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Fronius banks on energy efficiency

Fronius International GmbH opened the Active Energy Tower at its Wels site in Upper Austria. Its active energy design, use of photovoltaics (PV) and geothermal energy sources mean that the architectural showpiece is heated and cooled without generating any CO2 emissions whatsoever. The Solar Electronics Division, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, moved into its new, creative working environment at the end of September.

“The Active Energy Tower demonstrates that the dedication of Fronius to energy efficiency goes well beyond its products and services”, explained Martin Hackl, head of the Fronius Solar Electronics Division. The impressive façade of the energy tower also provides shade and thermal insulation for the building, saving the energy that would otherwise be required for cooling and heating.

The new part of the building, which blends seamlessly into the existing building complex, has been given over to modern office accommodation. On the ground floor, a green vertical garden designed by Patrick Blanc, the French botanist and garden architect, creates a welcoming atmosphere. “We are currently working on the realisation of another highlight, a showroom, that will give visitors a closer look at some applications of our products”, revealed Martin Hackl.

The climate-protection façade provides shade while at the same time generating energy that can be used in the tower. A visual highlight is provided by the glass façade elements, which contain crystalline cells. This special development consists of 146 modules supplied by ertex solar and is rated at 38.3 kW. The photovoltaic roof system comprises 60 Kioto modules. These are polycrystalline modules (cSi) rated at 12.6 kW. At the heart of each system are three Fronius IG Plus 150V inverters and one Fronius IG Plus 100V, which ensure maximum yield levels from the Active Energy Tower.

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