Sunfire and Vitesco Technologies become strategic partners
Dresden / Limbach-Oberfrohna, January 12, 2023
Sunfire is using the automotive supplier’s expertise to transfer its hydrogen technologies to industrial serial production. This opens a new chapter for both companies.
To achieve its climate targets, the industry urgently needs green hydrogen. The demand for electrolyzers – the systems that produce the gas – is correspondingly high. In order to meet the large demand, Sunfire is ramping up its electrolysis technologies to industrial scale at top speed.
Partnerships with the best
In doing so, the company also is also exploiting the potential of established industrial companies. “Vitesco Technologies has decades of experience in serial production of components for the automotive industry,” explains Sunfire CEO Nils Aldag. “Our innovative strength coupled with Vitesco’s industrial expertise makes for a powerful combination.”
The strategic partnership will enable Sunfire to start volume production of its pressurized alkaline electrolyzers as early as this year. In its production halls, Vitesco Technologies will combine the cells – which are the size of tractor tires in diameter – into stacks that form the centerpiece of an electrolyzer. In Limbach-Oberfrohna, Saxony, the Group is converting a quarter of its capacities for this purpose.
New perspectives for automotive suppliers
The site has a long tradition in the automotive industry. Until now, the company mainly manufactured diesel injectors here. Where fossil fuels have traditionally been the main driver, Sunfire can scale to gigawatt levels.
“Interestingly, to manufacture electrolyzers, we need very similar skills to the automotive industry”, says Nils Aldag. “For the industry, this is extremely exciting. As traditional industries are transformed, the rapidly growing green hydrogen industry offers new perspectives.”
Dr. Hans-Jürgen Braun, Head of Operations at Vitesco Technologies, adds: “For our plant in Limbach-Oberfrohna, with its outstanding expertise in high precision and in the production of mechanical components, we have found a promising path in the cooperation with Sunfire: long-standing expertise meets future technologies – even beyond the mobility sector. We are happy that the site is taking this step together with Sunfire.”
Next expansion stage of alkaline production is already in the planning stage
Meanwhile, Sunfire continues to expand its alkaline electrolyzer manufacturing capacity. In doing so, the company relies on decentralized production. One of the core processes – the metallic coating of the cells – is carried out by Sunfire at its own site in Solingen. A new electroplating line will open there in a few weeks, and another is already under construction. This will enable Sunfire to produce alkaline electrolyzers with a total capacity of 500 MW annually in 2023. The expansion into the gigawatt scale is already in the planning stage.
Image: © Vitesco Technologies