World’s Largest CO2-Neutral Inverter FactorySMA Solar factory 1
Avoid climate-damaging CO2 emissions
As the most technologically important component in any PV system, SMA inverters already contribute directly to climate protection and the distribution of renewable energy. They convert the direct current generated in photovoltaic cells into grid-compliant alternating current and monitor the PC array as well as the utility grid. Right from the start, SMA avoids climate damaging CO2 emissions with production of its devices. When it openend its CO2-neutral inverter factory (the world's largest) in the spring of 2009, the company took on a pioneering role. The energy and building design as well as the highly efficient, scalable production is setting new standards in the industry.
Economical and responsible use of energy
A maximum reduction in energy demand and highly efficient energy usage are important factors for the energy transition. This is how the factory's building envelope corresponds to the low-energy house standard. Efficiency measures in the production process reduce the energy consumption of production and test facilities. The optimal use of daylight coupled with highly effective lighting, intelligent ventilation and the use of heat and cold accumulators complement the sustainable energy and building concept.
Intelligent mix of renewable energy
Renewable energy takes care of the factory's remaining electricity and heat requirements: a photovoltaic system integrated into the building with an output of approximately 1.1 megawatts and a combined heat and power plant fuelled with biogas both produce CO2-neutral electricity. In order to completely cover the production process' power consumption, additional green electricity is fed in.
Maximum heat recovery
The combined heat and power plant also provides the necessary heat. SMA simultaneously utilizes waste heat from the test cabinets and compressors, which in turn generates the compressed air that is required in production. A heat exchanger transfers the waste heat from the indoor exhaust air to the supply air. In so doing, SMA gets 70 percent of the heat back when manufacturing electronics. There is also an adequate cooling system, an absorption chiller uses heat from the combined heat and power plant for this purpose.
Just in time with flexible production processes
The production processes are highly efficient and adaptable. Thus, production lines can be quickly changed or expanded for other types of devices. This gives SMA a maximum degree of flexibility with its exclusively order-based, stockless production.
The German Energy Agency (dena) recognized the factory with the international Energy Efficiency Award 2010.