For homeowners, end customers and businesses alike, the prospect of utilizing power from their own solar installations is becoming ever more attractive. From June 10–12 in Munich, Intersolar Europe and ees Europe will showcase new products and technologies in this field. The Intersolar Europe Conference provides details of the latest trends in smart homes, while the Intersolar AWARD and ees AWARD pay tribute to the most innovative developments.
The feed-in tariff for solar power is falling continuously. As time goes on, installing a photovoltaic system is therefore becoming primarily worthwhile where the power generated is to be consumed on site. First and foremost, the nosedive in solar module prices over recent years is making privately generated solar power attractive to both individual consumers and companies. Installing solar modules on your roof, however, is only the first step toward achieving an independent energy supply. An array’s full potential can only be exploited with additional components in intelligent systems.
Energy storage system or heat pump? Thinking about the system as a whole
Anyone considering supplying their own power from a photovoltaic installation needs to bear the entire system in mind. This includes energy storage, which allows surplus energy to be stored for times when the sun is not shining but electricity is required. Such electricity storage systems afford their owners intermittent independence from the power grid. Heat pumps, which use geothermal or environmental heat to supply room heating and hot water, can also be combined with photovoltaic installations. Part of the power required to operate a heat pump can be generated by a PV system, which might also charge an electric car at the same time. Modern control engineering gives users an excellent command of different energy sources and consumption devices – enabling them to take the first step toward creating a smart home.
If the power generated is not fully consumed on site, or if large surpluses are produced, electricity can also be sold either directly to end users or through a professional direct marketing company.
Transformations in grid infrastructure and consumption control
The Intersolar Europe Conference dedicates two events to the latest developments in decentralized power generation and on-site consumption. Under the heading Smart Ideas in a Smart Energy Infrastructure, representatives of local utilities, grid operators, and other service providers will discuss the potential implications of rising decentralized power generation from photovoltaic installations. Distributed energy storage systems and smart grids will be among the topics in the spotlight (Wednesday, June 10, 2:00pm at the ICM, room 13 B).
The decision as to when and how to use the power we generate forms the focus of a panel discussion entitled Smart Future: The Fascinating Sides to Intelligent Homes. Attention here turns to online apps that allow us to control the flow and consumption of energy in our homes and apartment buildings in a way that ensures minimum environmental impact and maximum economic benefit (Wednesday, June 10, 4:00pm at the ICM, room 13 B). A detailed program including all presentations and events at Intersolar Europe and the Intersolar Europe Conference will be available from late April 2015 at www.intersolar.de/en.
Prizes for the most innovative products and solutions
All intelligent new systems are underpinned by pioneering products and solutions. Intersolar Europe and ees Europe, the international exhibition for batteries, energy storage systems and innovative production taking place in parallel from June 10–12, provide an overview of technological developments around the globe. The Intersolar AWARD and ees AWARD will be presented to groundbreaking new products and solutions at both exhibitions in a range of categories.
In 2014, SMA Solar Technology AG received an award in the Photovoltaics category for a control module that lowers fuel consumption in photovoltaic-diesel hybrid systems. The power and heating supply system for a school and sports center realized by GOLDBECK Solar GmbH was among the projects that received prizes in the category Solar Projects in Europe. Here, the intelligent combination of photovoltaic installation and CHP plant tipped the balance in this project’s favor. An energy storage system from ViZn Energy Systems, which impressed the judges with its consistent ecological design, was among the winners of the ees AWARD.
Trends in global technologies and markets are again set to dominate the award submissions for 2015: In future, new solar cell designs and optimized modules will boost the output of PV installations. Increasing numbers of ever larger PV plants are being constructed worldwide, and new requirements for energy management and systems integration are calling for smarter technology and flexible energy storage solutions. With all this in mind, the organizers and partners of the 2015 exhibitions are once again looking forward to revealing the most exciting new technologies from across the world.