermics.

This building is a multifamily house with 13 dwellings. Flats vary from one to three rooms, with different sizes between 35 m² and of 60 m². The building consists of two floors and it develops in length. There is a total of six flats on the ground floor and seven flats on the first floor.

The building already has undergone some retrofit in the last years. This consisted of the replacement of the external doors and windows of the units and the substitution of old boilers with condensation ones. An attic, under the two-pitched roof, was isolated with thin fibreglass insulation covering the ground. In addition, a photovoltaic system of 8 kW of peak power was installed.

This demo case has recently been deeply renovated thanks to a European H2020 project  BuildHEAT. With this demo case, 4RinEU has taken the advantages of the deep renovation and contributed to enhancing the performance of the building, testing PPEH technology developed within 4RinEU project. The interventions for Pinerolo demo case are summarised here below:

  • renovation of the building envelope;
  • installation of a new ventilation system for each flat;
  • installation of a new heating and cooling system;
  • installation of a new system for sanitary hot water production;
  • substitution of the insulation on the horizontal parts.

Plug and Play Energy Hub

The preliminary concept is to install an air-to-water inverter heat pump with 2 pipes, provided by Thermics, partner of 4RinEU project. This unit gives the possibility to manage separately the high-temperature and low-temperature circuits. This solution works in combination with a storage tank where the temperature is monitored and therefore a three-way-valve is controlled.

The PPEH system is a hydronic system controlled by an integrated digital controller providing the following functionalities:

  • the supply of space heating and instantaneous domestic hot water when connected to a hot water source;
  • the provision of an account of thermal energy consumed by the final user, distinguishing between domestic hot water and space heating.


The PPEH system is integrated into the heating system. Thanks to these connections and proper managing of the valves in the circuit, also the cooling operation should be guaranteed during the summer period, since the heat pump can work in cooling mode, providing cooled water to fan coils.

Thanks to the integration of the PPEH coupled with the heat pump, together with passive measures aiming to the increase of the thermal performances of the building envelope, a reduction for heating consumption from 51.4 MWh/year to 18.1 MWh/year is expected. Moreover, at least the 90% of this 18.1 MWh/year will be provided by renewable energies (in this case photovoltaic system).

As far as the sanitary hot water consumption is concerned (9.6 MWh/year with 200 m3/year of water), after the renovation, 3.7 MWh/year will be produced using the photovoltaic system combined with the heat pump. The remaining 5.9 MWh/year will still be produced by the heating boiler.