Although renewable energy sources such as solar and geothermal power are increasingly being used today for the air-conditioning of buildings, the air-conditioning systems including DEC technology (desiccative and evaporative cooling) can be used equally for heating and cooling. However, usually a conventional type of cooling technology is employed for cooling.

To change this, the SOMAK project team is integrating a magnetocalorific heating and cooling device in a DEC air-conditioning system, which in turn is connected to a PV system. The air-conditioning system only works when the sun shines, and it can cool and heat the building. Since its operation is controlled by a self-regulating system, complex control technology is made redundant.

In many respects, this innovative air-conditioning system is a groundbreaking development. Firstly, the inclusion of a PV system into the air-conditioning of buildings means there is a coupling of two sectors: heat and electricity. Secondly, the locally generated energy can be directly used locally too. This helps to reduce the burden on the energy transmission and distribution grids.

Funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the project is being run by the Technical University of Dresden, Leibniz-Institut für Festkörper- und Werkstoffforschung Dresden e.V. and INNIUS GTD GmbH until March 2020. After the development and in-depth analysis of a prototype, a technology transfer to industry will be sought. The newly developed module is also to be installed in already existing air-conditioning systems.