„My flash of inspiration: to use ocean waves for generating electricity“
Philipp, you are the founder of your start-up SINN Power. Tell us more about your com-pany in two sentences, please!
Two sentences about my startup?! Well, I hope this one doesn't count as the first one. (laughs) At SINN Power, we develop a high-tech solution that generates renewable electricity from the power of waves. Our technology is among the globally leading approaches, and our chances of entering the market are extremely promising.
But now back again to your roots. Where did you grow up and where do you come from?
I was born into a family of academics in Mannheim, Germany. But I didn't stay there for long, as my parents moved with me to Canada at first and later moved to Gauting near Munich. I have lived there ever since then. And so I really do feel like a genuine Bavarian.
Which education did you move on to after-wards?
At first, I studied Industrial Engineering at King's College in London and then Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich. Subsequently, I worked for eight years in the P3 engineering company as a consultant. Afterwards I did my doctorate externally and founded the company SINN Power based on the concept I developed in my thesis.
What exactly was the topic of your doctoral thesis?
Basically, it was about a new and innovative idea to convert ocean waves into electricity. I had already submitted several patents before the doctorate. Today at SINN Power we actually implement the concept developed in the dissertation—the basic idea that existed at the time hardly changed since then.
When did you come up with the idea of using the waves of the ocean trough a point-absorber? Was it a sudden inspiration or did the idea evolve in a process instead?
My studies of regenerative energies at the Technical University of Munich of course sharpened my view on this topic. During this time, I thought at first that I had had a revolutionary idea: that I could also use ocean waves to generate electricity.
During my research, I quickly learned that my flash of inspiration wasn't as unique as I had thought at first: The first approaches to using wave power were already developed in the 18th century! But that didn't stop me, and I started looking at the existing approaches and compared them technically. The experience that I had gained as a consultant in the automotive industry brought me a huge benefit.
After that, I tried to weigh up the pros and cons of different solutions to build an optimum. For our wave power plant today, it means that we build a modular, floating system which is easy to transport, mass-producible and very easy to maintain.
Coming soon in part 2: How did it eventually come to the founding and which vision do you pursue with your startup?
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Download the press release here: Portrait: Philipp, CEO of SINN Power (part 1) (PDF)