Since Hydro in March started measuring energy production and consumption at the company’s German test center for energy-efficient aluminium building solutions, the building has produced as much as four times more power than it has used.
The test center, which is located in Bellenberg, about one-and-a-half hours drive from Stuttgart in Germany, is connected to the German grid and is now producing renewable energy for German consumers.
The test center has highly energy-efficient façade solutions and produces energy from a heat pump and integrated solar cells.
Since the measuring started in March this year, the building has produced 27,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), while consumption has been 6,000 kWh.
During the same period, the test center has sold electricity for close to EUR 11,000, making electricity production into a small source of income.
Far more important, however, is that the test center makes visible the potential for reducing energy consumption from buildings.
“Buildings account for 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption. To be able to solve the climate challenge, it is absolutely crucial to do something about the energy consumption in buildings," says Lars Hauk Ringvold, who is head of Hydro's aluminium building systems unit.
“The test center shows that the technologies for building energy-neutral buildings are available today."
Ringvold points out that the measurement of the building started first in the spring, and that it therefore does not give the correct picture of the building’s energy performance over the course of a full year.
Four building brands
Hydro has the aluminium building systems brands Wicona, Technal, Domal and Alumafel.
The test center in Bellenberg is used by Wicona for testing of windows, doors and façade solutions.
The center was officially opened last summer by the political advisor in the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy at the time, Jarand Felland, and Hydro’s CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.