TWK - Test- und Weiterbildungszentrum Wärmepumpen und Kältetechnik GmbH

Organisational structure


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthäus Wollfarth, Hochschule Karlsruhe
Studienschwerpunkt "Kälte-, Klima- und Umwelttechnik"


Managing director:
Rainer Burger and Michael Stalter

The TWK GmbH is an institution of the Valerius-Füner-Stiftung.


Karlsruhe´s good reputation as one of the “centers of refrigeration technology” in Germany goes back to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h. c. mult. Rudolf Plank, who in 1925 established refrigeration technology at the TH Karlsruhe (Technical University of Karlsruhe) and founded the first Institute for Refrigeration Technology worldwide in 1926. One of his students, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Valerius Füner, introduced refrigeration technology at the former Staatstechnikum Karlsruhe, today´s Hochschule Karlsruhe (FH) (Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences) in 1948 (until 2005: Fachhochschule Karlsruhe; before 1970: Staatliche Ingenieurschule). Rudolf Plank achieved something great with regard to refrigeration technology due to his outstanding reputation as scientist, whereas Valerius Füner achieved something great with regard to engineering education related to practice and to advanced training in refrigeration technology.

In 1952, V. Füner established a refrigeration technology lab with financial support of sponsors from the refrigeration industry and brought into being the first refrigeration technology training course (“Kältekurs”). He taught these courses until 1979. They took place once a year. In the beginning, the courses ran for 12 weeks, later 9 weeks – between October and December respectively. The maximum number of participants was limited to 40.

In 1980, his successor at the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Reichelt, continued and significantly expanded these courses. Instead of a 9-week refrigeration course per year, about 40 basic, advanced and special courses were gradually established for about 50 weeks per year. In addition, there are now numerous company training courses. The number of participants per course is usually limited to 12, in rare cases to 20. On average, about 1,200 participants per year attend these courses; including symposia about 1,500. In 1980, at the request of J. Reichelt, the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences became one of three neutral DIN test centres for heat pumps and refrigeration technology approved in Germany. Since then, the measuring and testing activities have also been increasingly expanded.

In 1987, it was integrated into the Steinbeis-Stiftung, Stuttgart (Germany) under the name Transferzentrum für Kälte- und mobile Klimatechnik Karlsruhe.

The TWK GmbH Test- und Weiterbildungszentrum Wärmepumpen und Kältetechnik was founded in 1996 and was recognized as non-profit institution in 2005.

In 1997, we moved to a building outside the Fachhochschule Karlsruhe for the advanced training and education with regard to refrigeration technology and for the inspection facility (located at approx. 1 km from the Fachhochschule Karlsruhe).

In 2001, J. Reichelt brought into being the foundation VALERIUS-FÜNER-STIFTUNG with financial support of sponsors from the refrigeration industry.

In 2004, J. Reichelt turned TWK GmbH over to this foundation.

In 2005, a lab building has been built next to the previous TWK building.

In 2016, we moved to our new building in Stutensee near Karlsruhe.

2019: Installation of a PV system with 99 kW on the TWK building

In 2020 the first live online course was held.

2021: Certification ISO 9001:2015 - Scope of certification: Advanced training in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump technology, Measurements on thermodynamic systems and components

2021: Installation of a second e-charging station. Three charging points are available for visitors and employees

2021: Introduction of paperless courses with tablets in many face-to-face courses

2022: Realisation of online courses in cooperation with the Schauffler Academy

2023: Installation of a propane-compatible test chamber

2023: Agreement with the German Heat Pump Association (BWP) and the Association of German Engineers (VDI) on training courses for the qualification certificate "Expert for heat pump systems according to VDI 4645"

Further information