Research


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Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-07-01 - 2017-09-30

Scientific coordination of the following projects (http://www.startclim.at/startclim2016/): StartClim2016.A: Monitoring to assess biodiversity effects of climate change StartClim2016.B: Impact of climate change on the activity phases of animals using the example of amphibians in Austria and the use of plant phenology as an indicator StartClim2016.C: BioRaw StartClim2016.D: Raising awareness as driver of social transformation in the context of climate change? How local and regional authorities raise awareness about climate change in the frame of e5 and KEM initiatives. StartClim2016.E: Detection of bark beetle infestation using Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) StartClim2016.F: Migration, Climate Change and Social and Economic Inequalities
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-07-01 - 2018-12-31

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management together with the federal state governments of Austria funded the one-year project, called “Klimaszenarien für Österreich (ÖKS15)”, end of 2014. In the light of limited effective resolutions of both, underlying RCM data and observational data, and in the light of methodological limitations of statistical downscaling, bias correction, and interpolation approaches, the reliability and quality of the ÖKS15 climate projections generated on such small scales (1 km x 1 km grid spacing; daily bases) ask for a deeper consideration – especially, in the complex terrain of Austria. STARC-Impact is designed to evaluate differences in the characteristics and climate change signal of current RCM simulations, as well as to assess strengths and limitations of the ÖKS15 projections and to elucidate its range of applicability, seen from an impact modeller’s point of view. The objectives include: Analyse the quality, reliability and uncertainty of the ÖKS15 dataset as well as of the observational, gridded data used in ÖKS15 (provided to the community through ZAMG); Analyse differences in the ÖKS15 dataset when the emission scenarios are changed from SRES to RCPs as well as from IPCC-AR4 to latest IPCC-AR5 climate models; Assess differences in the climate change signal between different climate models and model-generations therein as well as between different emission scenarios for various climate variables; Investigate the applicability of the ÖKS15 projections from an impact modeller’s point of view with respect to the ÖKS15’ limitations and with respect to changes in the emission scenario from SRES to RCP; Exemplify climate change impacts on crop production through crop model application in regional case studies and their sensitivity against uncertainty in emission scenario based on the ÖKS15 projections; Establish guidelines for the Austrian Climate Research Community for selecting and using the extended ÖKS15 data or available regional climate model raw data.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-09-01 - 2017-10-31

Starting point/ motivation: In PVOPTI-Ray the influence of the reflection and the radiation balance on the performance of facade-integrated Photovoltaics is analyzed in an urban complex area. At the same time, the influence of solar modules and the radiation effects of solar modules on the urban climate are considered. Reflection from the ground and surrounding buildings causes an increase of the solar radiation directed to the PV module, and entails an increase of the PV yield. Other factors which are influencing the performance of PV modules are energy flows which are having impact on both energy balance and temperature of PV modules. Human beings who are living in urban areas are just as well exposed to energy flows which can cause symptoms of thermal stress e.g. in the cause an increase of short-wave reflection. Supported by coupled urban city climate-building models and PV yield tools optimum solutions of city planning are developed with respect to the design of city canyons and the forming of its surfaces. As a result an optimized yield of façade-integrated PV plant is developed, while all bioclimatic aspects which are relevant for the well-being of humans are considered. Cities are the biggest energy consumers and they are going to be the major victims of climate change. Against this background, the ‚Solar Cities‘ issue is discussed nationally and internationally: cities that are gaining most of their energy need from the sun directly with their own rooftops and facades. Active houses and Solar Cities are thus planned in a way that they may retrieve a maximum of ‚solar harvest‘, directing their roofs and facades towards the sun avoiding shadowing to achieve a maximum solar yield. At best, black solar modules are used with low reflection and thus a high electricity yield with up to 20%. The biggest part of the absorbed solar radiation is however transformed into heat. So far there have not been developed any evaluation and simulation tools for the urban area which can estimate the effects of a broad roll-out of PV and insolation of facade surfaces in urban districts, especially on the micro-climate in street canyons. In order to adapt to climate change the US are following a contrary strategy: a city with white roofs, maximized reflective surfaces and minimized absorption of the solar irradiation of the city. Reflection from the ground and surrounding buildings causes an increase of the solar radiation directed to the PV module, and entails an increase of the PV yield. At the same time the increase of reflection can cause more thermal stress and blinding of human beings. Solar modules are reducing the reflection in urban districts and may contribute to warming the environment.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations