Nilar doubles production rate

Last fall, Nilar International AB began production of the next generation battery system, the only one in the world that can be refilled with new life. At the end of February, the production rate will increase further to four production lines – close to doubling today’s volume.

– At our factory in Gävle, we develop and produce one of the world’s most durable and safe batteries. The doubling of the production rate also means that we are fully in line with our long-term goals and plan for volume growth, says Erik Oldmark, CEO of Nilar International AB.

Together with selected partners, Nilar create system solutions that work in everyday life. In 2022, Nilar started strategic collaborations with Enequi and McEnergy, both of which supply complete energy storage systems for households, properties, and industries. With an increased production rate, more batteries will be able to be used in new integration projects and test systems together with Nilar’s partners. The production increase also provides capacity for new projects and collaboration partners going forward.

With its own patents, batteries are developed and manufactured with superior safety and durability benefits compared to most others on the market. The fact that Nilar now offers the next generation battery also means several important quality and performance improvements for users. Part of the increased production will therefore be used for an exchange program, where batteries in certain older systems is replaced with updated batteries.


Nilar’s latest innovations highlighted in Aktuell Produktion

Aktuell Produktion featured an interview with Petter Ekelund, Senior Process Development Engineer at Nilar, about the latest production innovations at our facility in Gävle. The innovations that have been integrated in the process contributes to increased precision in the highly automated electrode production.  

Not only do we use a unique technology to refill batteries that have reached end of life, we are also one of the few in the world that makes bipolar batteries. A battery cell is usually rolled with a positive terminal at one end and a negative terminal at the other. The battery packs have built-in intelligence and can monitor the temperature and gas pressure as well as all voltages and currents. 

The positive and negative electrodes in the battery create the electrochemical process. The incoming powder for the negative electrode and for the positive electrode is mixed and spread out on a cloth in a thin layer. They are then rolled under high pressure which compresses the powder and cloth into electrode sheets. The total thickness of the sheet after rolling is less than 1 mm. The electrode sheets are then punched into electrode plates in the chosen shape. Everything takes place on highly automated production lines.  

The tolerances are crucial for the final battery to have the right performance. The deviation from the standard weight may be +/- 0.2 grams. The tolerance requirements on the thickness of the electrodes are also crucial, and this is where the investment in new measuring equipment comes into play. Every 40th electrode is sorted out for control measurement, with a tolerance of +/- 0.02 mm. If deviations are detected, the roller is adjusted. 

The investment in a CNC-controlled vision measuring machine has resulted in very precise measurements with a high level of repeatability, says Petter. The electrode is placed on a vacuum plate and then an optical distance meter records the actual thickness. 

The results of the weight check are also saved. This allows Nilar to have precise control of all the data in each module and ensure the exact amount of energy that provides traceability all the way. 

“We see a big advantage of it, especially because all the measurement data is stored and transferred to a database, so we can follow the production and analyse how it is developing”, says Petter Ekelund. 


Meet a Nilar employee – Andreas Antonsson

What led you to work in the energy storage industry?   
I was satisfied with my last job but when the pandemic came, my mindset changed. I was working remotely as most did at that time, and I felt that I wasn’t challenged enough. Then I got in contact with a recruiter for Nilar and got very interested in the position as a Sourcing and Logistics Manager. I had a strong feeling that this is a place where I can become a part of a positive change within the green energy transition.  

How did your journey with Nilar begin?
My first weeks at Nilar were very intense. My colleagues and I had to come up with solutions for increasing volumes and securing materials during a global pandemic that put the entire supply chain on edge. There were a lot of decisions that had to be made during a short period of time, which was extremely educational and interesting. 

How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as a person who values different perspectives, both at work and in my personal life. To put it into context you could say that I always view everything from a helicopter perspective, before narrowing things down into details.   

I can also be a bit stubborn, or dedicated, as I like to call it. I have a saying that “whatever I haven’t succeeded with, is something I haven’t succeeded with YET”. I believe everything is possible if you put your mind to it, especially when taking different perspectives from colleagues, friends or family into account. Besides that, I have an ironic sense of humor that helps me cope with tough tasks. 

What is the most common misconception about your role?
A common misconception about my role is that logistics primarily works with freight forwarding and that the most important thing for purchasing is price. In fact, logistics are more focused on how we can have materials at each place and time, according to the needs we have (planning) and for purchasing, the price is driven by quality and availability. We are very dependent on understanding businesses in order to drive the right values. The process is very complex and there are many things to consider, therefore we always create a clear plan in order to succeed.  

What is the coolest thing you are working on right now?
It’s my colleagues who create all the cool things. We make a cool product in a cool company; we build batteries that contribute to coping with the current climate crisis. Taking it back to the helicopter perspective, batteries can be seen as a small part in the big energy system, but they play an important role in the green energy transition where sustainable batteries are a key factor. It doesn’t get any cooler than that. It’s so much more than just a product. It’s all the details together that make us cool!  

What motivates you?   
Results and goals are my greatest motivators. To deliver results I think it’s important with clear communication about the expectations. It also motivates me to be part of a team that together can create an actual change regarding the ongoing climate changes.

Early mistakes that you learnt from in your career?
When I started my career which included negotiations, I felt like I wasn’t receptive enough. I learned that it´s extremely important to take a step back and listen to the other person. Listening is so important because if you can´t see the other person’s perspective you can’t progress. 

Your favorite hobby?
In the last three years I’ve been really dedicated to water skiing. I put a lot of time and effort during the summers at our waterski-club, as my two children train and compete in this sport. We are a group of people who are very dedicated to this sport, and it is a lot of fun. We spend at least six days a week on the river, so you’ll find me there in the summer. I’ve tried water skiing a couple of times just for fun, but the focus is on my kids. 

A secret talent or special skill?
I’m not sure if this is a special skill or talent, but I actually created a part of an island. My father-in-law has a small island in Dalälven and with MANY buckets of sand and bricks, I’ve helped to make the Island bigger. Now it’s twice as big as before, but it took us ten years to finish it. Now there’s even room to play the Swedish game Kubb. That was a great project! 

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
The best thing about Nilar is my amazing colleagues. As already mentioned, we can be seen as a small part of the big energy system, but we really contribute to the important energy transition.  


Highlights from 2022

This year is coming to an end and a new year with even more opportunities is arising. During this past year we experienced several great highlights we would like to take a look back at, such as the production start of the first ReOx® battery and the collaborations with Enequi and Mc Energy. A fully guaranteed rights issue was completed successfully and we welcomed trainees for a technical internship as part of a collaboration with the internship program Tekniksprånget.

 

Strategic partnership initiated with Enequi

In May, it was announced that Nilar and Enequi had entered into a strategic partnership for the development of customized energy storage solutions for the European market. Enequi is a Swedish developer and supplier of intelligent solutions for energy storage, energy control, and industrial automation. Enequi has also signed an initial order of 800 batteries from Nilar, with an associated battery management system (BMS), for 100 units of Enequi’s energy storage system, QuiPower Storage.

“Enequi has both the technical knowledge and capability required to create integrated solutions where our batteries and Enequi’s control work together optimally”, commented Erik Oldmark, CEO of Nilar. 

 

Rights issue completed successfully  

On June 20, the outcome of the fully guaranteed rights issue that was carried out during the second quarter was presented. In a tough market climate, 78 percent of the shares were subscribed to by existing and new shareholders. Together with commitments from guarantees, the rights issue generated a capital injection of approximately MSEK 273 before deductions of attributed costs. The aim was to ensure financing of Nilar’s new strategy and business plan and, together with existing cash, the net proceeds from the rights issue are expected to be sufficient to finance Nilar’s business plan until the end of 2023. 

 

Nilar welcomed trainees for Technical Internship

In September we announced that we would take part in Tekniksprånget, an internship program that aims to attract young adults to continue with higher technical education. The need for engineering expertise has never been greater and the competition for engineers is intensifying. To cope with future challenges, more young people need to choose a higher technical education. Many hesitate to do so, especially young women. Tekniksprånget’s vision is to change that by motivating young adults to continue their studies in the technological field by inviting them to do practical internships. 

Except the opportunity to develop solutions for a more sustainable future, our trainees have pointed out that the most exciting part of doing their internship at Nilar, is that they get assigned tasks at a variety of departments, such as mechanical engineering, chemistry, system development and production technology. The internship provides both interns with insights into what different engineering professions can offer, which can be useful knowledge before selecting a topic for future technical studies. 

 

Production start of Nilar ReOx® batteries

In October we took an important step and started production of the next generation batteries at the facility in Gävle. The battery is the first to feature a technology called ReOx, which allows used batteries to be refilled with oxygen to restore the original battery capacity. The ReOx technology was developed in collaboration with researchers at Stockholm University. 

“Until today, batteries that have reached their practical lifespan have been exhausted and unusable. With the ReOx technology, our batteries can be restored to their original storage capacity at least 3 times, which can further extend their life by several years. This means both greatly reduced resource use and major cost savings for the users. This is obviously a big and important step forward for Nilar”, says Erik Oldmark, CEO of Nilar International AB. 

 

Letter of Intent signed with Mc Energy

Another significant partnership development was the signing of a letter of intent with Dutch Mc Energy B.V. in November. Mc Energy specializes in the design and production of advanced energy storage solutions. Mc Energy develops customized energy storage systems that are primarily aimed at industrial users.  

“The letter of intent is a milestone in Nilar’s strategic approach. Mc Energy complements existing collaborations and offers additional areas of use for Nilar’s advanced battery technology”, commented Erik Oldmark, CEO of Nilar International AB. 

 

We look forward to what 2023 has to offer and wish you all Happy Holidays from Nilar!

 


Meet a Nilar Intern – Elsa Lindström

How would you describe yourself? 
I would describe myself as a very happy, social and ambitious person. I’ve always been interested in learning new things.Therefore I have a big urge to understand how things operate. I also believe that I’m a very caring person and always aim to keep people around me in a good mood. 

What led you to work in the energy storage industry?
Since a young age, I have taken climate change and environmental questions very seriously. I grew up in the countryside, nature has therefore been a big and important part of my life. It’s something I’ve always valued highly, and my interest in green energy sources and energy storage grew even further when I was in high school. During that time, I concluded that I wanted to work within a green company in the future. For a long time, I’ve had the urge to contribute to the necessary transition that needs to be done in the nearest future in order to reach the climate goals. At Uppsala University I had several courses where they talked a lot about secondary batteries and energy storage and that’s when I decided that this is something I want to work with. 

How did your journey with Nilar begin?
I heard about Nilar when I did a project during my third year at Uppsala University. I kept the name in mind, and during the spring of 2021, when I was in my fourth year, I contacted Nilar to see if they could offer me a summer job, which they did. After two summers working at Nilar I started my master thesis project in September 2022. 

What is the coolest thing you are working on right now?
I’m currently working within the formation process, where I get to contribute with ideas and learn from others. We’re currently developing the process by trying out scenarios that haven’t been done before, so it’s quite cool to dive into this unknown area. I’m also interested in SEM, which is something I will use to characterize the materials in my samples. Getting a deeper knowledge about Nilar’s materials and learning more about how to operate an SEM, is exciting for me. I’m certain that this is something that will be valuable for the company.  

What motivates you?
The biggest motivator for me is to learn and understand more about certain issues but also have these amazing colleagues that make my workdays fun and inspiring. It keeps me going! Apart from that, it’s safe to say that secondary batteries will continue to become more important for the energy transition. This is definitely something that motivates me; to be able to contribute with solutions for a greener future. 

Your favorite movie/television show?
Stranger Things is one of my favorite TV shows. It’s almost too scary for me to watch alone in the evening, but it is too good not to. I love the music and the choice of time periods in the show. It brings a feeling of nostalgia and has a perfect balance of love, drama, horror, sadness and happiness. 

A secret talent or special skill? 
It might not be a secret, but I can make really delicious Bao Buns and homemade dumplings. 

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
The best thing about Nilar is all the amazing colleagues and the way they’re always supporting one another. I gain new insights every day; knowledge and deeper understanding of the battery chemistry and how everything is connected. I also find it very inspiring to work for a company that has a great importance for the future. 


Cooperation with Mc Energy broadens the field of use for Nilar’s batteries

Nilar International AB has signed a letter of intent with Dutch Mc Energy B.V., specialized in the design and production of advanced energy storage solutions. Mc Energy develops customized energy storage systems that are primarily aimed at industrial users. This is a further step in Nilar’s strategy to, together with a few close partners, develop safe battery solutions where Nilar’s stationary batteries reach their full potential.

– The letter of intent is a milestone in Nilar’s strategic approach. Mc Energy complements existing collaborations and offers additional areas of use for Nilar’s advanced battery technology, says Erik Oldmark, CEO of Nilar International AB.

Mc Energy builds battery solutions that can be installed both indoors and outdoors in container units. The letter of intent contains specific areas for increased collaboration, with projects and initiatives in three consecutive areas:

  1. A “Proof of concept” project, where Nilar batteries will be integrated and tested together with Mc Energy’s GridConn solution – the very brain that controls the charging and discharging of the battery.
  1. A pilot project where Nilar supplies batteries for 7 Mc Energy BattPack 60 systems. BattPack is a complete energy store and each unit contains 50 Nilar battery packs.
  1. Create conditions for volume production of hundreds of Mc Energy BattPacks to satisfy the market with tens of MWh. BattPacks are based on second generation Nilar ReOx batteries and battery management systems.

The agreement with McEnergy confirms that Nilar has a strong offer. The demand for stationary batteries continues to increase, especially when society’s need to plan its energy consumption becomes greater due to the European energy crisis and an increased share of fossil-free energy production.

For further information, please contact: 
Erik Oldmark, CEO
+46 70 432 4444
erik.oldmark@nilar.com

Press contact:
Matilda Ekman Vråmo
+46 72-213 01 28
matilda.ekman.vramo@nilar.com

About Nilar:
Nilar is a Swedish-based developer and manufacturer of batteries aimed for stationary electrical energy storage systems. Energy storage can be used to bridge the gap between energy production and consumption, for example to better exploit the potential of intermittent electricity production from renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. Energy storage systems will also play a key role when it comes to reinforce increasingly strained electricity grids. Nilar’s battery technology is Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) based on a water-based electrolyte, resulting in a strong environmental, safety and performance profile. The company is headquartered in Täby and the energy efficient production, powered by 100% renewable energy, is since 2012 based in the Gävle, where the company’s research and development also takes place.

The NILAR share is listed on Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market. FNCA Sweden is Certified Adviser +46 (0)8-528 00 399. For more information, see www.nilar.com.


Gefle Dagblad highlighted Nilar’s collaboration with the internship program Tekniksprånget

At the beginning of October, Gefle Dagblad, the Swedish newspaper highlighted Nilar’s collaboration with the internship program Tekniksprånget. It is giving young people in Sweden a chance to test the engineering profession in practice. About 200 employers participate in this collaboration, which is done with the government to get more young people to choose a career in engineering and secure the future’s supply of competence.

In the article, Ebba Helgesson and Isak Nilsson tell us how they found out about the internship program through their student counselor. They both agreed that it’s a good way to get an idea of what it means to work as an engineer before starting five years of university studies. After applying to different companies, they got chosen by Nilar and are now in the middle of a four-month paid internship at the production site in Gävle.

Isak says that he has learned a lot during this time and that it is good to be able to try different things. He thinks R&D is the most interesting department during the internship, and Ebba says it seems interesting to test products or invent something completely new. The internship program lasts until the end of the year, but both can imagine working at Nilar in the future.

– “We got to be part of the production, made a project plan for how the computer system should be upgraded, and got to disassemble a battery in the lab to understand how it works”, says Ebba Helgesson.

Nils Baehre, HR Generalist at Nilar, comments: “There is a shortage of engineers in the labor market, which leads to challenges in recruitment. By being part of Tekniksprånget, we’re able to showcase more of what we do whilst gaining ambassadors who might become future Nilar employees.”

Read more about our career opportunities on our career page.


Meet a Nilar Employee – Mayte Puig Cortegoso

 

How did your journey with Nilar begin?
I was previously working in the car industry for almost four years. I did some operations in electric vehicles at times, but I wouldn’t say it was directly related to the battery component. My journey with Nilar began when my boss at the time recommended Nilar because I wanted to move closer to the airport, to be able to travel a bit more. So, I guess it was through networking I came to Nilar.

How would you describe your role?
I have been working with Nilar for about three years, but my current role as a System Architect is a bit new. I was previously in Technical Project Management, working with product development. My last project involved our newest iteration of the Battery Management System. When I got the project toward roll-out, it gave me more knowledge about the structure and how the system interacts with itself. 

In this current role, I oversee the hierarchy of the different interfaces, internally and externally, within a consistent structure. Together with my colleagues, I work on assessment, how the system works and how to bridge that with how the customer wants it to work. We serve as the link between requirements, production, product management and compliance. This is done by helping to navigate how one change influences other parts of the system.

Early mistakes that you learned from in your career?
I was a bit shy when I first entered the career world as a person, and professionally. My first job as an engineer was in Sweden since I did an exchange program here. I wasn’t confident enough at the beginning. However, I’ve learned from it, and now it’s much better. 

What motivates you?
I find motivation from the structure and by surrounding myself with creative and motivated people. My colleagues contribute with incredible ideas, while I contribute with structure. It may seem a bit chaotic at times, but there is fun in the chaos. There is always something exciting going on, such as being able to follow an idea from inception to the market. There’s even excitement in the internal projects that gain efficiency in the operations.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors in nature a lot and taking some good photos. I also like to go for long walks in the forest and wander around looking for mushrooms and berries.

A secret talent?
I do some strength training, but it is not a secret. Strength training helps when lifting battery modules at work. Because the modules can get quite heavy at times, especially when lifting more than one. People get very shaken when I can pick up the heavy batteries so simple, and it’s amusing.

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
The best thing about Nilar is all the incredible colleagues. I have a lot of fun at work; I’m surrounded by positive people who are great problem solvers and constantly thinking forward. It is a fun environment to work in.


Nilar has started production of the world’s first battery that can be refilled with new life

Nilar International AB in Gävle develops batteries for energy storage solutions for the green transition. Now the production of the next generation batteries has started. Nilar is the first in the world with a technology that allows used batteries to be restored and regain the same storage power as a new battery. A first partial delivery of batteries will take place in week 44.

Nilar develops, designs, and produces batteries for stationary energy storage systems. Now the company is taking an important step and starting production of the next generation battery solution at the facility in Gävle. The battery is the first to feature a technology called ReOx, which allows used batteries to be refilled with gas to restore the original battery capacity. Nilar has developed the ReOx technology in collaboration with researchers at Stockholm University.

– “Until today, batteries that have reached their practical lifespan have been exhausted and unusable. With ReOx technology, our batteries can be restored to their original storage capacity at least 3 times, which can further extend the life by several years. This means both greatly reduced resource use and major cost savings for the users. This is obviously a big and important step forward for Nilar”, says Erik Oldmark, CEO of Nilar International AB.

The order that is now being produced was signed this spring by Enequi. It is the starting point for the production of the new, world-unique battery system with batteries and software adapted for gas filling at the company’s own factory in Gävle. The order applies to a total of 800 batteries with associated software, for 100 units of Enequi’s intelligent energy storage QuiPower Storage.

Smart and durable batteries are a prerequisite for the green transition. Batteries are needed to be able to store energy production from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power and to smooth out imbalances in the electricity grid.

For more information, please contact:
Erik Oldmark, CEO
+46 70 432 4444
erik.oldmark@nilar.com

Press contact:
Matilda Ekman Vråmo
+46 72-213 01 28
matilda.ekman.vramo@nilar.com

About Nilar:
Nilar is a Swedish-based developer and manufacturer of batteries aimed for stationary electrical energy storage systems. Energy storage can be used to bridge the gap between energy production and consumption, for example to better exploit the potential of intermittent electricity production from renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. Energy storage systems will also play a key role when it comes to reinforce increasingly strained electricity grids. Nilar’s battery technology is Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) based on a water-based electrolyte, resulting in a strong environmental, safety and performance profile. The company is headquartered in Täby and production is since 2012 based in the Gävle, where the company’s research and development also takes place.

The NILAR share is listed on Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market. FNCA Sweden is Certified Adviser +46 (0)8-528 00 399. For more information, see www.nilar.com.


The Swedish Government mandates authorities to promote a more flexible electricity system

In August 2022, the Swedish Government announced that four authorities had obtained the mission to develop the conditions for realizing the potential for flexibility in the electricity system, to promote electrification and minimize electricity costs.

“Demand response allows households and businesses, through smart technology and energy storage, to play an important role in the green transition and to reduce high electricity bills. Flexibility also makes it possible to connect more renewable electricity generation and help create more green jobs with faster connections for green fossil-free industries”, says Khashayar Farmanba, the Swedish Minister for Energy and Digital Development.

The benefits of the energy grid and smart technology are the accelerated transition of energy as well as lower electricity bills for consumers and businesses. One way to reduce the cost is to optimize heating, for example by storing the electricity when the price is low and use later either when the price is high or the grid is overloaded.

The government assessed that coordinated and strategic measures are required, and assigned the mission to the Swedish electricity transmission system operator Svenska Kraftnät, The Swedish Energy Market Inspectorate, The Swedish Energy Agency and Swedac. The mission consists of 5 sub-missions distributed among the authorities, including that the Energy Market Inspectorate shall promote flexibility on a local level where it will be economically efficient in the short or long term.

Read more here about the mission to promote an increased flexible electrical system.