Refractories manufacturer RATH relies on photovoltaics for improved energy efficiency at the Lower Austrian production site Krummnußbaum

20% of daily electricity requirements covered by solar energy

Improve energy efficiency, reduceCO₂emissions: International refractories manufacturer RATH has launched its own photovoltaic system at the Krummnußbaum plant in Lower Austria. 20% of its daily electricity demand is currently supplied by solar energy.

The efficient, resource-saving use of materials and a sustainable approach to the environment in the manufacture of its products are high on the agenda of the specialist in refractory technology. As the energy consumption of the internationally active RATH Group, which has eight production sites in Europe and the USA, is a key factor when it comes to saving resources, particular attention is paid to improving the energy efficiency of the plants. This also applied to RATH’s Krummnußbaum site in Lower Austria, where a photovoltaic power plant – constructed on the roofs of factory buildings –was put into operation in 2020. “This 696 kWp photovoltaic system generates around 700 MWh per year, which currently enables us to supply around 20% of our daily electricity requirements with solar energy,” says Heinz Wallner, Managing Director of Aug. RATH jun. GmbH. “Further, we will reduce our CO₂emissions by around 350 tons per year.”

In the future, around 97% to 99% of the annual electricity production from both systems will be consumed directly at the Krummnußbaum plant. “By means of an intelligent control unit from Ökovolt, power, supply, self-consumption as well as feed-in and total consumption are measured in real time. Surplus energy will be fed into separate appliances over the weekend“, Heinz Wallner sums up. As part of the project, the plant has also been equipped with two e-charging stations and a charging station for e-bikes.

The photovoltaic system was co-financed by the province of Lower Austria with funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).