Sustainable Wood Construction with PV, Battery Storage and Energy Management


KOCH AG and the affiliated catering company Linde produce sustainably with ecocoach's battery storage and energy management system.

5619 Büttikon

Construction Company

Electrical energy consumption
approx. 100,000 kWh/year

Wood as a material for sustainable buildings

Hardly any other building material is as sustainable as wood. It grows in native forests, where it binds the greenhouse gas CO2. It sounds paradoxical for a building material: the more regional lumber we use, the better it is for the environment and the climate - no wonder the concept of sustainability goes back to forestry. Hans Carl von Carlowitz, then head of the Freiberg Mining Authority, recorded it in work «Sylvicultura Oeconomica» three hundred years ago. In it, he explained the principle of only taking as much wood from the forest as can be regrown sustainably. ecocoach customer KOCH AG also shares a fascination with the unique building material from Büttikon.

The vision of sustainable operations

Starting as a small business as a sideline, complementing agriculture, the family business is now run by the third generation. Today, companies with 65 employees are divided into architecture, timber construction and real estate. Regarding construction projects, KOCH AG can rely on decades of experience.

With the launch of its solar project in 2017, the company broke new ground - the goal: to supply its own company entirely with solar power from a PV system. At the time, no one could have guessed that the journey would continue significantly. Not even Stefan Baumann, estimator and construction cost planner in the architecture division of the family-owned company. At the time of the start of the project, Baumann had experience with a solar project, albeit a private one, so the management chose him as the project manager.

Holistic conception and planning

At the joint start of the project with the specialist planners of ELO-PLAN AG it quickly became clear that the project holds enormous potential for the company to achieve its sustainability goals. Regarding the development of electricity prices and optimal utilisation of the PV system, KOCH AG has co-planned the integration of an electricity storage system. This was helped because the prices for photovoltaic modules had fortunately fallen significantly between planning and the start of construction. For Baumann himself, it was clear that mobility was also part of the overall concept. For this reason, the company has directly planned the gradual construction and expansion of its charging stations for guests and employees in the project. Another challenge was also taken into account: the main electrical distribution of the plant had to be replaced entirely due to its age.

Harvesting and storing electricity

CKW Conex AG built the PV system in 2023. KOCH AG opted for full occupancy of all available roof areas, corresponding to a modular area of 2,847 square meters. During construction,
11 kilometres of solar cables were laid. The plant's annual yield, with a peak output of 620 kilowatts, now amounts to approximately. 600,000 kilowatt hours. Mathematically, this would be enough to supply 170 four-person households with electricity. The family-owned business consumes around 100,000 kWh per year.

The PV system now feeds two ecoBatterySystem energy storage systems from ecocoach AG with a total capacity of 130 kWh. The electrical installation, including the renewal of the overall distribution system, was carried out by Bütler Elektro Telecom AG. It has also integrated the energy management system of ecocoach AG. The specialist planners recognised the potential of holistic energy management at an early stage and have already relied on the system in other projects.

The adjacent Linde restaurant also benefits from the PV system. KOCH AG's owner also owns the building. Through the merger for self-consumption (ZEV), the operator directly regulates the electricity supply, and the restaurant business is thus also set up for sustainability.

Holistically thought-out energy system

«ecocoach AG's holistic platform is unique in the market, especially in site networks. It enables a comprehensive combination of energy management, charging management and solutions for self-consumption optimisation, making intelligent control in the commercial sector possible in the first place,» says project manager Baumann.

For example, ecocoach's system increases the profitability of PV systems by controlling electricity consumers in a targeted and automatic manner to achieve a maximum degree of self-consumption. Operational reliability is also improved: the installation principle at KOCH AG stipulates that in the event of a power failure, the black-start batteries build up a 3-phase stand-alone grid within a few seconds. In an emergency, the KOCH batteries can continue operating as essential consumers with the PV system.

On the other hand, ecocoach's dynamic charging and load management distributes the available energy to the six charging points currently used for electric vehicles. In doing so, the energy requirements of the buildings and PV electricity production are considered. This will become even more important in the future: the charging infrastructure at KOCH AG is prepared for up to 46 charging points. Conduits and shafts have already been laid and built. After all, the introduction of corporate e-mobility requires foresight. It cannot be ruled out that KOCH AG will electrify the future flatbed vehicles and passenger cars.

The charging management also considers location-dependent activation methods of the charging points. While the employees of KOCH AG and the restaurant start charging guests using an app, the management activates their Weidmüller charging stations using an RFID chip.

Hardly any surprises, lots of renewable energy

The project management expects the entire project to be completed in spring 2024. However, it is already clear that the ecocoach system is worth using. «The integration was carried out without any hurdles, and I can confidently recommend ecocoach AG for commercial projects. We want to highlight the flexibility and the rapid learning curve with the system,» says Baumann. When asked about the pitfalls in the project, he notes with a smile that it was an otherwise uncomplicated component that made life more difficult for the installers. A timer and a minor surprise in civil engineering were the only significant hurdles in the project. According to the project management, ecocoach mastered all challenges, such as calculating the power flows of the various sub-distributors, with aplomb.

And so, in the future, KOCH AG will be more sustainable and largely self-sufficient. But that's not all – households that are supplied beyond their own needs can also look forward to the addition of a reliable feed-in of electricity from renewable sources.


Photovoltaic system

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