Eddy and I were invited to visit Fronius International after they loved our 24 hours of sun video. After touching down and exploring Vienna, Eddy and I were on our way to Linz which is the closet city to the head quarters of Fronius International. We had an amazing dinner with Fronius and approximately 30 other international and Australian solar companies and distributers that were invited to attend the Asia Pacific Customer Event. NRG Solar was one of very few that were personally invited!
Before I knew it, it was the first day of our Fronius tour in Wellz. Mrs Strauss & Adrian and Hans introduced themselves to everyone and officially opened the Asia Pacific Customer Event.
We had three sessions focusing on FRO. FRO is a term that refers to the backbone and core of Fronius’s values. It stands for Flexibility, Reliability and Optimization. Designing inverters with this is mind will keep Fronius products future proof and ahead of the game, keeping them leaders in solar technology.
We heard from some Fronius Service Partners from the Asia-Pacific region including Andy from Gippsland Solar, Tom Peebles SolEnergy Philippines, Dwayne from Taspac Energy New Zealand and Marc Cavanaugh from MC Solar.
We also heard from Fronius Solar Team Volker Haider, Martin Hacki, Muhlberger Thomas and Henrek David. This was a really interesting session. We heard these guys talk about the future of the Fronius Solar division.
A huge part of this discussion was around self consumption. It is no surpise that Fronius knew that the more a customer self consumes their solar energy the more they will save. Higher self consumption is also the best way to assist grid stability.
The challenge is helping customers get the self consumption from their solar systems during the peak (around midday) when they aren’t always home. While batteries are a great option to capture the excess energy, Fronius believes it is only one option and there are other great ways to store energy.
They are currently working on the Fronius Ohmpilot. This is a device that will monitor your excess solar energy and instead of sending it to the grid it will re-divert the solar power to the electric hot water system. This means that instead of using off peak or j tariff (or peak energy) you can heat your system from your solar during the day. This product is still in its testing stage but we are looking forward to its development!
We also saw the welding department that they have on site. Welding is a big part of what Fronius does. They weld aluminium and steel for the automotive industry.
Then we were on the bus again, this time we went to Eldenberger Alm for dinner. Eldernberger Alm is a local restaurant that serves authentic Austrian cuisine. We also had a surprise performance from some traditional Austrian dancers!
After such an amazing day, I can’t wait for the factory tours and some more FRO tomorrow. For now, goodnight (and probably for you – good morning).