Next year, Sunfire will be starting to manufacture its pressurized alkaline electrolyzers for hydrogen projects on the 100 MW scale. To this end, the company is currently establishing a new value chain. A key stage in the process is electroplating whereby metallic coating is applied to the cells that make up the core components of an electrolyzer.
Among the few companies capable of processing components of the necessary size is MTV NT GmbH. From its two sites in Germany in Solingen and Mulheim, MTV has been serving industrial clients since 1945 and is now one of the world leaders in functional surface coating for large components. Sunfire is acquiring the Solingen site to build on these competences.
Experienced and competent
“This is the perfect route for us to take. It would cost valuable time to build up a brand-new factory from scratch. The perfect production conditions are already in place, and we can rely on a highly experienced and competent team,” said Nils Aldag, CEO of Sunfire.
Over the coming months, the site will be overhauled to meet the requirements of the electrolysis company. To this end, existing systems will be converted into a state-of-the-art electroplating system for fully automated electrode coating. The first 250 MW coating plant is due to start operation before the end of the year. Next year, the annual production capacity will rise to 500 MW, with planning already underway for expansion to 1 GW.
Made in Europe
Meanwhile, Nils Aldag and his team at the company’s headquarters in Dresden, Germany, continue to push ahead with their plans for upscaling alkaline electrolyzer production. “To ensure that we are able to expand our manufacturing capabilities quickly enough, we will also be relying on the expertise of other established companies,” explained the Sunfire CEO, emphasizing: “We will be concentrating on Europe – our electrolyzers carry the label ‘Made in Europe’.”
Sunfire, which also manufactures high-temperature solid oxide electrolyzers, added pressurized alkaline electrolyzers to its portfolio in January 2021. As part of this process, the German company acquired a pioneer in the field: the Swiss company IHT Industrie Haute Technology SA. As the order books of the company’s factory in Monthey, Switzerland are already full, Sunfire will be additionally expanding its manufacturing capacities elsewhere.