Since 1959 HELLA has been designing and manufacturing sun and weather protection systems. Manufacturing plant as well as the head office are located in Abfaltersbach/East Tyrol.
Now Venetian blinds shall be rethought and changed to solar energy electric power stations. Although we searched for a long time to find suitable solar cells, we could not find the required technology. Therefore we started to develop thin-film modules within the framework of the project K-Regio Solar. These modules are applied to the slats in a special coating. The modules are flexible and of low weight. Other advantages are the good current output even with diffused light and only small losses with high temperatures. By simulating industrially repeatable operational conditions these innovative materials are supposed to attain an efficiency factor of 12%. This would be up to 20% above the current state of the art.
If the scientists manage to do this, this module would be a product for the international market. Mr. Troyer sees the great chances for his enterprise and assumes that a total amount of 2 mio. Euro will be necessary to get the power generating Venetian blind ready for the market. If this works, Hella could provide up to 50 new jobs.
The project partners: Sunplugged Photovoltaics, Phystech Coating, Hella Sonnen- und Wetterschutztechnik as well as Zitt & Schennach; research institutes of the University of Innsbruck.
Mag. Martin Troyer in an interview
Why is Hella so intensively investing in innovations?
Hella sees itself as an innovation leader in the industry of sun and weather protection systems. Due to the close contact to our customers, new requirements are submitted to us constantly. And we do our very best to work them out. We understand energy optimisation as a great challenge. Our products may play an important part in contributing to energy reduction. The production of energy is a completely new challenge within the sun and weather protection industry. And we want to be the first to meet this challenge to the satisfaction of our customers. Innovations create an added value and enable us to offer additional benefits. This leads us to believe that we can be a market leader tomorrow as well.
Which are the determining factors that are given by the management to allow Hella to be so innovative?
Innovations require scope for development. On the one hand, it should be fun to develop a new product and to launch it. On the other hand the company must be willing to invest in innovations. Not every idea results in an economic success. Therefore it is necessary that the company has the ability to invest the money sometimes in crazy ideas.
What does sustainability mean for Hella, and does Hella combine sustainability and innovation?
Sustainability means, that our products and systems have a long lifespan. But sustainability does also mean, that we go easy on resources. Sustainability means that our products will benefit our customers and our environment for years to come. And our innovations shall contribute to increase this benefit.
Are there any points that are dear to your heart, when you think of the subject of sustainability and innovations in Austria?
Yes, of course. We will do our very best, that our products contribute to a massive reduction of domestic energy consumption. And it is great, that the living comfort will be improved simultaneously. Improving the living comfort and simultaneously saving energy - this is dear to our hearts! We can carry this benefit into the world and thereby we can strengthen the Austrian economy.
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