Energy Industry Review
Flashback to 2010: A corporate headquarters opens in the northern part of Vienna that sets new standards in energy efficiency and sustainability. Geothermal energy is also used to heat the building, and the building complex contains a heating and cooling storage system. The heat exchangers in the building services unit enable up to 75 percent of the heat to be recovered from the energy in exhaust air – and those are just some of the innovative features. The efforts by the owner, Siemens Real Estate (SRE), to ensure that the construction process and the building itself were as environmentally friendly as possible were recognized by the award of the gold LEED certificate, in addition to the EU Green Building Certificate.
Nine years later, a project is being initiated at the Siemens City site, once again with SRE as the innovative developer, and again with a number of unique selling points. “Just as the new main building on the corporate campus represented the future of sustainability and energy efficiency for non-residential buildings at the time, this new project points the way to the future of smart energy management solutions,” states Franz Mundigler, head of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for SRE.
Microgrid controller at the heart
The project is the Siemens Campus Microgrid, which is currently taking shape at the campus of Siemens Austria in Vienna following a successful business-case analysis. The first elements of what will – in summer of 2020 – become a smart system to optimize energy management and heating requirements on the company premises have been under construction since the fall of 2019. “A smart microgrid controller centrally orchestrates the connected assets and optimizes the power supply to take account of peak loads and grid capacity utilization. That’s in addition to other influencing factors that result from independent generation,” says Werner Brandauer, Digital Grid, Siemens Smart Infrastructure, who has researched microgrids in the U.S. and played a key role in planning the project. The microgrid also incorporates the Siemens Desigo building management system, which can adjust the heating supply in the main building during peak load periods: for example, to optimize the power that the overall complex draws from the grid.