In 2016 the Umwelt Arena AG built the world’s first energy autonomous multi-family home with increased ecological and energy standards which does not require any connection to the electric or gas grids. All the electrical and thermal energy is sourced from the sun and distributed throughout the year with the help of various energy storage technologies installed in site (short term and seasonal energy storage), making it the world’s first purely solar powered multi-family house.
Photo-voltaic panels are used to convert solar energy into electricity and stored in a battery for daily and short term usage. For storage over the long term, for example from summer to winter, excess electricity is converted into hydrogen. The hydrogen is stored in underground pressurised tanks and is converted in to electrical and thermal energy using Fuel Cells as and when required. A portion of the solar energy is also converted in to thermal energy using heat pumps, and used for the heating and hot water needs within the multi-family house. According to the thermal demand of the building, different sources of heat are used in order to maximise the efficiency of the heat pumps.
Proton Motor is responsible for the conversion of hydrogen into electrical energy and for feeding this energy into the DC net of the house. To achieve this, a PM Module S8 Fuel Cell and a DC/DC converter were integrated in a 19-inch rack. Proton Motor additionally provided a heat exchanger which allows thermal energy from the Fuel Cell to be used to prepare warm water for the house.
Technical data of the plant:
|Type – fuel cell:||Proton Motor PM Module S8|
|Voltage level:||600 VDC – 700 VDC|
|Power requirement:||6,2 kW fuel cell|
|H2 storage:||Hydrogen tank at 30 bar|
Fuel cell module in use: