Sustainable vacation home with year-round electricity storage from HPS
– Thanks to the hydrogen-based picea energy storage system, a year-round supply of solar power is possible, even in the Bavarian snow paradise of Reit im Winkl.
– Emission-free power supply in the exclusive chalet for demanding vacation guests for whom environmental awareness is just as important as the highest quality.
The chalet at Wetterkreuz offers vacation guests comfort at the highest level and, thanks to picea, a CO2-free supply of solar energy even in winter. The couple Romolo and Christine Liebchen have fulfilled a dream with their domicile in the Chiemgau region of Germany and have deliberately chosen the hydrogen-based energy storage system picea from the Berlin-based company HPS Home Power Solutions GmbH.
Photo: Romolo Liebchen
Tasteful comfort for demanding guests
The design captivates with elegance. The warm tones of natural wood, large stone tiles and dark steel elements with muted color accents immediately convey coziness and a sense of well-being. Architecture and furnishings are of the highest quality and with great attention to detail. As if you had built it for yourself.
“That’s actually how it is,” explains Romolo Liebchen, “In about 10-12 years, this is to become our retirement residence.” Until then, discerning guests have the opportunity to rent the 230-square-meter luxury domicile at the foot of the Wetterkreuz near Reit im Winkl.
With regionality and efficiency to sustainability at its best
None of the building materials has come a long way. “We want to show how efficient craftsmanship from the region is,” says Romolo Liebchen.
Two high-tech elements, however, come from Berlin: the first-class audio system for the perfect sound and the picea hydrogen-based energy supply center from HPS, which is unique worldwide. “Sustainability and efficiency played a major role in the planning,” emphasizes Liebchen, and he knows what he’s talking about.
As the former Head of Audi Sport Customer Racing, the trained vehicle technology engineer contributed to making race cars ever more powerful and thus more efficient and faster. The house, insulated with natural building materials and quadruple glazing, does have a stove, as befits a snow-covered mountain hut idyll in a winter sports paradise. However, the supply of light, electricity and heat to the high-tech building, which is equipped with all the technical refinements, takes place via the picea system.
Photo: Max Baudrexl
A visit to Berlin convinced them about picea
None of the building materials has come a long way. “Particularly against the backdrop of the climate debates, it was important to us to install a future-oriented technology that is as CO2-neutral as possible and gives us maximum independence,” says Liebchen. For this purpose, a 17 kilowatt peak solar system is mounted on the roof.
“However, these snow over in winter. And with snow loads of up to one meter and more, it is not safe to climb onto the roof to free the solar modules from the snow without being carried away. In order to still have the excess solar energy from summer available in winter, we needed a seasonal storage option.”
The knowledgeable Mr. and Mrs. Liebchen headed to Berlin in the early summer of 2020 to meet the people behind the year-round storage picea.
“My gut feeling told me that this was something solid. What’smore, the people at HPS put their heart and soul into it,” says the passionate early retiree.
While the picea control center with electrolyzer and fuel cell was installed in the basement next to the underground parking garage, the storage tanks with a total of 900 kilowatt hoursel (kWhel) capacity are housed in the adjacent garden shed. “A crane was used to hoist the 4×4 bottle modules into place in one piece before the roof was put on,” explains the homeowner. “Expanding the storage to as much as 1,500 kWhel is possible and probably makes sense sooner or later.”
That’s because, together with his wife, he opted for an electricity-powered geothermal heat pump as his space heating system. For this purpose, holes three times 90 meters deep were drilled into the ground on the property. Liebchen estimates that even with the current design, about 60-70 percent of the total energy demand can be met with the picea system, “That’s a great value.”
picea is the world’s first market-available hydrogen-based electricity storage system for buildings. The surpluses generated by a solar system on sunny days are stored as green hydrogen and made available again in the dark season in the form of electricity and heat. picea enables CO2-free full power supply all year round and reduces heating costs. Per year, a picea system avoids about three tons of CO2, and this is equivalent to the amount that 130 spruce trees sequester in a year. picea has received several prestigious awards, most recently the Handelsblatt Energy Award, the smarter E Award and the Berlin-Brandenburg Innovation Award.
About HPS Home Power Solutions
HPS develops and produces integrated systems for the storage and use of solar energy based on green hydrogen for homes, apartment buildings as well as commercial properties. The Berlin-based company was founded in 2014 by Zeyad Abul-Ella and Dr. Henrik Colell and stands for security, independence and sustainability in decentralized power supply.
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