A shining sun set amid clear blue skies: perfect conditions for maximum energy production in the southern German town of Rieden.
The Auer family has been relying on PV energy for several years now, and are utilising its potential to the full.
In addition to a 16 kWp photovoltaic system, the multi-generational household also has a battery to store the solar power produced.
"We installed a PV system several years ago. But, after a while, only being able to use our own electricity when the sun was shining felt too limiting. Given constantly rising electricity prices, it makes much more sense to store the energy produced at home. That way, I can use it when I need it and don't have to resort to expensive mains electricity," explains Josef Auer, owner of the PV system.
A storage system is particularly attractive in countries with high energy costs – as here in Germany. This means the Auer family benefits from free, home-produced electricity even in the evenings and at night and does not need to buy in expensive energy from the grid.
The 6-person household is gradually becoming more independent of the public grid. They now need to buy in only a small proportion of the electricity they use. The battery stores enough power to last until 05.00 o'clock in the morning; only then does the family have to draw power from the public grid. As soon as the sun rises, the Auers use electricity directly from the PV system.
A more recent development has been the use of photovoltaic electricity to heat domestic hot water. In the past, installers advised their customers to invest in solar heating; today we know that it is much more economical to heat domestic hot water using solar energy. Fronius solutions are designed so that they do not have to be installed all at once. So the Auer family had the Ohmpilot installed a few years after the PV system was first commissioned. Since then, it has been providing the family withhot water, while at the same time relieving the strain on the heat pump. It truly is a solution with multiple benefits, such as a higher rate of self-consumption, lower energy costs and longer heat pump life expectancy.
Josef Auer is also concerned about transport costs. Instead of relying on a combustion engine, he drives an electric car. "I charge the car either for free at home using our e-charging station, or at work."
This is yet another example of how the family is increasing their rate of self-consumption.
» I wanted to get the most out of our PV system for my family. Battery, domestic hot water, electric car: we can do it all. It makes sense to use all the options available! «
The Auer family is almost completely independent of the public grid – they only have to buy in 10% of the electricity they need. This is also apparent from the family's bank balance at the end of each month – which shows a big reduction in their energy bills.
Additionally, there is less strain on the heat pump, so increasing its service life.
And last but not least, the Auer family saves on fuel costs: by using an electric car charged with the family's own electricity, Mr Auer can cut out trips to the petrol station.
HOW THE AUER FAMILY SAVES ON ENERGY COSTS:
|Electricity for the household supplied from their own photovoltaic system: less electricity is needed from the public grid
|Storage of self-generated electricity: PV energy continues to be available at night and the Auer family needs very little electricity from the grid
|Water is heated using PV electricity: there is less strain on the heat pump increasing its service life
|Charging the electric car with photovoltaic energy: the car is charged with self-generated electricity, cutting out fuel costs entirely