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sunfire GmbH

Late Stage Startup



Elevator Pitch

The high tech company sunfire is reinventing fuel cells and electrolysers by making them compatible with the existing infrastructure. The key problems we address are:

- Efficient and cheap distributed energy generation
- Integration of renewable energies and grid balancing through energy storage
- Connecting the various energy markets (electricity, heat and mobility) to optimize energy costs and asset use
- Production of renewable fuels and hydrogen

Fuel cells are devices that convert fuel into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process rather than dirty combustion. They are like batteries except that they always run. sunfire's breakthrough fuel cell technology is different than existing "hydrogen" fuel cells in three main ways: Low cost materials, high electrical efficiency, and compatibility with hydrocarbon fuels.

Electrolysers are energy converters that turn clean electrons into hydrogen. Inspired by the photosynthesis, sunfire's proprietary technology can be used to turn hydrogen efficiently into liquid hydrocarbons like gasoline, diesel, jet fuel or waxes for the chemical industry (power-to-products). Alternatively, hydrogen can be used in the industry or H2-mobility.

Both technologies can also be combined in one device to form a reversible energy storage. We also call this system a "gas battery".


sunfire develops and produces the core components of high-temperature fuel cell (SOFC) or electrolyser (SOEC) systems. We call these components PowerCore and Generator (Offgrid, Commercial and Reversible). These core components are integrated into customer systems and sold to a multitude of markets together with partners like Boeing, Bilfinger, EDF, ThyssenKrupp, Total and Vaillant. Each market application has a huge market potential. Moreover, sunfire owns proprietary knowhow in the field of Power-to-Liquids and Power-to-Gas that can be offered together with Bilfinger.

Why we are ecofriendly

sunfire electrolysers efficiently transform clean electricity into 100% renewable hydrogen or hydrocarbons that can be stored, transported and used in our existing infrastructure. sunfire fuel cells are the most efficient way to convert hydrocarbons (i.e. biogas or methane) back into electricity and heat, reducing the primary energy input by 25% and the CO2 emissions by up to 50%.

Latest News

Fuel cell heating devices based on sunfire’s solid oxide fuel cells
(SOFC) have taken a number of important steps towards marketability: This Monday, the technology firm joined Vaillant GmbH, Energy Saxony e.V. and Sven Morlok, Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport, in inaugurating the first fuel cell heating device equipped with SOFC technology to be installed in Saxony.

A Power-to-Liquids (PtL) demonstration rig which is the first of its kind in the world was today officially inaugurated by Dresden-based sunfire GmbH in the presence of Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka, Bilfinger Board Member Pieter Koolen and a number of other high-ranking representatives from the worlds of politics, industry and research. The rig uses sunfire’s PtL technology to transform water and CO2 to high-purity synthetic fuels (petrol, diesel, kerosene) with the aid of renewable electricity.

sunfire receives a high seven-figure Series B financing and strong industrial partners Total Energy Ventures and Electranova Capital (EDF sponsored fund) join Bilfinger Venture Capital to support the Dresden-based high-temperature fuel cell and electrolyser pioneer.

Within the framework of the EU program for residential fuel cell Combined Heat and Power (micro-CHP) “ene.field” Vaillant and sunfire will deploy up to 140 further installations, across several key Member States by the end of 2015.

The technical performance results of Vaillant’s SOFC system with the sunfire’s SOFC stack modules satisfactorily fulfill the requirements to move ahead into the next steps of market entry (Results: 84 installations / Average availability of installations is 95,7% / Units operated longer than 400,000 h in total / Single units operate longer than 20,000 h).

sunfire secures multi-million Euro customer project with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to develop large scale SOFC systems (100 kW).


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Version History

2015-03-05 10:30:41 - changed people to 'Carl Berninghausen (CEO) Christian von Olshausen (CTO) Nils Philipp Aldag (CFO)'

2015-02-13 17:09:59 - changed pitch to 'The high tech company sunfire is reinventing fuel cells and electrolysers by making them compatible with the existing...'

2015-02-13 17:06:22 - changed employees to '80'

2015-02-13 17:06:12 - changed fundraising to 'Currently raising'

2015-02-13 17:02:15 - changed investors to 'Bilfinger Venture Capital Total Energy Ventures Electranova Capital KfW Bankengruppe IdInvest Partners Founding...'



Currently raising




Bilfinger Venture Capital
Total Energy Ventures
Electranova Capital
KfW Bankengruppe
IdInvest Partners
Founding Investors


Energy utilities
Chemicals and petrochemicals industries
Grid operators (energy transport outside of the power grid)
System manufacturers, OEMs


Global Cleantech 100 Company 2014
Silver Ecosummit Award 2014
STEP Award 2013 (Prozesse & Nachhaltigkeit)
Clean Tech Media Award Nominee 2012

Country of Origin







Carl Berninghausen (CEO)
Christian von Olshausen (CTO)
Nils Philipp Aldag (CFO)

Contact Person

Nils Philipp Aldag (CFO)


Gasanstaltstraße 2
01237 Dresden (Saxony)


Power-to-Liquids, Power-to-Gas, Gas-to-Power, SOFC, Fuel Cells, SOEC, Electrolysers, Carbon Dioxide, CO2, Renewable Energy, Gasoline, Diesel, Wax, Methanol, Ethanol, Power, Climate, H2, Hydrogen, Hydrocarbons