“Stadt der Moderne” (City of Modernity) is the title that Saxony’s third largest city uses to describe itself. In terms of its energy concept, this rings true to us. In 2015, the municipality has received the European Energy Award in Gold. During our excursion today we got to meet some main actors contributing to this sucess: employees of the city administration as well as Dr. Schwenk of FASA AG. The company earns most of its money with noise cancelling infrastructure, but is also passionate about offering affordable buildings equipped with solarthermal heating.
Please see the image captions for details.
Mr. Braumann works on energy management for the city of Chemnitz. He has introduced us to a municipal, energy efficient kindergarten building which is heated by cloud computing servers.
After Mr. Zichner from Chemnitz’s environment office has introduced us to the energy-related activities of the city, Dr. Schenk of FASA AG outlines the solar-thermal building concept employed by the company.
We get to see refurbished houses dating back to 1904.
The lower part of the heat storage tank in the refurbished multi-family homes.
Not far away, a complete solarthermal district is being established.
We get to see various stages of construction an can ask tons of questions to the endlessly patient Dr. Schwenk.
An important part of our short course on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency has been our visit to SolarWorld Freiberg.
All participants made good use of this opportunity to learn about the solar value chain including recycling of photovoltaic modules. We got to know current types and characteristics of PV-systems.
We also discovered what makes a good quality photovoltaic system. The wide range of short and long term benefits of high quality standards came as a surprise to some of us and illustrated well that lower up-front costs don’t necessarily lead to lower total cost.
Thanks to Mr. Handke for enthusiastically sharing his knowledge in an introductory talk, a guided tour, and extensive Q&A sessions.
Before our tour through the solar wafer production plant.
Some insights into the different types of modules before entering the module production facility.
After fortifying ourselves at the student restaurant we went on to explore mining history of the area and the natural beauty of minerals in the Terra Mineralia exhibition.
With new energy after the lunch break.
From sand to silicon for wafer production: this processing chain is also addressed at Terra Mineralia.
Other exhibits are stunning in different ways.
For example this fluorite on quartz.