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Worldwide: Flat Plate Collector Manufacturer Ranking

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 21, 2016
Collector Ranking 2015The ranking of the largest flat plate collector manufacturers is headed by the same four companies as last year: Greenonetec from Austria, Fivestar from China, Soletrol from Brazil and Bosch Thermotechnik from Germany. But aside from the continuity at the top, last year shows what different paths some markets have taken. Whereas Australian-based Solahart, one of the pioneers of global solar collector trade, as well as Soletrol, the largest Brazilian manufacturer, have lost ground, several others – such as Sunrain from China, Hewalex from Poland and Eraslan from Turkey – were able to report above-average growth for 2015 and rise through the ranks. The produced collector area of the overall 21 companies added up to 4,212,462 m². The number was 21 and not 20 because the last and second-last spot were occupied by companies with equal production output.
Chart: solrico
 

China: Arcon-Sunmark and Sunrain Establish Joint-Venture for Large Projects

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 10, 2016
Sunrain Arcon Joint VentureA new joint venture founded in Beijing, China, on 31 May aims at offering large-scale solar heating solutions on the Chinese market. The country’s market leader, Jiangsu Sunrain Solar Energy, and Arcon-Sunmark, a Danish turnkey large-scale system provider, joined forces to establish Arcon-Sunmark Large-Scale Solar Systems Integration Co., Ltd., headquartered in Beijing. The photo shows (from left) Xinjian Xu, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Jiangsu Sunrain Solar Energy, Torben Sørensen, Group Executive Officer of VKR Holding, the owner of Arcon-Sunmark, and Mads Kann-Rasmussen, Board Member of VKR Holding, who represents the family behind VKR.
Photo: Arcon-Sunmark
 

Denmark: New Arcon-Sunmark Focuses on Large-Scale Turnkey Installations

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 12, 2015
Sunmark VietnamDanish VKR Holding purchased collector manufacturer and turnkey system supplier Sunmark Solutions, also from Denmark, and incorporated the company into subsidiary Arcon Solar. The two firms have now merged to become Arcon-Sunmark, a direct subsidiary of VKR Holding and headquartered in Skørping in Northern Jutland, Torben Sørensen, Chairman of the Board of Arcon-Sunmark, says in a press release from 3 February 2015. Sørensen quit his job as CEO of Danish VKR subsidiary SolarCap, which was shut down and all its stakes divested in the course of 2014. Solarthermalworld.org has reported on the buyout of Sonnenkraft, as well as Greenonetec. The photo shows the Vietnamese collector production factory of Sunmark Solutions.
Photo: Sunmark Solutions

Austria: Robert Kanduth Buys Back 50 % Greenonetec Stake

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on January 1, 2015
Robert KanduthDanish Solarcap’s solar disinvestment strategy continues: In November 2014, the subsidiary of the Danish VKR Holding sold its 50 % share in Austrian collector manufacturer Greenonetec back to the founder, Robert Kanduth (see photo). Kanduth is an Austrian entrepreneur with experiences in a wide variety of business segments, such as hotels, photovoltaics, as well as solar thermal. The second half of Greenonetec belongs to Austrian company Kioto Clear Energy, of which Kanduth owns around 65 %. This holding has 310 staff and made a turnover of EUR 90 million in 2013, including solar thermal and solar photovoltaic production.
Photo: Greenonetec
 

Austria/Europe: General Solar Systems and Sonnenkraft Management Buyout

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 27, 2014
Since 1 January 2014, General Solar Systems (GSS), one of the biggest solar thermal system suppliers in Europe, has had a new owner: Together with Austrian investors, former GSS Financial Director Primus Spitzer took over the company from Danish Solarcap, a subsidiary of VKR Holding. The takeover was announced in a press release on 3 February 2014. GSS with its well-known brand Sonnenkraft is now owned by Austrian company PS Helios headquartered in St Veit, Austria, with Spitzer being the only shareholder. According to the press release, GSS employed nearly 150 staff and achieved a turnover of around EUR 45 million in 2013.
 

Denmark/Hungary: Velux to Close Down Solar Collector Business

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on October 28, 2013

“The Velux Group has decided to discontinue sales of solar thermal collectors during the autumn 2013.” This was the first sentence of a short statement which appeared on the internet pages of the different Velux distribution partners in Europe in the middle of September 2013. It continued with the words: “Even though we stop selling solar thermal collectors, we will continue to provide service and spare parts for maintenance of your Velux solar thermal system.” By closing the chapter on its solar thermal endeavour, the Velux Group will once again focus only on its core business – selling roof and flat roof windows as well as blinds.
Photo: Velux

Sonnenkraft: “We Have a Responsibility to Innovate and Develop Solar Energy”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 28, 2012

 Magnus Wallin (left) and Torben Sørensen With the expansion to the United Kingdom and Switzerland, Sonnenkraft’s network of sales offices now spans across nine countries. When adding the company’s partnerships in other markets, the manufacturer is among the solar thermal businesses with the most extensive market coverage across Europe. Solarthermalworld.org spoke to Magnus Wallin (left), who has been Director of new and emerging markets in Sonnenkraft since 2008, and Torben Sørensen (right), CEO of SolarCAP since 2010 (the Danish holding company of Sonnenkraft – among other companies) who came from a position as CEO of Faber and Benthin Group (subsidiaries of VKR Holding), about the market potential in different European countries and the company’s future growth strategy.
Photos: Sonnenkraft

Large-Scale Solar District Heating in Denmark

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 3, 2009

solar district heating in Gram” 802 collectors mounted in only three months: the inauguration of the latest solar district heating system by the Danish collector manufacturer Arcon Solvarme took place in the town of Gram in June this year. Photo: Arcon

Monopoly on Laser Welding in the USA

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 3, 2009

laser welding machineLaser welding machine for absorber sheets: A patent in the United States could slowdown the development of this technology.
Photo: Sunlaser Consulting

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