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The future of energy is being shaped by innovative projects that are not only sustainable but also forward-looking. We present a selection of relevant winning projects from the German Innovation Award 2024, which are fundamentally changing our perspective on how we generate and use energy.

By Thomas Wagner

The energy sector is facing a paradigm shift: innovative projects and technologies are setting new standards and shaping the future of energy generation and utilisation sustainably and efficiently. From self-sufficient buildings that generate and store their own energy to revolutionary direct current factories, future-proof heat pumps and sustainable battery storage systems: We show how the pioneers of energy technology are shaping the world of tomorrow and which ground-breaking solutions are already a reality today.

EVRON ECORE – Energy Solutions | Photo: Infener AG and OHS GmbH

EVRON ECORE: Autarky for Buildings – A New Standard in Hydrogen Technology

Imagine if your home could generate and store its own energy all year round – completely without fossil fuels. Infener AG and OHS GmbH have developed a groundbreaking solution with EVRON ECORE. This all-in-one solution integrates state-of-the-art hydrogen technology, PV connections, heat pumps, electrolyzers, H2 storage, fuel cells, electric charging stations, and an energy management system in a compact design. This makes energy independence a reality – safe and efficient.

NExT Factory – efficient. smart. green – Energy Solutions | Photo: Schaltbau GmbH

Next Factory: Efficient and Green – The Revolution of Direct Current Usage

Photovoltaic systems could be much more efficient if they were to directly use the generated direct current without converting it into alternating current. That’s exactly what the NExT Factory by Schaltbau does. This fully electrified factory utilizes direct current and efficiently connects solar cells, battery storage, and consumers. The NExT Factory is not only one of the first direct current factories worldwide but also produces 100% CO₂-neutral. A milestone that demonstrates how green technology can revolutionize our industry.

Voltfang Outdoor 1.0 – Energy Solutions | Photo: Voltfang GmbH

Voltfang Outdoor 1.0: Sustainable Battery Storage for Outdoor Use

Batteries from electric vehicles do not have to end after their first life. The Aachen-based company Voltfang gives them a second chance. The Voltfang Outdoor 1.0 is an innovative second-life battery storage unit for outdoor use with a capacity of 130 kWh. Equipped with a bidirectional inverter, efficient climate control, integrated energy management, and plug-and-play grid connection, this storage unit is ideal for small businesses and retail chains. A solution that is not only sustainable but also demonstrates how existing resources can be optimally utilized.

Industrial Line Air Cascade R32 – Energy Solutions | Photo: WATERKOTTE GmbH

Industrial Line Air Cascade R32: Future-Proof Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are the future of heating technology. The Industrial Line Air Cascade R32 by WATERKOTTE sets new standards. This heat pump uses air as a heat source and can be combined with up to ten outdoor units to meet a variety of requirements. Thanks to inverter technology, the output adjusts optimally to the heat demand, ensuring high efficiency and low operating costs. Even at extreme temperatures of -20 °C, the pump can still deliver flow temperatures of 45 °C. Additionally, it operates with the environmentally friendly refrigerant R32, making it particularly sustainable.

Sunrain Air-Source Heat Pump – Energy Solutions | Photo: Sunrain Group Co.,Ltd.

Sunrain Air-Source Heat Pump: Efficient and Constant, Even in Extreme Temperatures

The Sunrain Air-Source Heat Pump impresses with its efficiency and consistent performance even at extreme temperatures of up to -36°C. This cost-effective and innovative heating device utilizes various core technologies to continuously supply hot water at a temperature of 55°C. A solution that is impressive not only for its performance but also for its cost-effectiveness.
These projects are just a glimpse into the future of energy generation and utilization. They demonstrate how innovative technologies can contribute to sustainably and efficiently meeting our energy needs while also protecting our environment.

German Innovation Award: Catalyst for the Future

The German Innovation Award annually recognizes outstanding innovations that enable a sustainable and efficient way of life. The competition inspires companies from all industries to showcase their forward-thinking solutions on an international platform.

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