MAHLE invests in photovoltaic start-up
Stuttgart-based MAHLE Group is to be a strategic investor and cooperation partner of Sunmaxx PVT, a cleantech start-up for photovoltaic thermal systems to generate electricity and heat from solar energy.
Sunmaxx uses thermal management solutions from MAHLE to improve the efficiency and market viability of its photovoltaic systems. Sunmaxx PVT is the third strategic participation of the MAHLE Group, which recently grouped together its venture capital and corporate start-up activities in a separate company, MAHLE New Ventures GmbH.
”With this strategic investment in Sunmaxx, we are opening up a new business area for MAHLE in the renewable energies market,” says Jumana Al-Sibai, Member of the Management Board responsible for the Thermal Management Business Unit, in a press release. “We are looking forward to cooperation with Sunmaxx as we will have an opportunity to contribute our extensive expertise in thermal management, which has been tried and tested in the marketplace, to a key project outside the automotive sector.”
The start-up, with headquarters in Dresden, develops photovoltaic thermal systems for the generation of electricity and heat from solar energy. Pure PV modules only use a limited portion of the solar radiation; most of the energy is lost in the form of waste heat. In contrast, hybrid PVT modules from Sunmaxx allow this heat to be utilised. The heat generated is fed to the heating cycle which improves the efficiency of the photovoltaic cells.
“At Sunmaxx, we intend to forge ahead with the urgently needed energy and heating transition. In MAHLE, we have found a strong partner which will contribute considerable know-how and work together with us in this area,” says Dr. Wilhelm Stein, founder and Managing Director of Sunmaxx PVT. “Thermal management from MAHLE is a tried and tested, economically viable technology that meets the high standards of the automotive industry and is fully compatible with mass production. The combination of solar and automotive know-how will leverage new potentials for the further development of highly innovative solar systems.”
Through this investment, Sunmaxx aims to boost the pace of product development, the expansion of sales channels and preparations for the start of production. Reference plants are planned for the summer of this year, with series production to follow from 2023 onwards.