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Alpiq installs the core component of the world’s first energy self-sufficient apartment house

Zurich – The world’s first energy self-sufficient apartment house without a power grid connection is currently under construction in Brütten in the Canton of Zurich. At the core is a battery storage solution by Helion Solar, an Alpiq Group company. This special storage system not only covers daily energy needs, it also manages the energy flow throughout the building. With this pioneer project, Alpiq is positioning itself as a provider of proven solutions in decentralised electricity generation and storage. Alpiq is expanding its energy services business in the context of strategy implementation.

The house of the future is an energy self-sufficient 9-family dwelling in Brütten in the Canton of Zurich. This unique building requires no external energy supply and, hence, does not have to be connected to the power grid. In the summer of 2016, the first residents will move in. They will draw their power exclusively from solar energy that is produced by photovoltaic modules on the building roof and facade. The house of the future is a pioneer project and a spearhead for energy efficient buildings.

Alpiq establishing a profile in energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is a key factor in the implementation of the Energy Strategy 2050, and a growth market for the solar industry. Helion Solar, which belongs to the Alpiq Group, is the largest Swiss partner for the installation of power generating photovoltaic systems, as well as energy storage systems. With this successful solar specialist, Alpiq is positioning itself in the growing energy efficiency and solar markets. The company offers innovative full-service solutions in the area of smart energy, building shells and roof substitutes, photovoltaic-to-heat, as well as battery storage systems.

Intelligent battery storage for short-term and medium-term needs

The multi-family building in Brütten is a lighthouse project of Umwelt Arena Spreitenbach. Helion Solar carried out the planning, delivery and installation of the core component of this globally unique project. The intelligent battery storage system stores generated electricity for short and medium-term consumption. In addition, the system manages electricity flow within the building, electricity supply planning, and reserve supply for sufficient backup electricity. Just one hour of sun in the summer is enough to cover electricity needs for an entire day. Storage capacity is designed so that the building can be supplied with enough energy to last three to four days.

Fuel cell for long-term storage over cold, sunless periods

A sophisticated system with different storage elements ensures that the building is also supplied with sufficient energy during bad weather periods. The energy self-sufficient building must be able to generate electricity over a three-month cold winter period with no direct sun. In such an exceptional situation, the house can draw energy from the long-term storage system in the ground. The sophisticated system by Helion Solar uses surplus solar energy for this purpose, and generates hydrogen from water by means of electrolysis. The hydrogen is stored, and, when needed, transformed into electricity and thermal energy in a fuel cell.