© Fraunhofer ICT

BayWa r.e. supports Fraunhofer ICT with novel, holistic energy solution

BayWa r.e. is implementing a holistic energy project for the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal. For this purpose, photovoltaic (PV) systems will be newly installed on the ICT campus and connected to the power grid without their own inverters, but via an existing wind turbine. This is a technically very sophisticated, novel plant combination of wind and solar energy including battery storage, which is unique in Europe in this form.

BayWa r.e. will install PV systems with a total output of approx. 670 kWp on three roof areas and one open area. The PV systems, wind turbine and battery are connected on the DC side with low losses and feed in with only one common – instead of several – separate inverters. This increases efficiency through fewer energy conversions and reduces costs. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2023.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Henning, Institute Director at ICT: “Sustainability plays a major role for Fraunhofer ICT, both in our research orientation and in practice on our campus. In this context, our project for this holistic energy solution is a consistent step that we are taking together with our partners. In this way, we are shaping the future at our institute with foresight and responsibility.”

Stephan Auracher, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Power Solutions GmbH: “There is no one-size-fits-all solution for renewable energies. Every customer has individual requirements, wishes and goals, which sometimes also require technically more complex concepts that are unique on the market. This flagship project shows that our customers also tackle these kinds of challenges with us and that we have the necessary prerequisites to ensure that the symbiosis of solar and wind energy plus battery storage for self-consumption succeeds.”

The Fraunhofer ICT has already integrated the following components into its microgrid on the electricity side: a wind turbine with a capacity of 2 MW, a combined heat and power plant, a “Redox-Flow” research battery (1 MW/10 MWh) and a power-to-heat plant. On the heating side, a local heating network was also implemented to supply the buildings – supported by a heat storage tank.

Another partner in this project is FREQCON, which developed and installed the equipment already on site, including all the power electronics.

Norbert Hennchen, Managing Director of FREQCON GmbH: “We are delighted to be making an important contribution to this unique lighthouse project. With our innovative power electronics for this complex hybrid system, we place particular emphasis on high efficiency in energy conversion.”

The main campus of the Fraunhofer Institute ICT has over 100 laboratories, as well as several pilot plants and three test centers on a 21-hectare site, which – thanks in part to this project – will be operated in an increasingly climate-neutral manner.