The Munich-based startup SINN Power develops a cost-efficient, reliable and simple wave energy converter.
The patented concept is modular and uses mass-manufactured standard components.
All parts are further optimized for shipping in ISO containers that reach even remote coasts easily. Because installation and maintenance are kept intentionally simple, the wave energy converter can also be used in countries with less developed infrastructure.
Coastal communities and consumers on remote islands such as hotels or tourism resorts are the first customers who benefit from affordable, sustainable wave power. In the mid-term, consumers in industrialized countries benefit from renewable wave energy as well.
SINN Power is currently installing a single module of the patented wave energy converter technology on the Greek island Crete to test functionality and energy generation efficiency. The next step is the deployment of a full 25-module near-series prototype in the open sea by 2016.
Left to right: Dr.-Ing. Martin Bednarz (CTO), Philipp Sinn (CEO), Rike Brand (CMO), Tristan Jochner (CFO)
Name & Tag Line:
SINN Power | Wave Technology
Electricity from the ocean
Gauting near Munich, Germany
To date, most consumers on remote coasts have to rely on expensive and climate-damaging diesel generators to secure their energy needs - often with costs of €0.50 and more per kWh.
SINN Power’s patented wave energy converter is designed to generate sustainable electricity from ocean waves cost-efficiently, reliably and simply. Because of its modular structure, the size and power output can be adjusted to every single target market. SINN Power focuses on low production costs by using mass manufactured standard components. Installation and maintenance are kept intentionally simple, thus the power plant can also be assembled and used in countries with less developed infrastructure.
Previous developers relied mostly on large and expensive high-tech devices whose sophisticated technologies do not survive in the harsh ocean environment for long. With its low-cost, simple and robust concept, SINN Power avoids those pitfalls.
How the founders met/ How the team evolved
Philipp Sinn, founder and inventor of the SINN Power technology, developed and later patented the concept (2008) on his own budget at first. In 2012, he started to write his doctoral thesis on the technology and the business concept. In the final stages of his dissertation, he met Rike Brand, who was working as a freelance editor and proofreader in Tokyo after finishing her studies in Public Policy. When Philipp announced in early 2014 that he was gathering a team to apply for EXIST funding by the German government, Rike decided to join as CMO immediately.
To complete the team, Philipp was looking for engineering and business administration support, whom he found through Munich’s universities: Martin Bednarz was just about to finish his doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering and excited to join as CTO of the new startup. And Tristan Jochner, recent Bachelor and current CFO of SINN Power, was recommended by his professor and decided to take on the responsibility next to his Master’s degree, which he is currently completing.
Founders/senior team with bios
Philipp Sinn (37), CEO: Initiator of SINN Power and inventor of the technology; 9 years experience as project manager and branch founder of a large German engineering consultancy; doctoral candidate (since 2012), M.Sc. Mechanical Engineering (TU Munich), B.Sc. Engineering with Business Administration (King’s College London)
Dr.-Ing. Martin Bednarz (34), CTO: 8 years of professional experience in research, project management and consulting in technology development; Dr.-Ing. in Mechanical Engineering (TU Munich)
Rike Brand (28), CMO: 9 years experience as freelance editor and PR writer, 3 years in energy and communication; Master of Public Policy (HSoG Berlin/University Tokyo), M.A. in Cultural Anthropology (University of Cologne/American University, Washington DC)
Tristan Jochner (31), CFO: Industrial Engineer specialized in project management and cost optimization; Master’s candidate and B.Eng (University of Applied Sciences Munich)
Daniel van der Veer (38), Head of Electrical Engineering: 12 years experience in development of power electronics; Dipl.-Ing. (FH) in Electrical Engineering (Haagse Hogeschool, NL)
The patented wave energy converter has been subject to a number of tests that prove the feasibility of the concept and serve to prepare the real-world application of the WEC to generate electricity from ocean waves. A 1:1-scale model of a single module was tested to verify the basic function of the patented linear generator, generate data for the electrical control and test the wear of e.g. bearings, seals or shafts. On another test bench, SINN Power conducted more than 100 hours of corrosion and water tightness tests on the components in a humid and saline environment.
First tests of a demonstrator prototype of a single module of the WEC point absorber array in original size were initiated on the Greek island Crete in an open-sea environment at a port breakwater wall. Testing activities will continue throughout 2016. A near-series prototype wave energy converter and its market introduction in 2016 are the next steps.
Total team size
About 25 (5 founders/senior staff members, 3 PhD students, 15-20 students)
Total capital raised to date
€1,440,000 through grants from the German government (€640,000 from EXIST Forschungstransfer stage 1; €180,000 for stage 2 are already approved) and seed capital from strategic investors and business angels (€800,000 in two seed financing rounds)
Funding goals for 2016
SINN Power plans to raise 2 to 3 million in an A-round in Q2/2016 to finance the investment cost of the first floating prototype as well as the personnel and capital costs for development and marketing until the end of 2017.