SMA Solar Expands Production Capacity to 4 GW

SMA Solar Technology AG (S92.F), parent company of U.S. subsidiary SMA America, Inc., announced the opening of what it said is the world’s largest solar inverter manufacturing site, located in Kassel, Germany.

With the new 193,000-square-foot facility, SMA has increased its production capacity to 4 gigawatts (GW) and is continuing to expand its strategy of scalability to meet demand for its line of solar inverters.

Solar inverters are the component in a solar power system that converts direct-current power generated by solar panels into usable household power.

SMA said the plant is also pioneering the concept of carbon-neutral industrial production by utilizing a low-energy building concept, high efficiency and renewable energy.

Günther Cramer, CEO of SMA Solar Technology AG, said: "With our CO2 neutral inverter manufacturing, we are showing that advanced industrial production can be accomplished with a small environmental footprint."

Electrical power is derived from a building-integrated 1.1 MWt PV system and an onsite biogas plant. The biogas plant satisfies a portion of the factory’s basic heating requirement with additional heat provided by a local waste incineration facility. Excess heat from an electric compressor that provides compressed air for various tools and equipment is also recycled into the ventilation system. All heat sources are connected to a hot water tank, which helps regulate the system and enables continuous usage. Cooling is furnished through two systems, including an absorption refrigerator driven by the excess heat generated by the biogas plant and an electric back-up system.

In order to completely satisfy the site’s energy requirements, renewable energy is purchased from nearby sources. After the final construction phase, the CO2 balance will be equalized through additional PV installations, eliminating the need for additional utility purchases, the company said.

With a turnover of more than 680 million Euros in 2008, SMA is the global market leader for solar inverters. The SMA group is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented in ten countrieson four continents .

 

Website: http://www.SMA-America.com     
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