The Swiss solar fuel pioneer Synhelion SA has acquired German company Heliokon GmbH, an expert in concentrated solar power (CSP) technology. The acquisition will bring together the two companies’ complementary technologies, allowing Synhelion to offer a complete system for the production of solar fuels.
Heliokon co-founder Patrick Hilger and Synhelion CEO Gianluca Ambrosetti stand in front of Heliokon solar mirrors for very high temperature solar applications like Synhelion’s solar fuels
Synhelion produces sustainable fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and kerosene that are compatible with conventional internal combustion engines and jet engines. The production of these synthetic fuels requires energy derived from highly concentrated sunlight. Innovations are needed along the entire value chain to make the complex conversion processes as efficient as possible.
While Synhelion has mainly focused on the solar receiver, thermochemical reactor, and thermal energy storage for the continuous production of solar fuels, Heliokon has worked on highly concentrating mirror systems that enable high process temperatures. The companies’ technologies complement each other perfectly.
Expanding technological expertise
As an expert in CSP technology, Heliokon uses concentrating mirrors known as heliostats to focus sunlight onto a solar receiver, warming the heat transfer fluid inside to up to 1,500 °C. This area, in which Heliokon holds exclusive know-how, will boost Synhelion’s expertise following the acquisition. As a spin-off of the German Aerospace Center, Heliokon also has extensive experience in the intelligent and automated control of heliostats.
An international company
The acquisition allows Synhelion to expand into Germany, further accelerating the company’s growth. The added competencies will also enable faster scaling of the company’s technology, paving the way to a zero-emission transportation sector where carbon-neutral solar fuels replace fossil fuels.
Gianluca Ambrosetti, CEO of Synhelion, commented: “The Heliokon team brings not only technological expertise in CSP technology but also a great deal of experience in the energy sector, which complements our competencies. Together, we can offer a complete system for the production of clean fuels.”
Patrick Hilger, Managing Director at Heliokon, added: “The sun is the largest source of energy on Earth, with practically inexhaustible potential. Our technology makes this energy usable for people. By joining forces with Synhelion, we are taking the next step to effectively decarbonize transportation.”
Synhelion is a global pioneer in the field of sustainable solar fuels. The clean energy company evolved from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in 2016 to decarbonize transportation. Solar fuels can replace all types of fossil fuels as they are economically viable and fully compatible with existing global infrastructure. Synhelion’s unique technology converts concentrated solar heat into the hottest existing process heat on the market, making it possible to drive an unprecedented number of industrial processes such as fuel production and cement manufacturing with solar heat. The company already works with international partners such as Lufthansa Group, Wood, Eni, CEMEX, and Zurich Airport. For more information, please visit:
Heliokon is an expert in highly concentrating solar technology and provides state-of-the-art technologies for power generation in solar thermal power plants. The company was founded in 2016 as a spin-off of the German Aerospace Center to ensure a clean, stable, and secure energy supply for the future. In addition to the development, production, and marketing of innovative solutions for solar thermal power plants, Heliokon’s cutting-edge technology is also applied to the provision of solar process heat, thermal energy storage, building management, water supply, and bioeconomy. For more information, please visit