Almost 30 years of research and devel­op­ment in the solar indus­try lead CTO Henk Old­enkamp and CEO Julian Matthe­is exact­ly here: to the foun­da­tion of Solar­na­tive. Both are real “solar natives”, have been work­ing in the field of pho­to­voltaics for decades and have sig­nif­i­cant­ly shaped its development.

The inventor of the micro-inverter

As ear­ly as 1994, Henk Old­enkamp suc­cess­ful­ly mar­ket­ed his first mod­el of the micro-invert­er and col­lab­o­rat­ed with NKF, a Dutch cable com­pa­ny, and Shell Solar. 80,000 units were pro­duced and installed. But Henk’s thirst for research con­tin­ued unabat­ed and the prod­uct improved piece by piece. The ini­tial 100 W pow­er and 250 kHz became 350 W and 1–2 MHz. Pro­duc­tion costs fell immense­ly and the Orig­i­nal Pow­er Micro Invert­er is now a prod­uct that is not only even to a stan­dard invert­er but has also numer­ous advan­tages over com­pet­ing prod­ucts. “This stick is the key to unlock the solar empire,” claims Henk.

In 2018, Henk met Julian at a pho­to­volta­ic con­fer­ence. Both of them being solar natives, they imme­di­ate­ly got off to a good start. Julian had been work­ing in the solar cell and mod­ule side of the PV val­ue chain, devel­op­ing cur­rent PERC tech­nol­o­gy, build­ing PV fac­to­ries, and PV sys­tems, so he was quite famil­iar with the mar­ket require­ments. Hav­ing found­ed and head­ed sev­er­al com­pa­nies in the past, it was clear how to pro­ceed – the idea for Solar­na­tive was born.

Setting a new standard

Both, Henk and Julian are dri­ven by the desire to bring solar ener­gy to the peo­ple. To bring the ener­gy rev­o­lu­tion into everybody’s home. There­fore, res­i­den­tial PV sys­tems need to be effi­cient, low-cost, safe, and easy to install. As Julian puts it, they “firm­ly believe that Solarnative’s Smart Ener­gy Home with AC-mod­ules is the way to achieve these tar­gets. We are build­ing the future stan­dard for res­i­den­tial PV systems.”

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