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ZHAW employee Pascal Kienast honoured with the Watt d’Or award

CLEMAP AG has been honoured with the Watt d’Or award, the quality seal for energy excellence of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), in recognition of its work on the development of intelligent load management in buildings. ZHAW researcher and CLEMAP founder Pascal Kienast accepted the award in Bern.

Pascal Kienast, ZHAW researcher and CLEMAP founder (centre) in conversation with presenter Marianne Zünd at the award ceremony for the 2024 Watt d’Or in Bern. Image: Swiss Federal Office of Energy

If we are to achieve the set climate targets, renewable energy sources will need to be expanded on an ongoing basis, as fossil fuels are to be replaced by electricity from more sustainable sources. Electricity production through photovoltaics and electricity consumption through electromobility can be ideally coupled when it comes to quantity. In terms of time lags and peak output, however, challenges persist. If, for example, electricity consumption for charging processes increases too much in a building with solar modules and it can no longer be covered by the building's own solar power plant or an existing power connection, an expensive extension of the power line is unavoidable in some cases.

Intelligent electricity management for buildings

The start-up CLEMAP, which was co-founded by Pascal Kienast, a lecturer and researcher at the ZHAW Institute of Sustainable Development (INE), has developed a solution for this case and has now been recognised for its work with the Watt d’Or award of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). A small yet powerful measuring device with a local control function and intelligent algorithms can be installed in a building’s distribution box. It analyses the energy flows in the building and optimises the electricity loads, allowing for the intelligent control of electricity usage within the building. This means that the output of the charging stations can also be dynamically limited or prioritised depending on current electricity consumption. Pascal Kienast is delighted to have received the award. He sees it as proof that he and his team are on the right track. “As the founder of CLEMAP, I am overwhelmed that we have been recognised with the Watt d’Or! Our load management solution won over the jury with its key features: the prioritisation of charging processes for user groups and parking spaces, charging with solar power, and the control of five different charging station manufacturers. I am grateful to have achieved this with a wonderful team and greatly appreciate the trust that our partners and customers place in us!”

Mentor as part of the Entrepreneurship Initiative

Pascal Kienast also passes on the experience he gained in the process of establishing CLEMAP to his students. As a lecturer and mentor as part of the Entrepreneurship Initiative at the School of Engineering, he supports students and employees who have innovative ideas for start-ups or have already taken their first steps as company founders.

Further information on this year's Watt d’Or award