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Business owners

Long inverter life through proven quality

12/4/2023 / Satteins, Austria
In mid-June 1999, more than 30 of the first Fronius inverter — the Fronius Sunrise — went into operation on Sonnenstraße in Satteins, Vorarlberg (Austria), for the companies Ernst Schweizer GmbH and doma vkw Energietechnik. Every day, for more than 24 years, they have been demonstrating the long service life of Fronius inverters and their easy maintenance as part of an extraordinary PV system.

In the mid-1990s, the Fronius Sunrise was our first grid-connected inverter able to feed excess solar power into the grid.

Today, some 30 years later, quite a lot of these revolutionary devices are still in use, demonstrating their long service life and reliability, and acting as the perfect example of sustainability in practice at Fronius.

Fronius Sunrise runs and runs and… runs — for 24 years  

More than 30 Fronius Sunrise can be found in Satteins, only seven kilometers from Feldkirch in Vorarlberg. For 24 years now, as part of the PV system installed there, they have been supplying their plant operators — the two sister companies doma vkw Energietechnik and Ernst Schweizer GmbH — with reliable and almost maintenance-free solar power for the joint company site.

The PV system installer doma vkw has been a Fronius System Partner for many years and installed the 49-kWp facade construction at its own site. “When we installed the system in 1999, more than 30 inverters were used. We deliberately opted for Fronius. At that time, the Sunrise was still a very new product, but the quality has convinced us over the years. Two inverters have failed in 24 years, but that’s not a big deal as we’d bought three in reserve. The third spare inverter is still knocking about, waiting for the chance to replace one of the other inverters,” says Martin Frick, managing director of doma vkw.

Outstanding construction  

The system is used to produce electricity for the two companies, which means that we only feed the surplus into the grid. In total, we produce about three times the electricity that we need ourselves,” says Ernst Bertsch, founder of doma vkw. The company has thus been fully putting into practice their sustainability goal for over two decades and feeding green electricity into the public grid. Martin Frick adds: “This new type of facade system in combination with the Fronius Sunrise was already a very innovative solution at the time, for which we were awarded the European Solar Prize, and today we still always try to offer our customers the best, most advanced, and most innovative products. That’s why we rely very strongly on our partner Fronius.”

The unusual facade construction, which was built at the same time as the company building, even received the European Solar Prize.

» “It goes without saying that sustainability is a high priority for us as a company. It’s very important that we not only think about today and tomorrow, but also about the future beyond that. That’s why we seek out sustainable partners that we can rely on for years and decades to come. And that’s where Fronius is by far number 1,” «

says managing director Martin Frick. 

Long service life instead of planned obsolescence

We are proud of our sustainable company philosophy, of which durability and repairability are only two aspects. Our aim is to manufacture high-quality products that bring us closer to our vision of 24 hours of sun in the long term. A world in which we generate electricity, cooling, heating, and e-mobility exclusively from renewable energy.

The PV systems at our Austrian sites already output 2.3 MWp. At Fronius we also strive to use recycled materials and use 90% green electricity for our production processes.

Find out more about our “Earth Mission” here.

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