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On 12th October 2015, Hager Group was honoured for its research and application centre with an award for the German nationwide innovation competition "Excellent Places in the Land of Ideas” 2015. On the topic of "City, country, network! Innovations for a digital world" in the environment category, the panel said the project delivered an excellent response to the question of how energy management might look in the future.
Blieskastel in Saarland is home to a building that always knows what needs to be done and when in terms of energy. Hager Group worked together with partners IS Predict, Oelma, Sauter and Lonsdorfer to develop a smart energy management system for Hager Group’s research and application centre. By collecting vast amounts of data about users' consumption behaviour or up-to-date weather forecasts, the software solution is able to use this information to prepare accurate forecasts of the expected energy consumption levels. The energy used is largely generated by the building's own combined heat and power plant as well as a solar installation on the roof of the building, plus it is stored in a high-performance energy storage system. Self-learning and foresighted, the building develops strategies in this way to ensure more efficient generation and storage of its own energy. The research and application centre is thus literally an excellent place filled with ideas.
With this competition, the "Germany – Land of Ideas" initiative and Deutsche Bank recognise the outstanding concepts and projects that make a positive contribution towards shaping the connected world and provide answers to the challenges accompanying the digital revolution. The Blieskastel research and application centre also serves as a good example of how companies can get involved in smart energy generation and consumption, helping them to take the lead in both an ecological and an economical manner.
"Nowadays, we are seeing a few energy self-sufficient buildings cropping up," says Johannes Hauck from Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Hager Group. "One of the things that makes our project different is the fact that it was strictly conceived with economic objectives in mind right from the outset." Because of this foresighted planning, the additional investments for energy generation and management covered the costs in the space of less than seven years. The knowledge gained during the course of the project in turn fed into an energy management system for private households, which Hager Group will be launching next year.
"We are convinced that Germany has a lot to offer for the digital world of the future. Creative minds, creativity, love of experimentation and general willingness to take risks mean we are all equipped to deal with this future", Andreas Torner from Deutsche Bank explained the topic of this year's competition. An expert panel consisting of scientists, business managers, journalists and politicians worked with a five-member advisory board to select the winner from more than 1,000 applications: the project "Foresighted energy management in the Blieskastel research and application centre".
At the prize-giving ceremony in Blieskastel on 12th October, the guests were told the history of how the building came about in a short comic film produced by one of Hager Group's employees. Saarland's Minister of Economic Affairs Anke Rehlinger praised the jury's choice in her speech: "If we look at it more closely, Hager Group's research and application centre is almost a perpetual motion machine. It is based on a central idea, is constantly generating new approaches and also produces environmentally-friendly energy along the way. All this makes it an outstanding example of what can be achieved in the land of ideas."
Rights: Land der Ideen / Uwe Völkner / FOX :
Rights: Hager Group / Manuela Meyer :
Press Release : "Land of ideas" (DOC, 2 MB)
Pictures : "Land of ideas" (ZIP, 6,8 MB)