FAQ2022-03-03T11:30:08+01:00

Frequently asked questions and our answers

Are there nationwide or regional subsidies?2022-03-01T11:32:15+01:00

The KfW bank offers an attractive subsidy of €15,050 for purchasing picea systems through is 433 programme. We will be happy to assist you with the application and processing with the help of our experts and ready-to-use application documents. In addition, we always individually check whether there are regional funding programmes available that you can benefit from.

Is it possible to see a picea system in operation?2022-03-01T11:34:44+01:00

If you get in touch with us first to arrange an appointment, you are welcome to visit us in Berlin and see a picea system operating live. We are also currently installing a number of reference systems in Germany. Sign up right away on the enquiry form on our homepage so that you receive information and updates before anyone else.

How much does a picea system cost and how long does it take to deliver?2022-03-01T11:40:25+01:00

We first of all determine your personal requirements together with you. We will then draw up a quote, which usually ranges between €85.000 and €125.000. Feel free to ask our customer advisers about savings tips and subsidy opportunities. The delivery date will be agreed with you individually.

How does picea work?2022-03-01T11:42:37+01:00

picea stores surplus PV electricity from summer for you, and makes it usable again in winter to supply homes with CO2-free electricity all year round. In addition, the energy from midday is stored to reliably cover your consumption in the evenings and at night.

What does the name picea stand for?2022-03-01T11:44:51+01:00

picea is the Latin name for spruce tree, which grows widely throughout Europe. Because of its fast growth and the timber’s excellent usability, the spruce is the most commonly occurring tree in Germany. Like spruce trees, picea stores sunlight and helps to reduce CO2 throughout Germany.

Can I only use picea in single-family homes?2022-03-01T11:46:18+01:00

picea’s performance has been optimised for single-family homes and their consumption patterns. However, it is often possible to use picea in other application areas or to connect several picea systems together to achieve an even higher performance for commercial premises and apartment buildings. Our customer advisers will be delighted to help you.

Can I replace my heating system with picea?2022-03-01T11:47:08+01:00

Additional heating is always required in addition to the picea system. The waste heat from picea is generally not sufficient to heat a house all year round.
picea can be combined with all standard types of heating systems. No matter what is used for heating (oil, gas, wood or electricity): with picea you need less of it.
Heat pumps are particularly suitable for new buildings. Here, the electricity from picea can be used to operate them and create a modern system for CO2-free heating.

How do hydrogen storage systems work?2022-03-01T11:48:11+01:00

Thanks to hydrogen’s excellent properties for storing energy, electricity produced in summer can be used seasonally. Electricity from the PV system that cannot be used directly is used for electrolysis. The electrolyser is a module in the picea that uses electrical energy to split water (H2O). In the hydrogen storage tank, these resulting H2 molecules are collected and used in winter to supply your electricity needs even when the sun no longer provides enough energy.

What do I need a battery for?2022-03-01T11:50:22+01:00

The integrated battery is used to supply your consumption even in summer or in the transitional period. Electricity that is not directly used during the midday period is stored in the battery and made usable again in the evening and at night. Load and yield peaks can also be absorbed by the battery. Combining short-term storage (battery) and long-term storage (hydrogen) therefore provides you with an optimal supply.

How is the waste heat from picea used?2022-03-01T11:51:42+01:00

In summer, picea produces hydrogen. The conversion produces waste heat that can be used as service water. This summer heat is provided at a temperature of 55 °C. This can be used to heat a buffer or drinking water storage tank. This enables picea to relieve the heating system when producing domestic hot water in summer.
In winter, hydrogen is used in the fuel cell to generate electricity. The resulting waste heat is released into the house via the ventilation unit. Used air is extracted and used to cool the fuel cell. It is then passed over a counterflow heat exchanger and releases the heat to fresh air, which is then preheated and prehumidified and fed into the house. This means that picea not only uses the waste heat from the fuel cell, but also keeps the heat in the house that would otherwise be lost during ventilation. If there is no central living room ventilation, the heat can also be used via the buffer or drinking water storage tank.

How efficient is picea?2022-03-01T11:52:52+01:00

Every storage tank has an efficiency rating. The efficiency rating refers to the fact that energy is partly stored in the storage tank but also partly released as heat. This heat energy can often no longer be used. picea stores the energy as hydrogen. The hydrogen is produced by the electrolyser and fills the storage tank. The electrolyser has a 70% efficiency. When energy from the storage tank is needed, the fuel cell comes into play and converts the hydrogen into electricity and heat. The fuel cell has a 50-60% efficiency. picea is installed in the house where electricity and heat are needed. When electricity and heat are produced in the conventional way, this produces CO2, which pollutes our environment. picea, on the other hand, uses only CO2-free solar energy and supplies both forms of energy – electricity and heat. picea is therefore highly efficient and achieves almost 90% efficiency. This makes picea one of the best energy systems available on the market today.

How much CO2 can I save with picea?2022-03-01T11:54:05+01:00

By generating CO2-free electricity and heating support, picea users prevent more than 3 tonnes of CO2 annually. This corresponds to the same amount of CO2 that 130 mature spruce trees can absorb annually.

Where do the components come from?2022-03-01T11:55:03+01:00

Our picea system is manufactured by our partner, the Zollner company in Bavaria. Most of the components and parts for picea come from Germany and Europe.

How much can be recycled?2022-03-01T11:57:08+01:00

Thanks to the modular design and choice of high-quality components, up to 90% of any picea system can be recycled. In addition to storing and using energy, we have also developed picea for you with a view to ensuring maximum sustainability in terms of conserving resources.

Where is picea available?2022-03-01T11:58:34+01:00

Currently, only customers from Germany can buy a picea system. We are continuously expanding our partner network so that your nearest contact is right on your doorstep. Our customer advisers are already there for you at various locations in Germany.

Are there comparable products on the market?2022-04-22T16:40:14+02:00

As far as we are aware, picea is the world’s first electric energy storage system for buildings available as a product. Fuel cells have been used in industry for decades – we are now bringing this technology to your home.

Is it possible to monitor picea’s storage levels and performance on the go?2022-03-01T12:00:26+01:00

You have full transparency at all times with our picea app. Feel free to explore our app by downloading it from Google Play Store or Apple App Store on your smartphone or tablet.

Can picea also supply a house if the public power grid fails?2022-03-01T12:01:35+01:00

When the power grid fails, picea takes over the power supply. The house is then supplied from the battery, which in turn is charged by the photovoltaic system and the fuel cell. This means that emergency power can be supplied for months if necessary. Since picea provides 3-phase electrical energy, all appliances can continue to operate as usual.

How safe is picea?2022-03-01T12:02:18+01:00

Safety has been our top priority from the very beginning.
Our picea product was developed together with the TÜV and is 100% safe in every situation. Operators do not need planning permission to use picea and no special permits are required for the installation.

Can hydrogen be stored permanently?2022-03-01T12:04:30+01:00

The entire picea system is permanently sealed tight. There is no measurable diffusion of hydrogen. Mathematically speaking, it takes 300 years for 1% of hydrogen to escape. Our hydrogen cylinders are made of steel and have centimetre-thick walls. All pipes are made of stainless steel, and all connections and seals are mechanically sealed tight.

Can I operate all appliances with picea?2022-03-01T12:05:40+01:00

picea generally operates parallel to the grid. Appliances operated in your home can draw power at full capacity at any time. picea provides you with enough power to completely supply all standard household appliances. If you need extraordinarily high power (e.g. for machines), picea delivers power that is available in accordance with the data sheet. If the required energy exceeds this, electricity is drawn from the public grid. If the electricity grid is not available, you can continue to supply your home with up to 7.4 kW of power – and that is 3-phase electricity.

How often is picea serviced?2022-03-01T12:06:33+01:00

As part of our full-service maintenance, your picea is serviced annually as scheduled. Here, filters are replaced and the general condition of the system is inspected. In addition, our online server permanently monitors all sensors and actuators in your picea, so that we can also arrange maintenance times with you in advance.

How much electricity can I supply myself annually with picea?2022-03-01T12:07:48+01:00

We can determine this value for your individual case in a free simulation. The annual amount of electricity produced can vary depending on the location and orientation of the roof. Households typically consume between 3,000 and 7,000 kWh of electricity per year. Feel free to use the enquiry form on our homepage for an individual consultation and to determine your future self-sufficiency.

Which heating systems work best with picea?2022-03-01T12:09:14+01:00

We have developed picea for you so that you can use the waste heat in any heating system and thus reduce your heating costs. In new-build schemes, it works particularly effectively in combination with an efficient heat pump. We will be delighted to assist you and your heating specialist in developing the optimum solution for you.

Why did this not exist before?2022-03-01T12:11:08+01:00

More than 30 years ago, Fraunhofer ISE developed a hydrogen-based solution for single-family homes as part of a one-off project. HPS has now managed to develop picea and make its benefits available to everyone as a product.

How big should my roof be?2022-03-01T12:12:35+01:00

The roof size and orientation are very important in order to estimate how high your personal self-sufficiency with picea can be. Our customers generally have at least 50 m² of roof space available. However, you are welcome to use our enquiry form to receive expert advice. We look forward to hearing from you.

How much space do I need?2022-03-01T12:13:41+01:00

picea consists of two main components: the internal energy centre and the external hydrogen storage unit. The energy centre has a 1.5 x 1.0-metre floor area and requires a room height of at least 2.0 metres. The hydrogen storage unit requires at least 1.5 metres of floor space. The space required for the external hydrogen storage unit depends largely on the amount of energy stored. For 300 kWh you need a 1.75 x 1.0-metre area and for 1,500 kWh 5.75 x 1.0 metres. The hydrogen storage unit has a 2.0-metre height and can be placed up to 50 metres away from the house.

Do I need a permit?2022-03-01T12:14:29+01:00

We have developed picea in such a way that no permit is required. picea does not require planning permission. To make this possible, the hydrogen storage tank itself must be located outside the house and the regional building regulations stipulating minimum spacing requirements must be complied with on the property. However, these spacing requirements apply to any structure or installation on your property.

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