Turkey: New Vacuum Tube Factory
 Turkey: New Vacuum Tube Factory

Turkey: New Vacuum Tube Factory

Since the government raised the import tax on vacuum tubes in July 2011, Turkey’s national solar thermal industry has undergone some thorough restructuring. Only one month later, seven of the nation’s solar thermal system suppliers and manufacturers teamed up in an effort to construct their own vacuum tube manufacturing unit. The idea behind the unusual cooperation among competitors is that all of the seven companies involved in the project can purchase coated double-glass vacuum tubes from the mutually financed company. The manufacturing unit under the name of Solarsan will be set up in Nazilli, a city in the western province of Aydın. 

“We would like to start production at the end of May,” Ansay Günal, advisor to Solarsan and owner of Turkish solar thermal system supplier Sunmax, announces. Among the other investment partners are: Demir Solar, Gönen Günısı, Anages and Inci Solar Energy. Together, the companies will invest around Turkish Lira (TRY) 10 million (EUR 4.2 million). The factory site was chosen because of its vicinity to a raw glass tube manufacturer in Çine, Aydın province. Solarsan owns an area of 15,000 m², of which the factory building will cover 8,500 m².

The site’s initial capacity is said to be 4.5 million vacuum tubes per year – corresponding to 468,000 m² of gross vacuum tube area. The planned final capacity is around 13 million tubes. “We bought the machinery from China,” Günal confirms – that includes the coating oven, as well as the evacuation machine. “We are aware that vacuum tube collector production is a high-tech business and therefore a very risky one,” says Günal.

One vacuum tube system supplier which is not among the Solarsan investors is Yaksan. The company rather imports its double-glass evacuated tubes from China. “Our Chinese supplier is Linuo, which offers a much better quality than the Turkish manufacturers,” confirms Savaş Utku from Yaksan. The company knows that the taxes increase their product prices. But: “Demand is booming. We have almost doubled our output in 2012 compared to last year, during which we already sold 40,000 solar water heaters,” explains Utku. Yaksan has been producing solar tanks in Söke, Aydın since 1990.

More information: 
Gönen Günısı: http://www.gonenisi.com.tr/
İNCİ SOLAR ENERGY: http://www.incisolar.com

Baerbel Epp

Bärbel Epp is Founder and Director of the German communication and market research agency solrico and editor-in-chief of solarthermalworld.org