Sustainable facility and energy management at NION (Pt. 2)

by Oliver von Quast April 7, 2018
Sustainable facility and energy management at NION (Pt. 2)

Dr. Oliver von Quast is a partner of NION, angel investor and serial entrepreneur, with expertise and longterm experience in the utilities and cleantech sector. In Pt. 1, he has provided some ideas we’ve put together for sustainable energy management. The following technologies give a rough overview of what can be conceivable.

Energy Efficiency

There are many technologies available to save energy in the real estate area. A small collection of possible areas of application.

  • Indoor natural light usage by light conduction
  • Wind driven building ventilation
  • Heat provison based on user behaviour
  • Invisible infrared heating applications
  • Intelligent building management systems
  • Smart architectural planning systems
  • Intelligent building materials
  • Hot water generation by solar thermal elements


A location directly on the waterside of the river Spree could be used by utilizing river turbines to continuously generate electrical energy.

A 6kW running water turbine already came into operation in December 2010 (bed of river Rhein, close to St. Goar)


There are several companies worldwide offering horizontal wind turbines and micro wind turbines suitable for inner city locations with densely built-up structures.


PV is the most simple, mature and wide spread technology to make use of renewable energy. Due to the fact that high-rise buildings are being avoided, there will be plenty of “roof-estate”, which we want to utilize to generate electricity. However, although making use of PV is not an eye-catcher, there are still a lot of ways to hint at innovative use cases. For example:

  • using latest super-efficient mono crystalline and/or self-guiding elements
  • adding a sustainable usage concept, featuring storage systems to increase self-consumption on site
  • making use of building integrated PV-systems

There are also many mature solutions which provide PV-Installations on facades. However: since PV-facades have great influence on the optical impression of the building, an architect should be involved even at an early stage.

Building-integrated Photovoltaic is a new type of building material, which provides green energy as well as building preservation. Apart from generating electricity, modules can be custom-made to different dimensions, thickness, shape and color.

In the Northern parts of Germany, it can be expected that a PV system runs only 1.000 h/y at full load. Hence, even if 3% of the entire space of 100,000 sqm can be utilized for PV generation, approx. 1,000 MWh of electrical energy could be produced annually. This is equivalent to the annualy energy demand of approximately 85 households. However, this is only possible if electrical storage systems (i.e. batteries) are incorporated to cover the energy demand at night or on cloudy days.

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