Intersolar Award 2015: IBC SOLAR and Widmann Energietechnik win with power-autonomous energy factory

PV systems, battery storage and CHP deliver electricity for off-grid office complex

Bad Staffelstein/Neuenstadt am Kocher, June 10, 2015 – IBC SOLAR and its partner Widmann Energietechnik have won this year's Intersolar Award in the category PV Projects in Europe for their project EnFa – The Energy Factory. EnFa – The Energy Factory is a completely off-grid self-sufficient office and workshop complex that has no connection to the public grid and uses only renewable energies. The developer and constructor of the building is Friedhelm Widmann, Premium Partner of IBC SOLAR AG, which provided photovoltaic and storage systems.
Since September 2014, EnFa – The Enegy Factory has supplied the users of the more than 900 m² office and production space in Neuenstadt am Kocher (Baden-Württemberg) with exclusively renewable energies. There is no connection to the public grid. The trend-setting design with a mixture of production and storage types was chosen by a specialist jury for the Intersolar Award 2015: EnFa – The Energy Factory shows in a prototypical way how a closely linked and intelligent power network should work.
"The motivation for constructing EnFa came from the excruciating discussion on the feasibility and financing of the turnaround in energy policy," says constructor and qualified engineer Friedhelm Widmann. "I wanted to show that in 2014 we are already in a position to realise a stable and economically attractive energy supply based solely on renewable energy." Depending on the type of production, Widmann can expect consistently low prices of 6 to 20 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) .- much less than any utility companies charge.

Photovoltaics deliver 80 per cent
A photovoltaic system with 112 kilowatt peak (kWp) ensures consistent energy production throughout the day. The modules used for this purpose have been aligned at the different cardinal points on the roof and on the façade. Solar energy which cannot be consumed immediately will be stored in a 400 kWh battery storage system. A combined heat and power plant fuelled by biogas which has the electrical power of 40 kW will be used if the solar energy is insufficient on days of low radiation. The share of photovoltaic systems in the overall energy supply of EnFa is at around 80 percent.
When it comes to using energy, EnFa goes one decisive step further. The company-owned electric vehicles are charged with energy on site using three electric charging stations. Driving 100 kilometres with the electric car costs just 85 cents, whilst the same journey with a traditional petrol-operated car incurs a hefty sum of 9 euros.

Generators and consumers coordinate with one another by using software that was specially developed for the project. Widmann has incorporated the knowledge he has gained from 20 years of professional experience as a qualified engineer into this software, which has access to a weather forecast with a three day outlook. The software then uses this forecast to calculate the heat and cooling requirements for the building and manage the various room temperature configurations, the use of interruptible loads, the optimised charging of electric cars and the process of stabilising the self-sufficient power network.