Swiss firm Sputnik Engineering, manufacturer of SolarMax inverters, has announced a UK distribution deal with Solfex, part of the Travis Perkins building merchant group.

The company said the tie-up would enable it to target the UK’s burgeoning residential and small-scale commercial segments.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Sputnik Engineering’s UK sales manager, Neil Martin, said: “If you look at all sectors of the UK market, we’re about 10% of the marketplace. But if you look at the residential segment, we’re much lower than that, and we’d like to have a more mixed portfolio.

“Even at 5MW of res installations a week, the UK is one of the major markets in Europe, so we need to have a greater part of that and we see the partnership with Solfex as a good way of doing that.”

Solfex will provide its UK customers with Sputnik’s SolarMax P, MT and S series string inverters, as well as accessories for residential and commercial PV systems.

Martin said the P series inverters had been designed to allow battery storage systems to be retrofitted once the PV self-consumption market takes off, as he said it would do.

“Storage and self-consumption are the two things that have got to happen to make PV successful,” he said.

He revealed Sputnik was planning to a full battery system in around a year’s time, when he predicted demand would be sufficient.