The German Federal Government has initiated a new energy policy. It now envisages that renewable energies will supply at least 35 percent of the country's energy needs by the year 2022: which means there will have to an increase in the output of solar power, wind power, biomass, geothermal and hydropower. As a consequence, not only will the composition of the energy mix change but so will its generation: in the coming years it will no longer just be large power stations that generate power, but increasingly farmers, business and private people - through the use of wind turbines, photovoltaic systems and cogeneration units in the cellar and by other means.
It is possible to integrate small wind energy and photovoltaic systems into the building's architecture. The "sun and wind" represent two climate-friendly energy sources available to users in urban environments - directly above their heads as it were. This form of energy recovery is both directly visible and appreciable. First class industrial components are indispensable to ensure regenerative power generation solutions remain fully operational at all times.
Amongst others these components include current and voltage converter terminals, male and female connectors, relay modules, Ethernet modules and connectors including cables, lightning and surge protection, PCB connection components; for photovoltaic systems there are installation components, combiner boxes and inverters as well as components and systems to continuously monitor their performance. In addition, Weidmüller works closely with its customers to create and implement application-specific solutions.
Energy generation in conurbations
A strong wind blows above the roofs in many towns and cities, primarily in one direction. It is precisely the exposure to wind on the tops of high-rise buildings that will prove ideal as sites for smaller wind energy plants. As well as roofs, facades also represent ideal surfaces on which to install photovoltaic systems. Buildings in towns and cities are ideal sites for decentralized power generation solutions, with the advantage: the inevitable transmission losses incurred when transporting energy simply no longer exist. This would make it possible to significantly reduce the number of new transmission lines needed to be built to connect offshore wind energy plants with population centres.
The combination of regenerative wind and photovoltaic sources of energy means there is more renewable energy available to the buildings than would be the case if harvesting just one of these sources. Weidmüller offers reliable electrical components and electronics modules for wind energy plants. They combine long service lives with low maintenance requirements - and are precisely tailored to fulfil the requirements of the wind energy industry. The products are tested thoroughly and hold the requisite approvals for deployment in wind energy plant. They sustain reliable and trouble-free plant operations even under the harshest of environmental conditions.
Decentralized energy recovery through the use of photovoltaic solutions offers a huge potential for building and running sustainable, energy-efficient modern homes. Weidmüller contributes towards increasing the efficiency of photovoltaic systems with a broad spectrum of performance-guaranteeing components specifically designed for PV system requirements and solutions.
These include photovoltaic connection boxes equipped with "SunSniffer" technology to ensure 100 percent performance monitoring and safety shutdown functionality for each and every solar module. Moreover, photovoltaic connection boxes facilitate full automatic control during the production process and as a consequence accelerate the manufacture of photovoltaic modules. Components for lightning and surge protection as well as industrial Ethernet based communication modules further supplement the programme of products. Systems designed to permanently monitor the performance of PV systems round off Weidmüller's offer.
Conclusion: The vision outlining the integration of wind energy and photovoltaic systems into buildings may appear utopian at first glance; however, it can be achieved with the technologies available to us today. It would significantly reduce the emission of CO2 in town centres and conurbations. Weidmüller supports these systems with electrical and electronic components.