The Centre for Applied Research Sustainable Energy Technology - (ZAFH), established in 2002 and directed by Prof. Dr. Ursula Eicker, conducts research into energy consumption of buildings and communities.

ZAFH is the largest research center at Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart). Expertise in building physics and energy supply technologies as well as control and automation enables the optimization of building planning and building operation with respect to energy consumption.

The ZAFH scientists develop concepts for solar heating and cooling of buildings and industrial plants, develop new solar cooling systems, optimize district heating with renewable energy from biomass and solar, analyze passive administrative buildings and low-energy building and develop simulation tools for visualizing and optimization of complex building technology, large solar heating and cooling plants and district heating networks. In national and European collaborative projects, all areas of sustainable energy supply, building technology and energy management in buildings and heating grids are covered by ZAFH.

In the field of district heating and cooling networks ZAFH worked on predictive simulation based control tasks for intelligent load and storage management in European and national projects. In an actual national project the interaction of an innovative cold water heating network with decentralized heat pumps with the electricity grid is tested in order to use the heat pumps with the connected hot water storages as controllable electricity sinks for the electricity grid operator.