Viessmann increases turnover by 4 percent
Company presents more than 40 innovations at ISH Energy 2015
- The heating market holds the key to the success of the sustainable energy era
- World's first "power-to-gas" facility of its kind with biological methanation
- ISH slogan "HYBRID – CONNECT – POWER": New products focus on sustainability, convenience, and increased independence from the electricity market
The Viessmann Group, one of the leading producers of heating, cooling, and air-conditioning technology, generates a turnover of around 2.2 billion euros in 2014. That equates to a 4 percent increase over the previous year. The share of the total sales contributed by countries abroad amounts to 56 percent. "We are content with this development. We were able to improve our market position", said Prof. Martin Viessmann, the company's CEO and President of the Supervisory Board, at the world's leading trade fair for the industry, ISH Energy 2015, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The European heating market shrank by 3 percent; the German market even gave up 4 percent.
The number of employees in the company grew around 1 percent to 11,500. The expenditures for Research and Development remained unchanged at 4 percent of the turnover, and a total of 90 million euros was invested.
Partitioning the company into three divisions
An important strategic step was taken by partitioning the company into three divisions, each of which is headed by a member of the supervisory board:
- The Heating Systems division comprises the traditional business, i.e. heating technology that is manufactured in series and marketed through the sales network.
- The Industrial Systems division develops customer-specific solutions for industrial applications and municipal power plant planning and construction.
- The Cooling Systems division comprises cooling technology with power units, cold rooms, and refrigeration units on one hand, and development and manufacture of heat pumps on the other.
The new structure will serve to maintain and further advance the Group's market intimacy and ability to react quickly.
Sustainable energy era is more than turnaround in electricity generation
The sustainable energy era so far has been thought of as purely a transition from traditional power sources to renewable energy sources. "It should be apparent by now that the sustainable energy era can only succeed if energy efficiency is also significantly increased. The heating market therefore holds the key to the success of the sustainable energy era", says Prof. Dr. Martin Viessmann. Accounting for 40 percent of energy consumption, the heating market is the largest primary source of consumption and its current systems are mostly outdated.
Energy efficiency – the second pillar of the sustainable energy era
This has since been recognized by politicians, who have declared energy efficiency to be the sustainable energy era's second pillar. The National Plan of Action for Energy Efficiency (NAPE) has addressed energy-related refurbishing of existing buildings explicitly by specifying measures. However, the recent second failure to pass a tax break for refurbishing buildings in an energy-efficient manner has put a damper on the initial expectations. Apart from that, the "turnaround in electricity generation", whose implementation was supported by the German Renewable Energies Act (EEG), has cost consumers a great deal of money to date and is also lagging behind.
In addition, there is still no cohesive concept for integrating fluctuating power into the overall system. There is hardly any possibility of storing surplus electricity, and there is a lack of transmission capacity.
The heating market offers solutions for storing volatile electricity
This electricity can be utilized for generating storable fuel sources. That would make it possible to compensate for the fluctuation in renewable power generation. Two opportunities present themselves in this context.
One of them is "power-to-gas". This concept involves power from renewable energy being transformed into hydrogen by means of electrolysis. Adding CO2 to it results in synthetic methane. It can be stored, transported by the nationwide gas network, and utilized as energy.
World's first facility of its kind with biological methanation
A new procedure was developed for the methanation process by Viessmann. It employs highly specialized bacteria to transform the CO2 resulting from the fermentation process and the hydrogen into methane (CH4), which is then fed into the natural gas grid. A system operating on this principle was recently put into operation at Viessmann headquarters in Allendorf (Eder). The new system is the world's first industrial-scale "power-to-gas" facility of its kind. Viessmann is also close to a cooperation with a major auto manufacturer in regard to utilizing this "renewable methane" as an alternative fuel.
The second option is "power-to-heat", which involves decentralized, short-term storage in buildings that have heat pumps installed. The heat pumps can be switched on when power is cheap regardless of the demand for heat at that moment. The power is transformed into heat highly efficiently using environmental energy, then stockpiled in the buffer cylinder, and subsequently used for heating purposes. Diurnal fluctuations in the power supply can be compensated in this manner.
Hybrid: Efficient condensing technology combined with heat pump technology provide for sustainability
For this purpose, Viessmann has created an entirely new family of hybrid heating systems, which are currently being premiered at the ISH Energy. They intelligently combine efficient condensing with heat pump technology in a single, compact housing. That means they can utilize gas and oil as well as renewable energy. These units can optimize their modes of operation automatically, depending on outside temperatures and current energy prices. They are "smart grid"-ready and able to react to changes in electricity prices at short notice. The homeowner can select the most economical operating mode depending on how energy costs are trending. With that capability, Viessmann hybrid units can provide an unprecedented measure of security and sustainability. They can be installed in new construction and are also ideal for modernizing older installations.
Power: Increased independence from electricity market
New concepts in self generating power and its utilization, as well as decentralized energy storage, provide an enormously promising opportunity to ensure the sustainable energy era's success. In this connection, Viessmann is presenting products at the ISH that generate both power and heat simultaneously, thus making their owners less dependent on the electricity market. That especially applies to the fuel cell heating unit that Viessmann introduced as a world premiere a year ago, which makes the company the first manufacturer to offer such a system in the European market.
Connect: Innovative solutions for increased convenience
Last but not least, Viessmann has developed a wealth of innovative solutions for intelligent, networked, and convenient building management. Digital controllers are offered in the first expansion stage:
- with a user-friendly color touch display,
- with an energy cockpit that informs the owner/operator extensively regarding consumption and yield at any time,
- and with an integrated Internet interface, so that the units are accessible at any time using mobile peripheral devices.
New apps for smartphones and tablets have been developed to that end. They are customized to suit the respective needs of end customers and professional building tradesmen.
The basic home automation system with individual room temperature controls follows in a later expansion stage, and ultimately the complete building/house automation system with switchable sockets, light and blinds controllers as well as security management is offered.
Connectivity, according to Professor Viessmann, will be built into all Viessmann products in the future, leading not only to additional energy savings, but also to significant increases in convenience.
Based on the slogan "HYBRID – CONNECT – POWER", Viessmann presents more than 40 innovations at the ISH Energy 2015.(The spoken word is valid)