As of only a few weeks ago the Konstanz Municipal Utility's new customer center has boasted a solar façade that possess hitherto unprecedented technical properties. The special features are large-size photovoltaic elements with an extraordinary generating potential and a geothermal plant. The PV modules deliver a 1,246 Kilowatt peak (kWp) performance. Total output amounts to 23.2 kWp with 22-percent transparency. "This is quite unique worldwide, and only six months ago would have been inconceivable," emphasizes Arnold Wild, Head of the Construction and Real Estate Dept. at the utility. It was also he who designed the customer center, a four-storey building that generates more energy than it consumes. Alongside the transparent modules there are also opaque surfaces that can be illuminated at will using different colored-LEDs. Depending on the particular event the utility plans, the "Energy Cube" gleams in red as a symbol for energy or green as a symbol for ecological themes.
Moreover, air circulating in the space between the glass panes is sucked out and can be used for energy by means of a heat exchanger. All the glass modules have been specially made, measure three by four meters and each of them weighs more than a ton. All in all, 80 fields were assembled, covering a surface area of about 1,000 square meters.
The overall concept is provided by the Lindner Group from Arnstorf, Germany. The "Energy Cube" as it is known relies on regenerative energy and will in future, so the plan, provide all customer services from a single source.