Sustainability project

Modernization of the power supply of the Sarotlahütte mountain hut

Country-specific and benefitting society.
The Sarotlahütte mountain hut in Austria

Project goal

Phoenix Contact Austria wanted to implement a country-specific project in which individual aspects of the All Electric Society strategic direction would be brought to life in a bold way that would benefit society. Located 1,611 meters above sea level in the Vorarlberg Alps, the exposed Sarotlahütte mountain hut run by the Österreichischer Alpenverein (the non-profit Austrian Alpine Club) was chosen for the project. After a disastrous avalanche and subsequent reconstruction, when the power supply was initially restored it was less than adequate.


  • Internal meetings and brainstorming sessions to generate ideas
  • Contact the Austrian Alpine Club
  • Collaboration with Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences
  • Collaboration with planners, electricians, and system integrators

1,611 m

above sea level, can only be reached on foot or by helicopter

5 kW

output of the newly planned micro-hydropower plant (previously 0.7 kW)

11.5 kWp

peak power from the newly installed photovoltaic system (with 58 kWh battery storage system)

The Sarotlahütte mountain hut in Austria

Optimal use of energy

In the course of the modernization project, Phoenix Contact provided support for the full integration of a newly planned micro-hydropower plant with output boosted from 0.7 kW to around 5 kW. A photovoltaic system with 11.5 kWp peak power and 58 kWh battery storage system were also installed. One of the key points was to intelligently link the supply of the two largest loads (battery storage system for electrical energy and hot water storage tank) in such a way that the generated electricity is used efficiently, ensuring comfort and convenience. “The limited energy available must therefore be used optimally and must never be wasted. In this respect, it was an interesting challenge to design the power generation system accordingly and to make optimum use of the two different energy sources in parallel,” explains engineer Gebhard Lorenz, Technisches Büro Lorenz, responsible for the electrical planning. The intelligent and flexible load management provided by Phoenix Contact performs a valuable role here. On the one hand, surplus energy can be used at any time and, on the other hand, in the event of (weather-related) energy shortages, electrical power is efficiently allocated to essential loads.

Two colleagues with a laptop in front of the control cabinet of the photovoltaic system for the Sarotlahütte mountain hut

The FL mGuard remote maintenance router enabled a secure connection to be set up from the valley to the hut. “Among other things, Phoenix Contact provided support in the form of programming work for the Modbus connection of the measuring devices, energy optimization, visualization, setting up remote maintenance, graphical display of the energy data in, and component selection,” explains Michael Schuler, Sales Manager IMA and project manager.

Image for sustainability development goal number 07
Affordable and clean energy

Sustainable power supply in the midst of nature

Together with all those involved in the project, we have shown how it is possible to realize a self-sufficient, sustainable power supply. It is fully in line with our philosophy of reducing CO₂ through technology and not by going without.

Thomas Lutzky - Phoenix Contact GmbH (Österreich), General Manager

Connect with us

Martin Reissig, Phoenix Contact Austria
Yvonne Steinhäusser
Phoenix Contact Austria

This might also interest you