Winner of this year’s VERBUND E-Novation Award – or VERENA, for short – are the Vorarlberg-based company THIEN eDrives GmbH and its collaborator, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, for the "EC – Motor" project. The prize is awarded by VERBUND, Austria’s leading electricity company, within the framework of the Austrian State Prize for Innovation. In collaboration with Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, THIEN eDrives has succeeded in developing customer-specific motors with the greatest possible energy efficiency and power spectrum. The area of application for the new motors ranges from electric mobility right through to machine tools, fans, pumps and machinery for textiles and paper.
"The energy system will become considerably more efficient and more climate friendly in the next 30 years. At the same time, it is likely that electricity will double in importance. In our capacity as a leading electricity company focussing on renewable hydropower, we are playing an active role in the change in the energy system. Conscious that our future cannot unconditionally cling onto a continually increasing energy consumption, for more than ten years we have been promoting and supporting projects that increase efficiency and subsequently elicit greater efficacy from the individual energy unit. All submitted projects are outstanding innovations, which once again quite literally attest to Austrian inventive and engineering talent and provide valuable impetus for the future energy system," stressed Wolfgang Anzengruber, VERBUND CEO.
The "EC-Motor" project is the result of many new sub-technologies from diverse disciplines being brought together to create an innovative and integrative solution. THIEN eDrives collaborated closely on the development with Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences for approx. three years. From 2015, when further new legal requirements relating to energy efficiency come into power, conventional electric motors will be replaced by the new, more energy efficient EC motor. The company also anticipates strong impetus from new markets, for instance for further intelligent applications from the ventilation, conveyance and pump sectors.
Also nominated for the VERENA prize were: EcoCan, Leoben developed lighting systems that are able to increase the light yield by three- to four-fold, enabling enormous cost savings – particularly in companies, whilst Heliovis from Wiener Neustadt created a new concentrator for large solar power plants, promising to reduce the cost of each solar field by half.
The VERBUND E-Novation Award (VERENA) is being presented for what is already the eleventh time by VERBUND, the leading Austrian electricity company, for innovative ideas relating to energy efficiency, energy management and smart grids, electric mobility, as well as electricity from renewable energies, and it is intended that it motivate research and industry to work together on the implementation of future-oriented measures. Since 2012, VERENA is being awarded as a special prize under the auspices of the State Prize for Innovation.
Photo credit: BMWFJ/APA-Fotoservice/Preiss