California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] SMA Solar Technology AG has opened its new 193,000 square foot solar inverter factory in Kassel, Germany. With the new facility, SMA has increased its production capacity to 4 gigawatts and is continuing to expand its successful strategy of scalability to meet demand for its popular line of solar inverters.
In addition to being the one of world’s largest solar inverter manufacturing site, the plant is also pioneering the concept of C02 neutral industrial production by utilizing a low-energy building concept, high efficiency and renewable energy, SMA said.
C02 neutral production is achieved through minimizing energy consumption and maximizing operating efficiencies through a low-energy building concept, the optimal use of daylight, innovative heating and cooling systems, and renewable energy.
Electrical power is derived from a building-integrated 1.1 megawatt PV system and an onsite biogas plant. The biogas plant satisfies a portion of the factory’s basic heating requirement with additional heat provided by a local waste incineration facility. Excess heat from an electric compressor that provides compressed air for various tools and equipment is also recycled into the ventilation system.
All heat sources are connected to a hot water tank, which helps regulate the system and enables continuous usage. Cooling is furnished through two systems, including an absorption refrigerator driven by the excess heat generated by the biogas plant and an electric back-up system.
In order to completely satisfy the site’s energy requirements, renewable energy is purchased from nearby sources. After the final construction phase, the CO2 balance will be equalized through additional PV installations, eliminating the need for additional utility purchases.