24 hours of sun is the vision of a world in which we cover 100% of our energy requirements using renewable sources. The energy produced in this way is available in a sufficient quantity to everyone, anywhere and at any time. Solar energy, wind energy and hydroelectric power form the basis of the 24 hours of sun energy supply. Solar energy in particular is available globally in limitless quantities and is therefore ideally suited to decentralised electricity generation and heat supply. Using solar energy, a reliable, clean, independent and sustainable energy supply can be provided at any time, everywhere. Solar energy is therefore the cornerstone of the future of energy, 24 hours of sun. In combination with other renewable energy sources, it represents a long-term alternative to generating power from fossil fuels, which are limited in their availability. At the same time, it is the safer and cleaner option compared to nuclear power. Users can either use the power generated from sunlight for self-consumption, feed it into the public grid or store it temporarily in different ways.
24 hours of sun – the Fronius vision for the energy revolution
House of the future
The vision of 24 hours of sun requires intelligent distribution and consumption of renewable energy at grid level. An energy supply based on 100% renewable energy is even possible for structures located far away from residential areas without access to communal energy storage. The “Fronius house of the future” shows how photovoltaics can be used as the primary energy source to generate a fully autonomous electricity and heat supply for an energy-efficient single-family home. More information on the “House of the future” can be found below.
Energy-independent mobile communication base stations
Energy-independent infrastructures, such as mobile communication base stations, are ideally suited to using photovoltaics as the primary energy source. This type of power supply is the perfect solution for areas with no grid connection in particular. A PV system generates electricity, which is then stored temporarily in the form of hydrogen following an electrolysis process and made available at stations using fuel cells. This provides a reliable, sustainable and permanently available energy supply.
The term “Green logistics” is used to describe environmentally friendly and sustainable transport and logistics concepts. The aim is to reduce emissions and pollution caused by logistics activities. To strike a balance between ecological and economic efficiency, companies must comprehensively adapt logistics strategies, processes, structures and systems. Fuel cell vehicles, which are powered by hydrogen, and battery-driven vehicles, which use power from renewable energy sources, represent an important area to start implementing comprehensive energy concepts.
Communal storage unit
A communal storage unit combines a municipality’s power – generated from renewable energy – and distributes it as electricity, heat or fuel as needed. In the context of the energy revolution, such storage units are gaining in importance. Supplied with energy at times when demand and prices are lower, they can fill gaps in supply when the energy demand is higher. This allows them to provide a stable and long-lasting supply for individual communities.
Methane gas-fired power station
In the course of the day there can be considerable fluctuations in the public grid. To meet increased demand without a power drop, peak load power plants such as pumped storage electrical power stations and gas-fired power stations are needed. These plants can rapidly react to changes in power output in the public grid and supply the electricity needed. In peak load gas-fired power stations, temporarily stored methane that is produced from renewable energy is converted back into electricity. As gas-fired power stations are only used for a few hours a day, the electricity they generate is much more expensive than that from other types of power stations.
Photovoltaic power plant
A photovoltaic power plant converts part of the solar radiation into electrical energy using solar cells, which are connected together to form modules. The direct current generated in the system using the photoelectric effect is converted into usable alternating current in an inverter and can then either be fed into the public grid, used in situ or stored.
Pumped storage electrical power station
A pumped storage electrical power station is a special type of storage power station, which currently represents the only efficient way of storing large quantities of electricity for a long period. It functions in two ways: if there is a surplus supply of electrical energy in the public grid, the energy is used to pump water out of a storage basin via pipes into a reservoir located at a higher level. The potential energy is stored in water form until electricity is required. Then the water flows back into the basin lower down, driving a turbine as it does so. This is connected to a generator, which produces electricity.
Hydroelectric power station
A hydroelectric power station converts potential energy in water into electricity. The mechanical energy of the water drives a generator, which produces electrical energy using transformers. There are different types of hydroelectric power stations, which are distinguished by the way in which the water obtains its kinetic energy. On the one hand, in a natural way like in run-of-river, tidal, marine current or wave power plants, in which the water’s energy can be continuously used. On the other, artificially in barrages or pumped storage electrical power stations, which produce power in line with demand. The output varies depending on the type of power station and the height of fall of the water.
Hydrogen refuelling station
Hydrogen is not only suited to the temporary storage of surplus energy, but also to powering vehicles with fuel cells on the road and in the logistics industry. The fuel is an excellent alternative to conventional drive systems and doesn’t produce any harmful emissions; the only waste product is pure water. Hydrogen, which is generated from renewable energy, ensures sustainable and convenient mobility without limitation. Another advantage is how quick it is to refuel. Users can top up their vehicles at special hydrogen refuelling stations or obtain the fuel directly from the hydrogen tanks of their own photovoltaic system.
A wind farm converts wind energy into electrical energy. The functional principle is simple: the kinetic energy of wind causes the rotor blades of the wind turbine to rotate, which then drives a main shaft. The resulting rotational energy is fed into a generator, which converts the mechanical energy into electricity. Wind turbines can be used in all climatic zones, on land or in offshore wind farms in coastal waters.
Central electrolysis/methanisation plant
Electrolysis or methanisation plants produce hydrogen or, in a second step, methane with the help of surplus power using an electrolysis process. Both substances can be used for space heating, industrial processes or in power stations as needed. Hydrogen is also a suitable fuel for fuel cell vehicles and can be stored in the hydrogen refuelling station. The hydrogen and methane produced are stored in the existing natural gas grid and in large, usually underground storage caverns.
- Photovoltaic power plant
- Wind farm
- Hydroelectric power station
- Energy-independent single-family home
- Communal storage unit
- Pumped storage electrical power station
- Central electrolysis/methanisation plant
- Hydrogen refuelling station
- Gas-fired power station
- Energy-independent mobile communication base station
- Green intralogistics
The house of the future
The vision of 24 hours of sun requires intelligent distribution and consumption of renewable energy at grid level. An energy supply based on 100% renewable energy is even possible for structures located far away from residential areas without access to communal energy storage. The “Fronius house of the future” shows how photovoltaics can be used as the primary energy source to generate a fully autonomous electricity and heat supply for an energy-efficient single-family home.
The house of the future
The solar modules on the roof of the house produce direct current from solar energy, which is then converted into usable alternating current in Fronius Hybrid inverters.
During the day, this electricity powers the electrical loads (consumers) in the property.
The Fronius Hybrid inverter stores the surplus power in the Fronius Solar Battery.
As well as manufacturing inverters, Fronius has also been consistently working on different research projects right from the start, always with the aim of making renewable energy future-proof. The Fronius Energycell, which first went into development as early as 2002, is one of these projects. During the evening and at night, the battery supplies all the energy needed in the single-family home. Hydrogen serves as a long-term storage solution for excess power generated in the summer months. The Fronius Energycell makes this technology possible today.
Fitted with an electrolyser, it produces hydrogen with the help of the solar energy, which is then stored in external tanks. The fuel cell function of the Fronius Energycell allows the stored hydrogen to be converted back into electricity when it is needed.
Generated as a by-product of converting hydrogen into electricity by the fuel cell function of the Fronius Energycell, waste heat is stored in a heat buffer store and can be used to provide hot water and to support the building's heating system.
The energy management system ensures the best possible usage and distribution of the energy generated throughout the home. Equipped with its own photovoltaic system and the storage and management systems from Fronius, the house of the future is fully energy independent, whatever the season.