Sunmaxx Announces World’s ‘Largest’ PVT Factory

German Company Building 50 MW Photovoltaic-Thermal Solar Module Production Site In Saxony

Sunmaxx Announces World’s ‘Largest’ PVT Factory

Sunmaxx claims to be the only manufacturer globally to offer the combination of solar PV with thermal technology for its PVT modules. (Photo Credit: Sunmaxx PVT)

  • Sunmaxx is constructing a 50 MW PVT module facility in the Saxony region of Germany  
  • It will have an installed capacity to generate 120,000 modules/year; possible expansion in the future is on the cards 
  • Management claims growing demand for its Fraunhofer ISE verified modules, including from ground-mounted systems as the reason for the expansion  

Photovoltaic-thermal solar modules (PVT) producer Sunmaxx is building in Germany what it believes is the world’s largest module production facility for these modules. The 50 MW fab in Saxony will be equipped to roll out 120,000 panels/year.  

The plant is coming up on an existing 4,000 sq. m. production site in Ottendorf-Okrilla, near Dresden. Remodeling of the site to host the production machinery is currently underway. 

Sunmaxx targets to launch the initial line within 2023; however, it says there is enough space to expand the facility up to several 100 MW/year in the near future. The company’s CTO Dr. Jiri Springer cites the rapidly growing demand for the company’s PVT modules, including for the construction of ground-mounted systems as the reason to scale up production. 

The manufacturer has an overarching ambition to increase its cumulative production capacity of up to 3 GW. 

Combining both solar PV technology and thermal solar technologies, PVT panels are hybrid in nature. These consist of solar cells to enable solar energy generation and a heat exchanger to generate thermal energy. Sunmaxx believes these panels can be used effectively for passive cooling of buildings as well.  

The company claims to be the only manufacturer globally to offer this unique combination which it has developed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. 

In March 2023, Fraunhofer ISE independently verified the 80% total efficiency for Sunmaxx modules that use 108 PERC half cells in an M10 format. Its electrical power is 400 W corresponding to an electrical efficiency of 20%, while the thermal output of 1200 W is equal to a thermal collector efficiency of Eta0 of 60%, hence a combined efficiency of 80%.  

Once online, Sunmaxx says the planned production capacity for 2023 can cover close to 5,000 single-family houses.  

“It makes little sense to compete with Asian companies on existing technologies, since the development and scale advantage is far too great. Europe’s chance lies in the innovation and rapid scaling of next-generation technologies,” explained Sunmaxx CEO Wilhelm Stein. “The focus should therefore be on the development and support of technologies that can demonstrate an innovative edge and ensure regional value creation.” 

Combining solar PV technology with heat pumps under sector coupling has its benefits, SolarPower Europe (SPE) claimed in a March 2023 report. It said using both solar PV and heat pumps can help European homes steer through high energy prices, especially in the markets of Spain, Germany and Italy (see Significant Heating Cost Savings Through PV+Heat Pumps).  

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. --Email: [email protected]

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