MARECHAL ELECTRIC is awarded the Solar Impulse Foundation label

Mandy POPELKA joined the MARECHAL ELECTRIC group in South Africa in May 2010 as a New Business Developer. Seven years later, her family relocated in Germany where she joined MARECHAL GmbH in the department of Business Development. Mandy tells us more about the Solar Impulse project.

How did you hear about the Solar Impulse Foundation and what does it mean for you both personally and professionally?

I had never heard of the Solar Impulse Foundation until we were approached by one of their scouts who had come across an online communication that I had posted some years back regarding MARECHAL ELECTRIC’s energy efficiency audit drive at the time. 

We were eligible to join the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, and were invited to submit our information. 

I do not think there is any of us that does not want to contribute to a healthier planet. Personally, I have always been a bit of a tree hugger, so having a platform where we can share and promote the fact that our technology offers the means to reduce the consumption of energy and carbon dioxyde emissions; where we are part of a community advocating similar ‘green’ principals, is very significant.

Professionally, this was a non-negotiable opportunity.  We have such a unique technology, that can make such a difference operationally in so many ways.  

That this has been recognised and will be advocated by a most credible spokesperson, Bertrand Piccard, is something that we should all be proud to be associated with.  

How come did you think DECONTACTOR™ was in line with the mainspring of the Solar Impulse Foundation?

Their core mission is to find efficient solutions for cleaner global economic growth. Just to name 3 areas where MARECHAL® aligns:

We know that our butt contact technology is 5.7 times more energy efficient than the conventional industry standard (with oxidised contacts).

The temperature rise of the DECONTACTOR™ is far lower when compared with a corresponding IEC 60309-2 alternative – this reduces power consumption which in turn reduces energy costs.

It is a fact that our products have a longer life expectancy than any conventional alternative. In addition we can offer spare parts.  This is not only a cost saving but also a reduction on waste – as opposed to discarding an entire wall mount socket to replace with a new item, MARECHAL ELECTRIC replaces just the one part that is no longer functional or damaged.

What is the Solar Impulse Label exactly?

The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label is a new and credible symbol: a trademark, that carries the pioneering and innovative spirit of the Solar Impulse adventure. It is granted to solutions who meet high standards of both sustainability and profitability.

Our DECONTACTOR™ has been awarded the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, what is your feeling regarding this award?

There are only one thousand labels being awarded globally. This is such an honour for the MARECHAL ELECTRIC Group and we should feel pride.  It places us in the company of other industry heavy weights. 

How does this award relate to the responsibility of a company like MARECHAL ELECTRIC?

Our responsibilities going forward are no different to MARECHAL ELECTRIC’s business-as-usual approach. We will continue to hold the trademark for our DECONTACTOR™ design and maintain our quality standard in terms of materials used in our butt contacts and other DECONTACTOR™ components - all of which sets MARECHAL ELECTRIC apart in terms of energy efficiency calculations and product life cycle. We will maintain our accessibility to customers globally and ensure that any new territories receive the sales and aftersales service necessary. Our culture of continuous improvement is in line with presenting increasingly efficient, profitable solutions.    

How can this award make a difference?

Carrying the Solar Impulse Foundation label places MARECHAL® trademark technology on the world stage like never before.  The Foundation is our mouthpiece to the international community, including government, associations and relevant industry decision makers.

We gain significant visibility as an innovative solution, set apart from an outdated technology.

We gain credibility.  The evaluation process is rigorous and extremely thorough, undertaken by experts in the field.  

It is a key networking opportunity.  MARECHAL® is placed on an even bigger playing field with strategic global organisations who are often challenging to penetrate, to interact with and explore opportunities for collaboration.

What are the next steps following this award?

Although safety & downtime reduction will remain our key value points, every single one of us should be proud to mention this award in our interaction with customers, particularly when talking about energy efficiency.

From a strategic perspective, we will initiate a roll out of our solution to fellow members of the World Alliance network to where our product offering could potentially align.   

We will also receive invitations to pitch our technology to Heads of Innovation from major corporations and offers to participate in exhibition opportunities facilitated by the Solar Impulse Foundation.  For example, every year ChangeNOW selects the best positive impact solutions throughout the world to join the "World Expo for the Planet" held in Paris. 

It is really worthwhile visiting the Solar Impulse Foundation website, if only to see who joins us in the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions!

Get to know more here : The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions Members Network (

Picture: Mandy POPELKA, Business Development Team at MARECHAL GmbH

Link to Linkedin profile > Link