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Energy from above and below - we relieve the power grid!

07.06.2019

Everyone is talking about climate change - especially here in Constance, the first city in Germany to declare a climate emergency. In the BODENSEEFORUM KONSTANZ we have always tried to act ecologically responsibly. As the former headquarters of a solar company, we have a photovoltaic system on our roof. And in the basement, a combined heat and power unit (CHP) generates so much electricity that the surplus can be fed into the municipal grid. At the same time it supplies heat and serves as an emergency power generator.

Last year, the solar system generated 20,000 kWh of electricity. This corresponds approximately to the amount that six households consume per year. And according to Markus Wörner, our Head of Facility Management, the entire roof would be covered with solar cells. In the BODENSEEFORUM KONSTANZ a surplus of electricity is already being produced. "We have more than enough electricity in our house," says Markus Wörner, pointing to the large blue machine in the cellar. The combined heat and power unit (CHP) generated a whopping 1,000,000 kWh of electricity in 2018. 70 percent of this remained in the house, the rest was fed into the municipal grid.

Ingenious power package and real all-rounder
The CHP unit has an efficiency of 90 percent. By way of comparison, coal-fired power plants usually achieve 30 to 40 percent efficiency. In accordance with the principle of combined heat and power generation, the CHP not only supplies our sockets: the heat generated during electricity generation is used for heating in winter, in summer an absorption chiller turns it into cool air. The electrical output of the CHP is 240 kW. This would make it possible, for example, to operate 160 kettles simultaneously and around the clock.

High technical standard is exemplary
Even the engineers of an automobile manufacturer were amazed about so much power. When they'll present their latest electric vehicle models, the BODENSEEFORUM KONSTANZ temporarily becomes an electric filling station. Markus Wörner is pleased about the self-sufficient plant, which relieves the grid and thus creates space for other, regenerative energies. The sophisticated technology in our event location thus supports the climate protection efforts of the city of Constance from an energetic point of view.