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25 April 2023

Alpine farmer makes green power grid a reality with DHYBRID

On his farm in Carinthia, Austrian mountain farmer Franz Dorner generates ten times more electricity than he needs – and has plans to expand. Using photovoltaics (PV), energy storage, and an energy management system, he is gradually turning his entire operation into a fully renewable farm. Dorner has also received approval for his own wind farm. His is the first and only EMAS-certified farm in all of Austria.

The peak power capacity of the PV system, which is connected to the farm’s own microgrid, is 1,608 kilowatts. Whenever possible, Dorner uses the electricity directly on his farm. He commissioned DHYBRID to design and install a battery storage system to provide a capacity of 525 kWh. DHYBRID’s Universal Power Platform (UPP) ensures that the solar power is only fed into the public grid when the batteries have enough power for the night. Thanks to the energy management system, the farm is now completely independent from the public power grid.

Planning for locally-generated power for vehicles and machine

Dorner’s energy transition project is far from complete. He recently won approval for a wind farm, following twelve years of litigation and struggle, and he plans to expand his solar installation and the battery storage system. Dorner has recently built a hall for this purpose and intends to use the electricity to power electric vehicles, produce green hydrogen, and increase grid feed-in.

In the future, all his vehicles and machines are to run on locally-generated electricity or hydrogen. As his grid connection is frequently interrupted for days at a time, Dorner also plans to install a back-up power supply.

More energy management required

All systems are interconnected by DHYBRID’s energy management. In addition to facilitating uninterruptible back-up power, the DHYBRID platform concept is compatible with all types of technology, allowing components to be added or even modified over time.

The local SCADA system empowers Dorner to monitor his system’s operating data in real time. The system sends data to an online monitoring portal, moreover, directly informing DHYBRID’s service team in case of a disruption or other issue.

This mountain farm’s microgrid is one of Austria’s largest projects in collaboration with UPP. Many farms could benefit similarly from the microgri concept. “Such projects pay off, not only financially but also by reducing the amount of power needed from the grid to almost zero. They’re also an important step towards a climate-neutral energy supply in the agricultural sector, setting an example for others,” says Benedikt Böhm, CEO of DHYBRID.

Press Pictures

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