Solarwatt: 85% share of glass-glass solar modules
The system provider Solarwatt generated stable business this year. At a press conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the company and its predecessors, Managing Director Detlef Neuhaus drew a positive picture. "We made 2018 more than 80 million euro turnover with solar modules , he said. "We were unable to achieve our very ambitious target of 100 million euros. After all, we were more than able to compensate for the considerable drop in prices for solar modules through higher sales."
Price erosion also affects glass-glass modules
The drop in prices on the module market is affecting polycrystalline glass-foil modules in particular, which have come under pressure due to overcapacities in Asia. China ware is already available for less than 20 cents per watt.
But the somewhat higher-priced glass-glass modules also fell by around 20 percent in the course of the year. "The fact that we are well positioned with our glass-glass modules in the premium segment helped us this year," Neuhaus analyzed. "Although we also had to struggle with falling prices, it was not quite as bad as with glass foil. The share of double glass modules in total module sales rose to 85 percent at Solarwatt. This corresponds to around 110 megawatts in 2018. In addition to Germany, glass-glass modules are mainly sold in the Benelux countries.
At Intersolar in Munich in June, Solarwatt presented the first smart solar modules with integrated performance optimiser in the junction box. They can also be integrated into the new energy manager.
In the past quarter of a century, Solarwatt has produced a total of five million solar modules. They correspond to around 1.3 gigawatts of solar output. Every 28 seconds, a new solar module leaves the factory in Dresden's Klotzsche district, around 670,000 modules a year.
Storage market still no mass business
The second important mainstay of the Dresden company is the My-Reserve series of energy storage systems. The DC-coupled system can be easily combined from four kilowatt hours upwards to commercial storage units. Although Solarwatt's sales this year went according to plan. "However, this market is not growing quite as fast as we would like," Detlef Neuhaus restricted. "After all, growth is stable.
Solarwatt's engineers are currently working primarily on reducing the costs of lithium storage batteries. The production of battery modules is being relocated from Frechen in North Rhine-Westphalia to Dresden, where the power electronics for the power storage units, the so-called command modules, are already being built. Research and development for the next storage generation will remain in Frechen.
This year, Solarwatt has expanded its international sales activities. In total, the company employs around 340 people. (HS/HCN)
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