Warmth is a global necessity, which is why Wolf’s setup is international. Headquartered in Mainburg, Germany, Wolf has nine subsidiary companies and 60 sales partners worldwide. It sees itself as an expert in climate control, creating the ideal environments for work and relaxation.
“The desire for warmth and comfort is a fundamental human need for which man has sought solutions throughout history,” says Divisional Manager Power Systems Markus Kruse. “From the open fire in the centre of stone age huts to today’s modern cogeneration heat and power units (CHP), the evolution of heating technology has reached its apotheosis in our highly sophisticated CHP units.”
Mr. Kruse is head of the newly-formed business unit Wolf Power Systems, which was created in 2015 to market and service the CHP units manufactured by Wolf subsidiary companies Kuntschar + Schlüter and Dreyer & Bosse, which were acquired by Wolf in 2008 and 2011.
“We supply cogeneration units ranging in capacity from 18 KW to 2 MW and powered by biogas, natural gas and sewage gas,” explains Mr. Kruse. “We offer a comprehensive service for the entire project covering project planning, equipment manufacture, installation and servicing. We design solutions in accordance with our clients’ needs and can adapt them to existing conditions.”
Among its numerous successfully completed projects to date is a major project for the Volvo center in St Petersburg, Russia. Here, Wolf supplied three CHP units and also the entire climate control system for the facility. Another strong reference is a 600 KW biogas project recently completed in Scotland as well as two 530 KW plants delivered to a customer in Austria.
Wolf is strongly represented in the growing natural gas and biogas sector with 2,500 systems installed so far by its two CHP subsidiaries. “Although regulatory changes in the German Renewable Energies Act put a damper on growth in this sector in 2015, there has been an uptick in new installations in 2016, thanks to the introduction of the flexi subsidy,” says Mr. Kruse. “This has leveraged a dip in the natural gas sector.”
Demand has grown by as much as 40% and the outlook for 2017 is positive with natural gas performing acceptably and biogas in resurgence. “Our markets in the UK and France are the big drivers of growth at the moment,” adds Mr. Kruse. “The only cloud on the horizon is the difficulty in finding suitably qualified engineers to exploit the potential in the market.”
This is in part compensated by Wolf’s membership of Centrotec Sustainable AG. With 550 million EUR annual turnover and a total workforce of more than 3,000 employees, the German energy specialist is certainly an interesting employer, offering widespread opportunities for career advancement.
It was what attracted Mr. Kruse to join Wolf in November 2015 to head up its new Power Systems division. Bringing many years of experience in both the technical and sales areas, his aim is to tailor the business unit’s activities more closely to the needs of its customers.
“Change management is my passion,” says Mr. Kruse. “Creating new structures and implementing new strategies means that this is an exciting time to be with Wolf. And our success shows that the new direction is bearing fruit. Our big focus for the future is incorporating the advantages of the digital revolution in our service.”
Digital monitoring is so important that it already has its own department monitoring plants and analysing data. This is particularly crucial in plant servicing. “Thanks to digital communication we can already deal with 70% of operating failures remotely,” says Mr. Kruse. “It also allows us to optimize our service in other ways as well as maximize plant efficiency.”
The information provided also allows owners to maximize profits from their plants by determining when to sell surplus energy on the open market and when to store it. “Intelligent monitoring is a big area of interest for me and one that will shape the future of the entire energy sector,” says Mr. Kruse in conclusion.