As e-mobility starts to pick up the pace, we are seeing a growing need for smart solutions for the management and storage of energy. This is precisely the focus of the new Hager Energy business unit, which has been set up within the fast-growing renewable energy business. The new business unit is currently working on an ambitious project to ramp up charging station production.
When in early 2021 Hager Group launched Hager Energy, a new business unit tasked with the supply and management of energy, it seemed little more than a formality. The new business unit brings together and leverages the respective capabilities of the teams responsible for the complementary brands and Hager Group master brands Hager and E3/ DC. The unit is headed up by Andreas Piepenbrink, the founder of E3/DC, and Rémy Becher, previously head of Hager Group’s group-wide product marketing.
Charging stations, charging technology and energy management will become integral to home technology
What might perhaps be underestimated as a formality is in fact a sign of the seriousness with which Hager Group is addressing its role in shaping the electrical world of 2030. In Hager Energy, the company has combined the innovative strength of a leading energy storage manufacturer with the clout of an experienced building technology manufacturer. At the very moment when renewable energies are increasingly finding their way into people’s homes and commercial buildings, and as the number of installed charging points continues to grow, Hager Group is pooling its expertise within a single, ambitious business unit.
As Andreas Piepenbrink explains, “we can now offer building contractors and homeowners the fantastic benefits of energy management, home storage systems and domestic electrical wiring, including charging infrastructure, from a single source. Supporting this is a family business which through its network of experienced installation technicians, has always guaranteed safety and reliability.”
Hager Group, for its part, is giving its expert installers the opportunity to enter an additional, rapidly growing sector. With growing numbers of customers switching to electric vehicles and acquiring their own photovoltaic systems, electricians can now offer them a comprehensive electrical solution from Hager Group. This is particularly attractive in an industry that is currently drowning in an influx of orders. “With our holistic solution from the PV connection to the charging station, we are making the work of our installation technicians easier,” says Andreas Piepenbrink. “Ultimately, this means more reliable technology, more straightforward installation and more satisfied customers.”
As installers, we need reliable partners for the long term. Hager and E3/DC represent the ideal pairing for us.
A project in Uttenreuth, Germany, for instance, completed in spring 2021, provides a good illustration of the benefits of this combination. It involved the installation of a 24.85 kW solar system on the gable roof of a detached house by technicians from Sonnen PV GmbH. For the self-generated electricity, an E3/DC storage system was installed inside the home, while the energy management system and newly installed electrical wiring are from Hager. “It’s the perfect pairing,” enthuses Ruth Mehler, director of the solar PV installation company, which was founded in 2010 and has had a relationship with E3/DC in the area of domestic energy storage from the very beginning.
“E3/DC has always maintained close relationships with installers and continued to develop its solutions and itself as a company, and we appreciate that,” says Mrs. Mehler, explaining her loyalty to the brand partner. At the moment, companies like Sonnen PV are installing around 1,500 additional E3/DC home power stations every month. By the end of the year, the total number of installed E3/DC home energy storage systems looks set to reach 60,000 units; making E3/DC one of the German market leaders.
“We feel that Hager Group perfectly complements our offer,” adds Martin Lang, technical director of the ten-person company. “The technology is a great fit, and having a strong family business as a partner means we can count on them in every respect.”
From prosumer to flexsumer
Prosumers are consumers who are also producers at the same time. The next level of the prosumer is the so-called flexsumer. Here, consumption and generation of the prosumer are flexibly controlled with the help of intelligent systems to react to bottlenecks or surpluses across the grid. Thus the home becomes the control centre for the end customer, but also the counterpart for the grid operator or energy supplier.
The homeowners also feel the same. Through their investment, Kirsten and Robert Lerch intend to save energy costs in the long term, do their bit for the environment, cover their relatively high electricity consumption of 6,500 kWh per year and become as independent as possible from electricity suppliers and grid fluctuations. “Sonnen PV proposed a holistic concept to us, which, in my view, is absolutely pioneering,” says Robert Lerch, who works as an electrical engineer. “The fact that everything was professionally installed within just four days makes it even better.”
In the course of the year, the Lerchs also plan to buy an electric vehicle and recharge it using the new wall mounted charging station in their garage. With an expected 17,000 to 21,000 kilowatt hours of self-generated energy per year, they are likely to generate a good portion of their total energy consumption themselves. The Lerchs thus belong to the fast-growing group of ‘prosumers’ (people who both produce and consume energy), who will cover their energy needs, at least in part, from self-generated energy.
In our view, the combination of Hager with E3/DC is absolutely pioneering
In recognition of this trend, Hager Group is massively ramping up production capacities in this area. “Our goal is to offer the best-connected wall mounted charging station on the market,” explains Andreas. “Our charging station will be fully future-proof with an EEBUS interface, and dedicated software and cloud solutions. We will set new standards in this area.”
Hager Group is in fact already playing its part in revolutionising charging technology throughout Europe. In France, Great Britain, Belgium and Italy, the company is supporting the energy supplier EDF in its ‘Plan Mobilité éléctrique’, which aims to establish a tight network of charging points in these countries. Hager Group is supplying the electrical components for this initiative. At the turn of the year 2020/21, the Hager flow energy management system, which optimises recharging and prevents overloading of the home power grid, was launched in 29 countries. In Germany, many Aral service stations will soon be equipped with Hager e-charging stations. In this area, Hager Group developers are working with automotive industry experts on the development of bidirectional charging; something that Andreas Piepenbrink is convinced will become commonplace in the future.
“By 2030, the majority of new vehicles will no longer be powered by combustion engines, but by electrical motors,” he asserts. “To prevent overloading the grids, charging technologies must become more flexible.” With bidirectional charging technology, e-vehicle batteries can also be used as temporary storage for the power grid. More electric vehicles will not therefore place a higher load on the power grids, they will in fact take some of the burden off them. At a time when renewable energy sources on the one hand, and high-power consumers on the other, are burdening the grids, such technologies will play a key role.
Ultimately, by combining Hager Group’s expertise and portfolio with that of E3/DC, we can amplify the possibilities for the efficient use of renewable energies. Not only is this good news for Hager Group itself, it will also benefit its installation technicians, its customers, and the whole world in 2030.