Advancing photovoltaic expansion together

Supermarket with a solar roof
Supermarket with a solar roof

Image source: EHA, Andrei Sokolowski

#remote monitoring #management of photovoltaic systems #meteocontrol #EHA

EHA uses smart solutions from meteocontrol and INSYS icom for the REWE Group

Rising energy prices and the transition to renewable energies pose significant challenges that require urgent action for companies. For buildings with large roof areas, as often found in the retail sector with numerous branch locations, energy production with photovoltaic systems is profitable. REWE Group takes a pioneering role in the expansion of roofs with PV systems. One Lighthouse project is the new REWE Nord central location in Henstedt-Ulzburg in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. With 3240 modules and a peak output of 1,377 kWp, the installation will cover part of the administrative and logistic center´s electricity consumption. EHA Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft, a subsidiary and central energy service provider of REWE Group, is responsible for the technical planning and implementation as well as the operation. For flexible control and monitoring of the photovoltaic systems, a product from the technology-independent provider meteocontrol is used. Networking with remote access is carried out with the industrial product portfolio of the Regensburg-based manufacturer INSYS icom.

Management of photovoltaic systems with meteocontrol’s blue’Log® XC

In the case of the solar system located at REWE’s logistics site in Henstedt-Ulzburg, the Zero Feed-In solution based on meteocontrol’s blue’Log® XC is utilized. This ensures that the generated electricity is not fed into the public grid but is instead used 100 percent directly on-site.

Through an open Modbus TCP interface of the blue’Log® XC, real-time process data is exchanged with the grid operator. Additionally, the IT infrastructure related to data encryption and user management can be automated and conveniently controlled. “We are capable of meeting the required high security standards,” says Georg Thoma, Chief Information Security Officer of meteocontrol. “In close coordination with our partners, crucial developments have taken place, enabling meteocontrol to offer specially tailored solutions today.”

meteocontrol has previously collaborated with EHA. The standardization of all projects allowed for smooth and rapid implementation. Through parameterization, grid connection rules can be efficiently implemented via a graphical user interface, eliminating the need for programming effort. “What customers like EHA appreciate about our solutions is the independence from various providers and manufacturers,” explains Rouven Lenhart, Executive Vice President of meteocontrol. “Standardization of their projects is important to our customers. To achieve this, we offer solutions and support them in scaling their business models.”

Scalable networking and management with the INSYS icom portfolio

The solar project had several specific requirements: all PV production technology needed to be seamlessly integrable into control cabinets with DIN rails. Moreover, compliance with current IT security standards was crucial for critical infrastructures. Given its scale, the project needed centralized management, with security and firmware updates applied automatically.

To meet these challenges, EHA, following meteocontrol’s recommendation, utilized products from INSYS icom. They chose the MRO-L200 router model because it could be directly integrated into the control cabinet and could connect various devices with its five Ethernet ports. The robust industrial routers from INSYS icom are especially suitable for use in extended temperature ranges, such as on rooftops. These devices adhere to high IT security standards and are KRITIS-compliant, providing the possibility of setting up multiple VPN tunnels and generating subnets. Secure networking, monitoring, and remote maintenance of the photovoltaic systems are ensured due to the high quality, stability, and continuous accessibility provided by highly available connections.

EHA was convinced by the company’s focus on IT security, demonstrated through penetration tests, regular updates, certificates, and a comprehensive catalog of measures. With the icom Router Management, the devices can be centrally managed, configurations can be changed, and firmware updates can be rolled out in a controlled manner. Additionally, there is the option to expand the product portfolio through the container environment.

The overall package met EHA’s high expectations. “With the central control capabilities and extensive functionality of INSYS icom’s routers, we retain the agility needed for product redesign and innovation in the coming years. These routers meet all high-security requirements. With INSYS icom, we have found a partner that aligns with our vision for the future,” says Alexander Bauer, Information Security Officer at EHA.

New standardised solar system concept

EHA has developed a standardized photovoltaic system concept for customers like the REWE Group. It serves as an intelligent solution for existing buildings and simplifies long-term operations. The modular, expandable, and scalable system with pre-assembled component blocks can be customized to meet the specific needs of any location. Additionally, EHA plans and coordinates the installation and ongoing maintenance of the solar installations and also takes care of the energy management. The successful implementation of the new photovoltaic system concept for the REWE Group highlights its exemplary nature for other companies with multiple locations.

EHA Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft is based in Hamburg and serves as the 360° energy service provider for the company with its many locations in Germany and Austria. EHA generates individual added value for its customers by supplying them with green power and gas, efficiency and climate-protection advisory services, operation of trade fair booths and energy data management. The use of digital technologies facilitates continuous consumption and cost reductions. EHA pays more than lip service to climate protection. The company has committed itself to renewable energies and acts as an energy producer as well. EHA operates photovoltaic systems and combined heat and power plants fired completely by biogas at customers’ properties. EHA is a subsidiary of REWE Group.

meteocontrol

meteocontrol, headquartered in Augsburg, is a leading provider of tailored and holisitc solutions for energy and asset management. With 25 years of experience, they are a technology-neutral company that specializes in scalable monitoring, control, and energy management services. Their expertise extends to providing unbiased advice, delivering top-notch service, and fostering successful partnerships with their clients. The primary objective of meteocontrol is to ensure that renewable energy assets unlock their full potential through the implementation of future-proof technologies. As a globally recognized leader in the field, meteocontrol has established itself as a reliable and strong partner for achieving this goal.

Further information at https://www.meteocontrol.com/en/

Delivering data. In smart industries. From people with passion.

Delivering data. In smart industries. From people with passion.
Secure communication and networking of data in industrial applications – this is the core competence of INSYS icom. With its intelligent and powerful hardware and software solutions (Managed Devices and Services), machines, plants and other devices can be reached remotely and their operating data transmitted.

With its expert knowledge of this complex subject area, INSYS icom is mastering the advancing digitalization. The company has set itself the goal of continuously developing innovations for industrial data communication and networking and works passionately every day to achieve this.

The leading manufacturer in the energy and water supply segment also positions itself as a premium partner in the field of mechanical engineering. Customer proximity in all its forms is the foundation for the regionally rooted and cosmopolitan company.

Further information at https://www.insys-icom.com/en/

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