The ultimate mini-grid specialist
Studer Innotec (in Sion, Canton of Valais) specialises in energy conversion. Among other products, the company develops a range of inverters for use mainly on sites without access to an electricity grid. A popular solution on the international mini-grid market.
In places not connected to the electricity grid, mini-grid installations allow flexible current flow management between renewable energy sources – in most cases solar power – and consumers. The key element of these installations is the inverter, Studer Innotec’s flagship product, which is part of its range offering various solutions for everything from remote buildings such as mountain huts to high-voltage grids.
Studer Innotec scores over its competitors by producing more robust devices with higher power outputs of up to 72 kVA, ensuring its position as leader on the high-end market, with products made locally in the Canton of Valais and guaranteed for 10 years. The latest additions to the range, the new generation of smart inverters, offer even higher power and greater connectivity. The company has also begun an investment programme to modernise its production lines and entire manufacturing plant.
The success of self-consumption — a shot in the arm for growth
Studer Innotec generates around 15% of its turnover in Switzerland. Exports to provide solutions in regions without a reliable electricity grid – mainly in Africa, Asia and India – thus account for 85% of its turnover. “One point 6 billion people in the world do not have access to a public electricity grid, and they never will have,” says CEO Loïc Viret. Now that they have obtained UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification, Studer Innotec’s inverters will soon be able to access the North American market. These inverters have proved their worth in remote areas, but they are also used in onboard systems and emergency power supplies in hospitals and industry for example.
Studer Innotec’s potential for growth is vast. Loïc Viret thinks that this is first and foremost down to the big increase in solar power generation buoyed by the success of the self-consumption market, both on- and off-grid, with the second reason being the growth in energy management services. With energy products becoming increasingly complex, the company has set up several technology hubs, mainly in India and South Africa. “Innovation, quality and service are three values essential to us,” concludes Loïc Viret, underlining the investment his company is making in R&D, which accounts for more than 35% of the company’s workforce. Constantly striving to innovate, the company works closely with institutes such as the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO).
Urban solutions & energy systems