French company Viessmann Faulquemont, a subsidiary of the German Viessmann Group, has bought up the assets of French company Sophia Antipolis Energie Developpment (SAED), which was put under turnaround after being declared insolvent in April 2013. Viessmann was one of several investors submitting an offer to the court in April. According to the purchase contracts, which were signed on 16 October, Viessmann Faulquemont will take over the production equipment, the intellectual property, such as the patents and the employees of the company for an undisclosed sum.
“We received several offers from industrial and service companies, as well as from financial investors,” Franck Giaoui confirms. According to Giaoui, who has been Interim Managing Director of SAED since November 2012, the court chose Viessmann for several reasons: First, their offer was one of the highest bids; second, the company has a strong technological and manufacturing background; third, Viessmann possesses a global sales network. “The SAED collector is not made for the local residential market, but for the large commercial segment worldwide,” Giaoui says. The Managing Partner of French consultancy Hera Finance is helping Viessmann to facilitate the transition during the coming months.
“The special SAED heat pipe collector for large fields represents a very good addition to our product range,” explains Thomas Lesch, Viessmann’s Product Manager Solar Thermal Systems. In 2008, SAED developed a price-optimised vacuum tube collector which is suitable for large collector fields. “We will use the SAED technology in collector fields with more than 100 m2 and operating temperatures between 80 and 130 °C in district heating or process heat,” he adds.
Characteristics of the SAED collector are
- the heat pipe, which is based on a roll-bonded aluminium sheet and not on the fin and copper pipe combination used so far for heat pipe vacuum tube collectors
- the dry connection, which consists of a one-piece aluminium sheet wrapped around the thicker manifold and whose end is cut into multiple fins to be linked to the different heat pipes.
- the manifold, which consists of a DN50 (2”) steel pipe joined to the aluminium plates.