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InternationalGerman Solar Startup Taking On Chinese Giants With Unique Thermal Technology

German Solar Startup Taking On Chinese Giants With Unique Thermal Technology

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While Chinese solar panels flood the German market, one startup in Saxony is taking a different approach. Sunmaxx is doubling down on production in Germany through an innovative photovoltaic-thermal system that harness both electricity and heat from the sun.

Unlike traditional panels that let solar energy go to waste as heat, Sunmaxx modules capture 80% of energy through a unique thermal management system. By generating electricity and hot water simultaneously, these solar panels provide dual benefits for homes and businesses.

Sunmaxx CEO Wilhelm Stein remains tightlipped on the details that give his company a one to two year advantage. But this integrated photovoltaic-thermal or PVT approach could challenge Chinese solar dominance if scaled up.

Currently limited to 50MW annual output, Sunmaxx plans to quintuple capacity using its patented process originally applied in automotive cooling. This localized production model goes against the trend of European manufacturers relocating abroad due to Chinese price pressures.

However, experts say supply chain independence requires gigawatt scale factories. As Germany imports 90% of its solar needs from China, rebooting domestic industry means competing on costs and volumes in a global solar marketplace where Asia leads.

Nonetheless, Sunmaxx's success so far shows there is room for innovation to carve niches. And as energy security concerns rise after events in Ukraine, onshore renewables provide resilience compared to gas reliance on nations like Russia and China.

Policymakers now weigh options to level the playing field for local pioneers against mass produced imports. With the right support, Sunmaxx and other startups may yet help Germany reclaim some of its lost solar manufacturing glory through homegrown technological solutions.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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