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Fraunhofer Institute confirms life cycle assessment

Fronius GEN24 Plus is among the world’s most sustainable inverters

Fronius has spent one year analysing the life cycle of the GEN24 Plus inverter together with an external sustainability expert. Top marks were awarded to all phases of the product life cycle, from procurement and production through to usage and even disposal once the inverter’s useful life has come to an end. The life cycle analysis was reviewed and certified by the renowned Fraunhofer Institute, meaning that the Fronius GEN24 Plus has the first life cycle assessment in the world to be confirmed by an independent institute.

The Fronius Research & Development department and sustainability analyst Harald Pilz of together for tomorrow scientifically developed and tested different scenarios1 over the course of a year. The results speak for themselves: contrary to popular opinion, the climate change payback time ranges from less than one year to 3.7 years, depending on the scenario. This is equivalent to a carbon footprint² of 117,000 kilometres driven in a car.

“At Fronius, sustainability is not just a cliché, but rather deeply rooted in our conduct and thinking. We invest in years of research to ensure that our products and solutions are future-proof and sustainable,” says Martin Hackl, Global Director of the Business Unit Solar Energy, Fronius International GmbH. “Fact-based working and a high level of transparency form the basis for genuine sustainability,” continues Hackl. “Being involved in this study was eye-opening even for me as a consultant because the analysis examined a number of aspects that are often neglected in other life cycle assessments,” says auditor Karsten Schischke of Fraunhofer IZM.

Scientifically proven sustainability

In the course of the life cycle analysis, the expert team subjected the entire product life cycle of the GEN24 Plus to scientific scrutiny. Everything came under the microscope, from raw materials and components to sustainability in production as well as the transport routes and long service life of products, right through to repairability and recycling.

Payback time and environmental benefits

Depending on the scenario, the CO2 payback time ranges from under one year to 3.7 years. The environmental benefits are up to 26 times greater than the energy required to manufacture and operate the inverter as well as reuse and dispose of the waste³. “The amount of CO2emissions saved exceeds the amount produced to an extent that only very few electronics products can claim. The focus is on sustainability throughout, from the first sketch by a developer to the selection of materials and suppliers, sustainable production and intelligent service programmes, right through to the end of the service life,” says Martin Hackl proudly. The GEN24 Plus inverter saves up to 16,932 kg of CO2 over the course of a hypothetical service life of 20 years. This is equivalent to nine flights from Munich to New York.

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About Fronius Solar Energy

The Fronius Business Unit (BU) Solar Energy has been developing photovoltaic energy solutions and distributing its products through a global network of expert installation, service and sales partners since 1992. More than 24 Solar Energy subsidiaries, an export ratio of over 93 percent and a total output of more than 21 Gigawatts from installed inverters are testament to this. Its mission is to achieve 24 hours of sun. Day after day Fronius is hard at work turning this vision of a future in which 100% of the world’s energy needs are covered by renewable sources into a reality. With this in mind, Fronius develops energy solutions to generate, store, distribute and consume solar energy economically and intelligently.

 

About Fronius International GmbH

Fronius International is an Austrian company with headquarters in Pettenbach and other sites in Wels, Thalheim, Steinhaus and Sattledt. Founded by Günter Fronius in 1945, this long-standing company with a rich tradition will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020. What began as a local one-man venture has grown into a global player with more than 5440 employees worldwide working in the areas of welding technology, photovoltaics and battery charging systems. Its export ratio of around 93 percent is achieved with 34 international Fronius subsidiaries and sales partners/representatives in more than 60 countries. Moreover, its innovative products and services and its portfolio of 1264 registered patents make it an innovation leader on the world market.

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