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Press conference on 5th March 2013
Hager Group presents itself as one of the most innovative companies in the sector and is a partner in CODE_n. With groundbreaking solutions for electric mobility, energy efficiency and use of renewable energies, this Saarland family business is currently at the cutting edge.
When young contestants get together with developers from Hager Group at the CODE_n event, at first glance this might seem like a meeting of two very different cultures: on the one side young start-up founders, right at the beginning of their careers - and on the other side a company that has enjoyed 58 years of success with a turnover of more than 1.6 billion euros. Nevertheless, the ethos of both sides could not be more similar: both work under high pressure on the development of innovative products and solutions with which, day by day, they are advancing the much-discussed energy revolution. Moreover, just as the start-up entrepreneurs will be presenting completely new approaches to this topic in Hanover, so Hager Group has designated 2013 as its "Year of Innovation". With its experience, market knowledge and close links to wholesalers, installers and end users, in 80 countries around the globe, Hager Group is simultaneously a credible and experienced sparring partner for young entrepreneurs in the field of energy technology.
Great tradition in electrical innovation
If we take the history of Hager Group we can see that it is a continuing series of electrical innovations. At the very beginning of this story stands a novel meter panel, with which the company's two founders, Hermann and Oswald Hager, gained sudden recognition in 1959. Because the Hager-style meter panels were made of plastic instead of steel, they could be mass produced and could be installed by specialised tradesman. Two years later the Hager brothers went one better, with a novel built-in cabinet for meter panels; this replaced the existing, conventional, hand-finished wooden meter cabinets and, within a few years, became the industry standard. So it was that the newcomers converted the disadvantage of being new market entrants into a genuine competitive edge. "Our advantage was that we were different and, moreover, we thought differently from the longestablished manufacturers", explains Dr. Oswald Hager, looking back at this success. As newcomers, the 2 Hager brothers could view the market with completely fresh eyes and devise solutions that the established manufacturers would never have come up with. The name Hager very quickly became a synonym for fresher, simpler and more convincing solutions for electrical installations.
Smart solutions for the world of tomorrow
Innovation has been the essential driving force behind the success that has seen the company grow from 2 to 11,300 employees. The Group's innovative strength is evidenced by more than 1300 patents, as well as reinvestment of more than five percent of the company's turnover, each year, in research and development projects. Around 720 experts, working in worldwide-networked development teams, research innovative products and solutions for electrical building installations. These include solutions for intelligent building technology and ambient assisted living-technologies, electric mobility, energy efficiency and renewable energy. The business is currently developing a flagship project addressing the last three of these issues, which is sure to create a stir across the industry.
The Blieskastel research and development centre is a flagship project for intelligent building efficiency
The location of the project is the Group headquarters in Blieskastel, Saarland, where Hager Group has just built a new administrative and development building. The 3000 square-metre building is, however, much more than just a conventional purpose-built building. When it is connected to the electricity grid in the summer of 2013, the Research and Development Centre will be transformed, in one fell swoop, into a kind of highly efficient power plant. On the roof, 470 solar panels will convert every ray from the sun into electricity, a 30 kW wind turbine will add its contribution and a gas-fired combined heat and power plant will simultaneously contribute both heat and electricity to the building. The majority of this energy, if it is not used immediately, will be stored in bi-directional lithium-ion batteries and only be retrieved when required.
The heart and brain of the Research and Application Centre is a sophisticated energy management system, which will coordinate and control four different energy sources: a solar power plant, wind power plant, combined heat and power plant and power from the electricity grid. Simultaneously, the specially developed management software will integrate a variety of external data, such as current electricity tariffs and weather forecasts (and thus the expected wind and solar power yield), into its models. Finally, it will align all this data with the current and anticipated energy demand. Around 5000 data points, distributed around the entire building, will record and analyse the energy consumption of each individual consumer, in real time, and this will be integrated into the virtual models. The bottom line is that the building should be able to provide 70 percent of its energy requirement for heating, air conditioning and electrical supply, from its own sources.
"This building, because of its size, its energy concept and its degree of self-sufficiency, is unique in Germany," says Andreas Frevel, Solution Support Manager at Hager Group. Equally record-breaking is the economic data from this self-sufficiency project: the entire investment in renewable energy generation and storage should, according to the calculations of the systems engineers, have paid for itself in less than six years. By then, the software and building efficiency should long have been developed to the point where the building is entirely self-sufficient and can be removed from the grid. The Blieskastel Research and Development Centre would then be the clearest proof that energy efficiency today is not primarily a question of technology, but first and foremost a question of intelligence and ideas.
Hager Group recognition for the most promising E_nnovation
In order to encourage innovation, Hager is sponsoring recognition for one of the CODE_n finalists, for the most promising innovation in the energy sector. The team that wins Recognition for E_nnovation @ Hager Group, will continue to develop its business idea together with Hager Group innovation teams, and will receive feedback from experienced R&D experts. For the victorious start-up, this recognition will open up a wide range of opportunities for cooperation and market access. The promotion of ideas is one of the guiding themes of Hager Group, which aligns well with that of the CODE_n event: "E_nergising E_nnovative & sustainable solutions – Co_nnecting markets & partners worldwide."
If you would like more information or are interested in the Blieskastel Research and Application Centre, please contact Claire Freudenberger, Hager Group Corporate Communications Manager, email@example.com, +33 3 69 55 61 88.
Press Release : Sponsorship and start-up recognition (DOC, 3,7 MB)
Pictures : Sponsorship and start-up recognition (ZIP, 6,9 MB)