The expert for solar-electric heat generation my-PV has opened its new headquarters after a construction period of only seven months. In its new building in Neuzeug, the Austrian manufacturer is pursuing its “cables instead of pipes” concept and setting standards in solar-electric heat supply.
Neuzeug, Austria. my-PV designed its new company building the other way around: “Instead of planning the building first and then the solar system, we designed the outer shell based on the photovoltaic modules,” says Managing Director Dr. Gerhard Rimpler. The 108 solar modules, whose dimensions dictated the design of the building shell, are suspended from the outer facade. The panels are integrated within the building’s larch wood wall. On the mono-pitch roof, which has a slope of 9 degrees towards the south, another 200 solar modules generate a total of more than 82,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
Excess solar power activates the building foundation
Whether hot water, heating or electricity, the 100 kWp photovoltaic system supplies the entire electricity demands of the building. To accomplish this, my-PV put electric heating wires into the 25 to 50 centimeter thick concrete foundation, and a continuously variable 40 kilowatt electric heater activates this foundation with excess solar power during the colder months. Although the heating capacity of the low-energy lightweight timber building is significantly lower at 14 kilowatts, the excess energy can be temporarily stored by building component activation and released again later.
The heating technology does not require water pipes at all. The first floor is also heated by a standard electric floor heating system with heating wires laid in the screed. In summer, a VRF system uses surplus solar power to cool the rooms. “With our new company building, we are realizing our solar-electric vision,” says Rimpler.
Twelve AC•THOR or AC•THOR 9s power managers and a higher-level energy management system control the building services. my-PV has installed the devices and a 300 liter hot water tank, including the AC ELWA-E heating rod, in a visible position in the entrance area of the building. This allows visitors to see how the building’s supply system works as soon as they enter the building. “In addition, compared to conventional facility management, we do not need to build a 20 square meter facilities management room. That alone saves almost 3 % of the construction costs,” explains Rimpler.
Parking spaces without surface sealing
The building’s parking spaces have been laid out by my-PV using plastic grids with recycled materials. They allow the parking areas to be greened so that rainwater can seep into the ground. “Our parking lot does almost completely without surface sealing,” explains Rimpler. In the future, customers will be also able to recharge their electric cars with environmentally friendly solar power at two fast-charging stations; in addition, each parking space has a 230 volt connection.
Low investment and operating costs
my-PV has invested around two million euros in the project. The building has a floor area of 858 square meters with costs for electricity, heating and hot water expected to be around 2,100 euros per year. That is 67 % less than for commercial buildings of a similar size with conventional heating technology.
Ceremonial opening with 120 guests
On September 30th, my-PV inaugurated the new building with a presentation by Managing Director Dr. Gerhard Rimpler on his solar-electric vision and a roundtable discussion with Deputy Governor Dr. Manfred Haimbuchner, Provincial Environment Councillor Stefan Kaineder and Member of the Provincial Parliament Christian Dörfel. Around 120 guests accepted the company’s invitation. As keynote speaker, the author and lecturer Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Timo Leukefeld gave a talk entitled “Waste intelligently – for a new handling with energy”. He predicted that liquid-based heating systems in new buildings will disappear in the next ten years. On October 1st, the company gave 210 visitors a tour of the building on an open-doors day.