The takeover of Heliocentris by Odasco nearly a year ago was meant to save the ailing business, but it is now clear that the attempt at a turnaround has failed. When newly founded Odasco Heliocentris Europe filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 3, 2017, work at both company locations, Wendlingen and Munich, had already halted. Proceedings started Sept. 1 last year.
The most important trade show of the heating and sanitation industry, the ISH in Frankfurt, Germany, showed from March 14 through 18 this year what kind of heating systems are in demand these days. Fuel cells did not seem to play much of a role at the event. Only one of the big manufacturers of heating systems made news in this segment, and what for news: Vaillant is on its way out
Heliocentris Energy Solutions, which filed for bankruptcy in late 2016, will be no more, although its expertise will live on. The manufacturing and the education division were sold to different companies, but many employees who worked in Berlin lost their job.
The German fuel cell manufacturer Proton Motor based in Puchheim had already experienced major management changes last summer, with Achim Loecher leaving his executive position at the end of July, and Thomas Melczer stepping down from both his executive and non-executive role in the company. Melczer became director of business development and investor relations at parent company Proton Power Systems in December 2010 and temporarily assumed the role of Proton Motor Fuel Cell’s CEO.
The UPS industry was supposed to be the fourth pillar of the German National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). Instead, the niche market considered to be an innovative force in the industry has yet to offer more than a glimpse into its possibilities. Industry network Clean Power Net (CPN) has tried to instill confidence by posting encouraging news articles
As expected, German Heliocentris Energy Solutions filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of October 2016. After there had been a delay of several days before the required quarterly figures were finally published, an ad hoc notification was sent out on Oct. 11, 2016, saying that the management board of the Berlin-based fuel cell manufacturer would open bankruptcy proceedings before the Berlin-Charlottenburg municipal court for all group companies headquartered in Germany.
Heliocentris was founded in 1995 as a supplier of teaching materials. After a successful takeover bid for P21 in 2011, the company headquartered in Berlin, Germany, diversified its business activities and has since expanded its product portfolio to include hybrid power solutions for energy management, particularly for customers in the telecommunications sector. The expressed aim of the business – “Substitute diesel units by fuel cells” – has remained and has likewise sparked much investment in electrolysis systems.
The members of industry network Clean Power Net (CPN) have elected a new deputy spokesperson during this year’s annual assembly in Berlin. Whereas Henrik Colell, CTO of Heliocentris Energy Solutions, was confirmed as the spokesman for the fifth year in a row, the members voted for a “new face” when it came to the deputy position: Frank Luckau is senior construction manager EEA North/East at DB Bahnbau Gruppe, which was recently admitted as the twentieth member of the CPN.
At the end of last year, Heliocentris Energy Solutions selected Sabine Kauper to become CFO of the company. Having graduated in business administration, she has been specializing in taxation and auditing and assumed her new position at the Berlin-based fuel-cell manufacturer on Jan. 1, 2016. She has filled the gap left by her predecessor, Andras Gosztonyi, who parted ways with Heliocentris in 2014.
The area of USV systems – along with the mobility sector and the supply of domestic energy – offers a wide range of possible applications to fuel cells. Since 2010, the Clean Power Net (CPN) sector network has been focusing on companies which work in the areas of the uninterrupted and off-grid supply of electricity, or Smart Grids. One of the most important projects in this field is the large-scale order to the value of 6.6 m. Euros for equipping more than 100 radio masts in Brandenburg, Germany, with fuel cell systems for the purpose of emergency power supply.