Background Articles and Features

Solar Energy for the Future of Urban Student Housing

Hanwha Q Cells

Urban Rigger is a revolutionary form of student housing which combines attractive and affordable habitation with sustainability and innovative thinking. The Urban Rigger connects six regular containers into a both smart and attractive living space. As if that wouldn´t be innovative enough, what´s really special is that the Urban Rigger is located on the water. Thus, it opens completely new solutions to the challenge of rare and expensive student housing space in metropole cities. While everyone wants to study there, residences for students are extremely rare and way too expensive. Most of these cities however do have unused spaces on water, such as harbors, rivers or lakes.


Affordable student homes powered by sustainable energy

From the construction of the container based housing environment, to utilizing hydro source heating solutions and solar energy, Urban Rigger is designed for maximum sustainability. Large parts of the student´s energy needs are being satisfied with clean energy produced by a 7,42 kWp solar system which was provided by Hanwha Q CELLS. The Korean based company is one of the largest solar companies in the world and it was intrigued by Urban Rigger concept right from the beginning: “Just like the Urban Rigger is a very smart answer to the huge deficit of student´s residences in European cities, the combination of solar and storage is a smart answer to the energy and climate challenges we are facing around the globe”, said Marco Schweitzer, Senior Special Account Manager at Hanwha Q CELLS. “Therefore it was an obvious thing to equip the Urban Rigger with a solar system and a storage solution. We´re very happy to be part of such an innovative project.”


Storage is the key to sustainable energy efficiency

The solar system is installed on the roof of one of the containers. It is expected to produce 5,2 kWh and thus save 3,1 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Hanwha Q CELLS used high efficiency solar modules with their self-developed Q.ANTUM technology to leverage a maximum amount of electricity from the limited Urban Rigger roof space.

During the day however, when solar energy flows in abundance, students are usually in the university, in the library or out with friends. That´s where the storage solution comes in. Hanwha Q CELLS equipped Urban Rigger with two Q.HOME+ electric energy storing units with 3.6 kWh of storage capacity each. The units have a maximum power input from the PV system of 6.6 kWp and a maximum input voltage of 550 V each. They store the solar energy when it´s produced and release its electricity when needed. Now, the students can easily consume the clean energy from the sun when they´re at home in the evening for cooking

and entertainment. For that, the storage solution will release 90% of the stored energy from the PV system with a nominal power of 4.6 kW.

Urban Rigger is not only clever, when it comes to leveraging unused spaces in European´s metropoles for attractive and affordable student housing, but also when it comes to utilizing the clean energy from the sun for a more sustainable way of urban living.


Jochen Endle,
Director Corporate Communications,
Hanwha Q CELLS


The ees International Magazine is specialized on the future-oriented market of electrical energy storage systems, not only from a technological-, but also a financial and application-oriented point-of-view. In cooperation with ees Global, the ees International Magazine informs the energy industry about current progress and the latest market innovations.

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