SolarMax producing PV inverters again

Following the insolvency of parent company, Sputnik Engineering AG, SolarMax has started producing its string and central inverters again.

With an unidentified investor secured this May, the company has relocated its manufacturing operations from Switzerland, to the Bavarian town of Burgau in Germany, just 20 km away from SolarMax’s headquarters.

The group, which was established in July, has been manufacturing since September, having taken over the trademarks and production equipment of Sputnik Engineering. A five-language hotline and service network are also operational; and a development department from former Sputnik employees and further development engineers has been established.

Expansion is on the cards for SolarMax, with new products said to be in development. They are expected to be unveiled next year. "In addition to the service for old equipment of the Sputnik engineering AG we will continuously develop new equipment, which are optimally tailored to the respective customer needs and market requirements," commented managing director, Mathias Mader.

No further details were available. pv magazine has contacted SolarMax for more information regarding its production in Bayern.

Regional trends

Speaking to pv magazine for the November print edition, which will feature inverters, Cormac Gilligan, senior analyst solar supply chain at IHS said that there is a trend for certain inverter suppliers to focus more on regional supply; active either in their domestic markets, or in a certain set of countries.

SolarMax tried to be a global player, and failed. The move to Bayern would indicate it is now looking to focus on regional supply, instead. "Suppliers are exiting the inverter market, but some are being repurchased, typically to become niche players, so that the technology can still be used in markets where there is a lot of brand awareness," explained Gilligan. "So for the example of SolarMax, they will still be shipped in Switzerland and Germany."