21 green and sustainable projects in the heart of Stockholm

On September 10th, the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched a photo exhibition at a public square called Raoul Wallenbergs torg in the heart of Stockholm. The posters on display present 21 green and sustainable projects that have been financed by EIB over the last few years. The main theme of the event is “Working Together for a Sustainable Future.” There is free access to walk through the showcase to learn more about these progressive projects.

Since designating themselves as the European climate bank, EIB has worked hard to align their lending with climate related targets and the Paris agreement. The ambitious plan has brought critical funding to many innovative and groundbreaking companies working on important aspects of the green transition. Nilar is one of the proud recipients on display, with EIB supporting the expansion and improvement of the manufacturing lines as well as providing a financial boost to the research and development efforts to advance the commercial viability of the Nilar Hydride® technology.

The photo exhibition will be at Raoul Wallenbergs torg through September, moving to a different square in Sweden for October, Sergels torg. To learn more about the projects, visit the expo website found by clicking here.


Nilar batteries installed in the Swedish pavilion in Dubai

At Expo 2020 in Dubai, the Sweden pavilion is showcasing the collaborative spirit through renewable energy. As the official battery supplier, Nilar has furnished a sustainable energy storage system to operate in cooperation with solar panels skillfully embedded into the pavilion structure and an intelligent EnergyHub optimizing power use. The Sweden Pavilion is located within the area of Sustainability on the Expo 2020 grounds. This global event will begin on October 1st and span 6 months.

Noted as the largest investment in export and investment promotion for the Swedish government, the Sweden Pavilion is based on the idea of emerging smart cities within the Scandinavian woodlands. Referred to as “The Forest”, the imaginative wooden landscape presents a metaphor for the synergy of a bio-circular economy, showcasing how technologies are brought together by innovative life sciences and smart cities.

Nilar is honored to be one of the technologies exemplifying the expertise in Sweden at this global event. The energy storage system of the pavilion showcases the Nilar Hydride® technology and modular bi-polar construction as an environmentally conscious and reliable power source with essential safety benefits. The sophisticated monitoring and control systems ensure safe and reliable operation as well as seamless integration into larger solutions. Nilar batteries embrace the circular economy philosophy as a central theme in all design and innovation.

The Sweden pavilion shines a spotlight on renewable energy. The incoming sunlight is harnessed through 1000 square meters of solar panels embedded within the roof and façade by Soltech Energy AB. The EnergyHub, provided by Ferroamp, strategically manages the energy from the solar installations to power the Sweden Pavilion and optimizes power consumption through use of the Nilar energy storage system. Embodying the synergistic spirit of Sweden, the pavilion demonstrates of a complete system furnished through a three-company collaboration. Explore the interaction through the following film:

To learn more about Expo 2020, visit the event website, click here.


Meet a Nilar employee – Anders

How would you describe yourself?
I’m very result oriented, analytical, and calm. I like transparency and teamwork.

What led you to work in the energy storage industry?
It was appealing to me to be a part of the journey of transitioning to renewable energy. There’s so much innovation and things happening in this industry; I appreciate feeling like I contribute to a positive societal development.

What appealed to you most about becoming a Nilar employee?
Nilar is in the industry which I was looking to join. Aside from that, I was looking to work for a company where I thought that I would fit in and be able to contribute. I thought that Nilar was in the perfect expansion phase where my knowledge and previous experiences would allow me to contribute a lot; I’ve experienced leadership roles in expanding phases before. I find it very satisfying handling the different problems and possibilities that comes going from a startup phase to a more mature company.

What do you think are small things that everybody can do to live more environmentally friendly? How do you set an example?
The biggest transition is that we need to step away from thinking through a consumer perspective. Focus needs to change from purchasing new things to instead repairing and maintaining the items that we have already purchased. We need to, in a sense, go back to how we lived about 100 years ago. Back then, we didn’t have any other alternatives but to take care of our possessions; now we need to do that for the environment.

What are the most critical changes you see that need to be done to slow down global warming?
I think what is being produced on larger scales also needs to be reparable. It can be more expensive to produce something with a longer lifespan, but I believe we all need to step in that direction. I think Nilar sets a good example here; our batteries last. All companies will have to adapt a similar strategy to compete in the future. In the big picture, the answer to this question is that we all must take this seriously; it should not just be for the sustainability representatives of a company. It seemed like companies were working towards solutions to these questions just to look good before, but now companies are doing it because the situation is serious.

What do you look forward to the most with joining the journey Nilar is on?
To handle the growth journey, build up our teamwork and doing this journey together.

What motivates you?
I am motivated to reach goals and acquire great teamwork in different aspects. I want to build a good team that helps each other develop and learn. What we can accomplish together is truly motivating; we can achieve so much more as a team than on an individual level.

What is the most common misconception about your role?
When it comes to Nilar, one common misconception could be that we are only delivering batteries. All products today have services around them in one way or another. To be able to truly enjoy your battery, you should use consulting, support and monitoring services. The ample support available allows you to get the true value of the hardware.

Early mistakes that you learnt from in your career?
Since I graduated as one, I was very “engineery” when I first started working. I had believed there was only one truth and solution. However, the more I’ve worked, the more I’ve come to understand that it is about creating a workplace where you constantly learn and develop. The world is ever-changing. It’s not most important to find one perfect solution; it’s more about finding a solution that is good enough to tweak. It should be fun to have different ideas and we should pick the best idea to try out, regardless of who came up with the idea. There should be no prestige in it but rather the solution that evolves to be the greatest one.

Your favorite book?
It’s hard to pick one favorite. However, a good book that I read recently was Ålevangeliet. It’s a book about the world’s most enigmatic fish – the eel. I liked it because it was exciting to read about different things being highlighted about the eel. I like to read or listen to stories where someone passionately talks about a subject that is new to me; it’s like being introduced to someone else’s small little universe.

A secret talent?
I’m very good at sailing. In fact, I recently joined the World Cup in ORC Off shore sailing.

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
That there’s always a lot of things happening. We are in a great phase of expansion. Plus, there’s a great sense of togetherness within the company.


Nilar Industry Highlights – Climate Change Cannot be Ignored

Despite all the other serious things occurring around the world, a subject consuming a large amount of the scientific community has been climate change. In the last couple weeks, there was a noticeable surge in the conversation, and it is no coincidence. Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations released their sixth assessment report, and it has been one of the more definitive and direct analyses on the global situation. Instead of implying that there are many factors and humans are one of the contributors, this report is declarative that the evidence of humans as a cause for climate change is overwhelming. This unambiguous statement by the scientific community within the IPCC cannot be ignored.

The IPCC was originated with the purpose of compiling research to assess the current state of global warming. The goal behind their work was to provide countries, and more specifically policymakers, with the necessary knowledge and guidance to make informed decisions. From a diverse group of the contributors representing multiple countries around the world, the IPCC has released multiple informative reports over the years. As data analysis and modeling has progressed with technology improvements, their evaluation capability has evolved as well. With higher confidence than in previous publications, the IPCC group had concluded that the human-induced climate change was the main driver of the weather and climate extremes in every global region.

The exhaustive report contains a lot of details along with summaries for specific audiences. One of the primary indicators of climate change is the global surface temperature. In a nutshell, this is global warming, a term popularized in the 80’s after a NASA climate scientist utilized it in Senate testimony.  It seems to be common knowledge that this temperature is increasing overall, but there has been more emphasis on it since the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP21) in 2015. Some of the updated data and models from the IPCC are reflected in Figure SPM.1b below. The upward trend of the black line coincides with the progression of technological advances like the commercialization of the car and airplane, the invention of the consumer computer, and the world wide web.  As seen in the graph, the average global temperature change is steadily increasing, reaching 1.26°C in 2020, warming at a higher rate than any time in the last 2000 years. In this and past reports, the IPCC acknowledges the dangers of that temperature change reaching and exceeding 1.5°C, providing scenarios of what they predict can happen in various regions around the world.

In the past, the issue of increased greenhouse gases was referred to as global warming, but that term is limiting. The phrase “climate change” encompasses all aspects of long-term change in the Earth’s climate. In Figure SPM.9 of the IPCC report, shown below, there is a pictorial representation of the predicted future changes in the global climate. The background shading in the graph represents all the regions that have potential to be affected by each climate-impact driver (CID) and the overlaying bars are the ones that will be. From this graphic, it can be seen that all regions will experience at least 5 CIDs changes over the next 20-30 years. Also, ten of the CIDs listed will affect virtually all regions (96% according to the IPCC). The mean surface temperature was already explored, but this includes the decrease in ice, frost, and snow as well as the increase of coastal flooding and erosion. Most of these predictions are considered high confidence, and none are low confidence. This means that without significant intervention, the changes highlighted are the likely future. To better visualize the temperature and precipitation affects, the IPCC created a unique tool, the interactive atlas, to see how different scenarios shape the world (interactive-atlas.ipcc.ch).

At the time of the Paris Agreement, multiple countries acknowledged the need for universal action with respect to climate change.  Many world leaders formalized their commitment to slow the rise in global temperature to less than 2°C and to establish a methodology to keep it from growing again. The framework was encouraging and there have been many regulations and policies developed to lay the groundwork. However, one of the glaring takeaways from the IPCC analysis was that despite all the global efforts in decarbonization, there is a need for more aggressive action. Within the IPCC investigation, all the models were updated to reflect the current state of temperatures and emissions, updating the predictions of the future. It became clear that the emission excess was still a problem, with key issues slowing progress. There is overwhelming and conclusive evidence that human influence has caused sustained changes to all the major elements of the climate system and continues to do so. There is embedded uncertainty in the path forward as new technologies advance since the infrastructure needed to accelerate their adoption is still in flux. The national policies and regulations within some countries need further development and the general definition of storage and its role as a distributed energy resource need clarification within the grid structure.

The report does seem timely in reiterating the central points to focus upon. There is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, known as COP26, coming up in Glasgow in November. With key subjects like this IPCC report and the unfinished Article 6 from the Paris Agreement defining the rules for international carbon markets, this single event is expected to be as significant as COP21, further uniting world leaders against climate change. This event serves as the first checkpoint of the Paris Agreement progress, with each country presenting what has been done and owning up to any shortcomings. This will be an opportunity to not only acknowledge the deficiencies highlighted in the IPCC report but also strategize on a fresh approach from here.

There are many companies around the world, each tackling a small proportion of the actions needed to combat climate change. The belief is that the solution will be a combination of many approaches. In our sector, Nilar’s goal is to have a pivotal role in renewable integration and energy storage for dispatchability as well as grid stability and flexibility. With our battery development anchored in recyclability and circular economy design, we want our continuous innovation to help drive the industry forward, improving performance and efficiency. As the IPCC concluded, “there’s no going back from some changes in the climate system. However, some changes could be slowed and others could be stopped by limiting warming.” We plan to be part of the solution.

 


Nilar Industry Highlights – Electrification is driving the energy revolution in transportation

Electrification is driving the energy revolution in transportation

After widespread recognition that swift CO2 emission reduction was imperative to mitigate global warming, a transition from fossil fuels sources to electricity is environmentally beneficial. This has significant influence on the major energy systems around the world. Technological advances in power, transportation, and renewable energy are advancing with the goal of CO2 mitigation in mind. There are multiple aspects to consider in each sector as they try to implement electrification.

Within the transportation sector, there is the addition of electric vehicles (EVs) and their complementary chargers. This transition to EVs serves as a direct replacement of fossil fuel burning cars. On the surface, this seems like an impactful change; there are no direct emissions from electric vehicles. However, studies vary greatly on the conclusions about emissions when EV production and manufacturing location are accounted for.  Within a 2019 analysis in Germany, it was found that their EVs run on electricity that was at least 50% produced by coal and natural gas. Also, many of the battery cells within Germany’s EVs were outsourced from countries with high energy consumption and emissions in cell production when compared to the fabrication of a combustion engine. Findings like these instill doubts on the actual environmental benefits of EV use. However, this is constantly improving over time. There is obvious variation from region to region, especially as different countries are carrying out decarbonization efforts in their electricity generation. The German study found that despite these doubts, the EV has a climate advantage in any scenario over its entire life. This benefit grows with renewables being used behind the EV component manufacturing as well as in the electricity used to charge the EV in operation. The main conclusion was that cradle-to-grave transparency would benefit everyone in understanding the true carbon footprint.

The study in Germany compiled data from multiple EV analyses over time. Using this information, they were able to create the infographic shown above which compares the emissions of a compact class gasoline vehicle (purple) to a similar size EV (green) in an urban setting over the lifetime mileage. At approximately 38 000 kilometers, the cars reach an equivalent emissions level. The study made sure to point out that urban travel varied from vehicle use profiles studied which is why they emphasized the difference of 29% at 100 000 kilometers. This aligned with some of the battery life spans within the various studies compiled. Per the graph above, for those EV designs that can supersede that limit, the projected emissions difference reached nearly 43% at 200 000 kilometers. From information like this, it is easy to see the direct benefits of replacing fossil fuel transportation with electric vehicles.

To support the growing EV demand and truly integrate them into society, there is a need for strategically placed chargers to be incorporated, to start, in all urban areas. For the public to fully embrace this transition, the infrastructure needs to be created to not make owning an EV a burden. If the sources of electric charging are limited, then the potential for an EV lifestyle is diminished. The transition to EVs can lead to a 38% increase energy consumption by 2050, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. To achieve an increase like this while also striving for carbon neutrality, there is a need to expand the electrical grid to ensure it can handle the increased load by introducing renewable energy resources but also ensure this integration of intermittency is not problematic by embracing energy storage for dispatchability.

It is easy to identify these needs, but it is not simple to actually make them happen in practice. Transmission lines will need to be built out and fortified for greater capacity to accommodate prevalent renewables and increased electrification. Microgrid networks will need to be expanded to help with power reliability on a utility level, especially in remote areas.  The integration of energy storage is vital to address any time-of-day constraints imposed by renewable generation as well as providing wholesale arbitrage, balancing and flexibility. To achieve the benefits of energy storage integration, the industry as a whole needs to standardize the approach to energy storage at least to some level. In the US, there are states that do not even address energy storage as a concept which leads to uncertainty for installers, where other parts of the country set unrealistic expectations leading to dissatisfaction. This kind of regional variation leads to inconsistent system design and evaluation. In multiple countries, resources are being dedicated to aligning the variety of stakeholders for a consistent approach to these infrastructure needs. The hope is that this foundational framework will allow expedient integration of energy resources to mitigate climate change.

At Nilar, we see the increased interest in electric vehicles and the associated infrastructure upgrades as a step forward for the environment. Our battery can serve as one of the contributors to the future, powering a strategic network of EV chargers and providing flexibility for grid management challenges. There is a belief that any step forward will further encourage decarbonization efforts. There will be increases in recyclability and circular economy design, which Nilar embraces in our battery development. Continuous innovation will drive the industry towards improving performance and efficiency. Electrification is the future so let’s get it right.

 


Meet a Nilar employee – Nils

What led you to work in this industry?
I always had a general interest in environmental questions, finding ways for the world to operate more sustainably. Working at Nilar helps me to contribute within my work; our company’s goal and vision are motivating for me.

What’s most fun about your job?
My tasks vary greatly. I get to talk to so many nice people from all over the world. My suggestions to improve ways of working to help everyone from electricians to end customers are being heard and implemented; therefore, I feel valued and motivated.

What’s the most common misconception with your role?
A lot of people don’t realize the severity and responsibility that my role contains. It’s extremely important that I guide installers correctly and provide the right information. We always work with highly knowledgeable and educated installers. It could also be hard to understand just how broad my role is and what kind of issues we handle. All issues are of high technical degree; my role is to guide solutions to be optimized, identify next steps depending on solutions, as well as general assistance during installation.

Can you mention an educative project from your studies?
I achieved a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Uppsala University. At first, I pursued a Master of Engineering and tried “tekniksprånget,” which is a government-funded program where you are given four months to explore working at a place related to your studies; that’s when I realized what I want to do. I worked with a lot of mechanical engineers who inspired me. The education offers broad opportunities, it feels safe, established and enjoyable! During my studies, I did one year as an exchange student in Canada where I studied German, Digital Art, Programming, etc., which I have made good use of in my current role. My thesis was about 3D printing and creating prototypes which I also have used when suggesting improvements.

Who inspires you?
Myself in ten years, who I aspire to be.

A good book you’ve read?
I just finished reading Inferno by Dawn Brown. I like it since it takes place in the real world. You can follow the story figuratively by looking at the streets where the scenes take place in Google Maps, in that way you get a clearer image. The scenes take place in Venice and Florence which are very beautiful places that I have visited previously. Since the plot is about a world in a pandemic, it felt like a very good theme for the times we’re living in. I didn’t find the movie to be even close to as good as the book.

What motivates you?
I want to feel like I’m doing a great job. Since my job is a lot about helping others, the appreciation I receive is motivating. My colleagues also motivate me along with the goals of Nilar.

What are you looking forward to this summer?
My vacation starts soon. Now that I’ve received the vaccine, I look forward to meeting family, relatives, and friends. We are going to our summer house, climbing mountains, and sailing.

A secret talent?
I can spit fire. Once I started learning how to juggle, I was hanging out with a crowd that knew some circus tricks who taught me. Below is some photographic evidence.

The best thing about working at Nilar?
The goal image of the company, the togetherness between employees, and the opportunity to help people from all over the world.

 


Nilar Industry Highlights – Why the entire world is progressing towards decarbonization

Why the entire world is progressing towards decarbonization

With all the scientific evidence amassed over time, the world is reaching an inflection point. Globally, carbon dioxide levels have risen approximately 20 ppm per decade since 2000, which is ten times faster than the sustained CO2 rise during the prior 800,000 years. The need for action was universally acknowledged with the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. This was a multi-nation commitment to slow the rise in global temperature to less than 2°C and to establish a methodology to keep it from growing again. Measured relative to the “pre-industrial period”, the temperature reached a 1°C change by 2017, with an additional half degree projected to occur within less than 25 years. Up until the Paris Agreement, there did not seem to be widespread recognition of the problem, or at least there was no palpable urgency. With the encouraging framework of this agreement, there is now a real drive towards true decarbonization.

Decarbonization is a word that encompasses all pathways towards reducing carbon emissions. This can be through the electrification of the transportation sector, replacing fossil fuel powered vehicles with electric vehicles. Another way to reduce fossil fuel dependence is to utilize renewable resources within the power sector. This involves implementing wind power, solar power, and biomass. The benefits of these renewable sources can be amplified using energy storage. On a smaller scale, efficiency improvement in equipment design, manufacturing processes, and building insulation and structure have enhanced proficiency and optimized the use of fossil fuels. Together, all of these steps are critical to slow the effects of these greenhouse gases on the global temperature.

With the adoption of the Paris Agreement, there was also the decision to have the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assess the current state of the world, coming to a consensus on what is known and what requires more research. The IPCC is a group created by the United Nations to assess the science behind global warming. In 2018, the IPCC released a report compiled by 91 diverse contributors, representing 40 different countries and the scientific community. The goal was to provide countries, and more specifically policymakers, with the necessary knowledge and guidance to make informed decisions on paths forward. The report by the IPCC presented the urgency for decarbonization efforts. The global temperature, measured relative to the “pre-industrial period”, has reached a 1°C change by 2017, with an additional half degree expected to occur within less than 25 years. Even with immediate intervention, the global temperature is expected to reach a 1,5°C change before the mitigation efforts are perceivable. Therefore, the IPCC report explored what can be expected at 1,5°C and what are the risks if the temperature goes beyond that. Since each part of the world will have a different experience with climate change, there was a thorough analysis of different regions and what could be expected on multiple fronts.

Issues predicted in the report, that we will face even if the Paris Agreement goals are achieved, include the potential effects of a 1,5°C temperature change. With this temperature change we can expect the seasonal mean temperatures to increase by a few degrees. This may not seem like a big deal, but this could lead to drastic changes in ecosystems and in precipitation rates. We will see areas that will face more drought and others more susceptible to flooding. There will be changes to the natural habitat of multiple species with changing freshwater availability and altered climate for plant viability. There was also an interesting analysis on extreme poverty situations worldwide. Variations in climate can affect food availability, and quality, as well as the access and distribution of food. These are all side effects of the temperature changing crop yield and water quality, which also affect livestock availability and fishery output. Shortages of these items lead to higher costs. That is just scratching the surface of the many variables at play. The predictions of life if the temperature change were to exceed 1,5°C change were dire.

The framework of the Paris Agreement shows that there is commitment to decarbonization, but it is only a start. There will be a need for more strategic policy and infrastructure investment. Just as multiple nations came together to acknowledge that this problem is critical to address now, global citizens are realizing that they can be a part of the effort. One of the easiest ways to be a part of the solution is to increase the energy efficiency within your portion of the world. One approach is to pursue renewable energy integration into homes and businesses. This will not only help each home and business on an individual level by harnessing the power of an abundant resource for clean energy and costs savings, but this also contributes to stress reduction for the grid. At the industrial level, renewable integration will be one step towards decarbonization, but there will also be a pursuit of higher efficiency processes and equipment with low-to-no carbon emissions. Accepting our inevitable life at the global temperature change of 1,5°C will require some lifestyle changes for many. However, we are in the middle of a technological revolution that is needed to reach decarbonization so hopefully we can keep it going strong.


Meet a Nilar employee – Filip

What led you to work in this industry?
My mom is researching sustainable material at the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, which was inspiring. When I went to the university, I chose to study environmental energy. I wanted to focus on the methodologies/ecosystem services that quantify environmental impact. While I was pursuing my Master of Science in engineering, I focused my studies in a more practical direction within the field of electric power technology. I learned more about how electricity works and how the electrical grid works on a large scale in Sweden and in the world. A lot of our courses were focused on balancing the electrical production with consumption. I learned about different energy sources and how they are being used. I became interested in what batteries can do for our society when I read about intermittent energy sources like sun and wind and how they can be unreliable and unpredictable, requiring ways to temporarily store the energy. When I applied to be an application engineer at Nilar, I couldn’t have found a more appropriate position to apply for.

What’s most fun about your job?
One of the things I enjoy the most is the freedom I get. I feel like my input is highly valued and I get a chance to realize my own ideas. One of our products, the Home Box, was a project where I was involved from idea to product manufacturing. We had a vision to create a convenient energy storage, appropriate for the home market. I also greatly appreciate being able to talk to our partners, to be able to learn how to pedagogically explain the technique behind our products and how our batteries and integrated solutions work. It’s enjoyable being able to showcase the end use and benefit of what we offer.

What’s the most common misconception about your role?
I feel my title doesn’t imply much of the intricacies involved; my work depends greatly on the application/system that is being produced. It seems a lot of people assume that we have more control of how our batteries are being used by end customers. We can give our recommendations and have integrated limit warnings, but a lot of people are not aware of that the batteries make up a single component of a greater solution.

Early mistakes you made in your career that you’ve learnt from?
Early on, I was a bit overly confident, assuming that I was always correct in my opinions. Now I use a more modest approach, seldomly speaking on topics where I’m not certain I’m right. I learned that it’s easier and more enjoyable to interact with someone who has a more open approach; that has helped me in my career as well as my personal life.

Who inspires you?
My mom has inspired me a lot. She instilled in me the importance in engaging in the big challenge in front of us when it comes to the environment and pollution.

A good book you’ve read?
I read the first part of a science fiction-novel series, “The long earth” by Terry Pratchett. I liked it because it’s sci-fi, a bit weird and conceptual. The story is about a multi universe. Several universes are on top of each other, and the characters find ways to walk between universes. It talks about how humanity as a civilization needs to seize the planet earth.

What is your favorite kind of projects?
I really appreciate working with engaged, competent, and involved people, where we share a common view from the start of what we want to achieve.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
The coolest thing I’m working on right now is a project in which we are looking at new approaches for events in remote locations; we are trying to replace diesel generator that are typically brought in with a system of fuel cells in combination with batteries. The fuel cell is slow and can handle the load; we want to package it in a container and make everything work completely off grid. We want to be able to refill the fuel cell with hydrogen in the same way as refueling with diesel or petrol.  Hydrogen is easier to produce, and the residual product is water vapor! It’s cool to see and be a part of the journey on how this solution may replace diesel generators in the long run.

A secret talent?
I know how to play three-quarters of Für Elise, on both my left and right hand!

The best thing about working at Nilar?
I work within a very relevant area to my education; the questions we are dealing with are world-critical in the bigger picture. I play an important role to what we are creating at Nilar and to what direction the company is going.


Nilar and KOSTAL’s partnership

Nilar and KOSTAL’s partnership – makes energy storage more accessible for homeowners

As technology continuously advances and renewables become more prominent, the stress on the grid is rampantly growing. From the first prototype, Nilar strived to create the ideal battery to destress the grid within a sustainable energy storage installation. The years of applied experience and cumulative knowledge have instilled the importance and benefits of a great partner that can help penetrate the market. Nilar is proud of our emergent collaboration with KOSTAL Solar Electric. Their customer-oriented focus and innovative solution design align well with Nilar’s company values.

KOSTAL Solar Electric offers an all-in-one hybrid inverter which is the perfect solution for every application. The PLENTICORE series can be adapted for multiple configurations, integrating photovoltaic (PV) systems with energy storage, whether as a new installation or a retrofit. This smart device allows the consumer to charge a battery directly from PV or another AC power source. KOSTAL hybrid inverters not only manage the interaction between PV and energy storage; they optimize electricity use based on self-learning, forecast-based energy management.

A PV system integrated with storage is efficient and very advantageous because the self-generated energy can be used practically any time of day, not just when produced. More power is needed during peak times such as lunchtime during an office’s busy workday or in the evening at a household where everyone has returned for the evening.  The goal is to find an optimal balance of the available energy. This means storing the energy when inexpensive or when the sun produces more than needed and then using it when power demands are the highest. In addition, implementing an efficient power system contributes to the environment by allowing the highest consumption possible of self-generated power while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

To create a complete package for consumers, KOSTAL tested multiple battery manufacturers to verify their interaction and performance when integrated with their inverter solutions. Nilar manufactures nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries to be a safe, green, and reliable option on the market. The batteries contain water-based, non-flammable electrolyte and the bipolar design creates a uniform current path to avoid any concentrated heat spots. They do not generate short circuit current failure even under low temperature charging. The electrodes cannot ignite spontaneously and will not cause heat propagation between modules. The dynamic capabilities of the sophisticated battery monitoring and control systems allow for safe and reliable operation as well as seamless integration.

Through this qualification work, Nilar and KOSTAL found the perfect match when pairing the PLENTICORE series with the Nilar Hydride® battery as an alternative to lithium-ion technology. Frank Henn, Vice President of KOSTAL Solar Electric GmbH comments: “More flexibility – that is what we offer our customers with the combination of our all-in-one PLENTICORE hybrid and battery inverters and Nilar’s high quality battery solutions”.

Now that the partnership has been formalized, KOSTAL and Nilar, together, can offer this combination of inverter and battery to a consumer’s system to use more green renewable solar power. Transport, storage and safety can be achieved without extra precautions thanks to the use of NiMH chemistry of Nilar Hydride® batteries. The Nilar/KOSTAL is the optimal choice for anyone looking for a safe and environmentally friendly energy storage solution. “Nilar is passionate about being an essential component within the energy transition. Pairing with KOSTAL brings us a step closer to meeting the evolving industry demands,” stated Jan Lundquist, Nilar Head of Sales & Marketing.

The partnership between Nilar and KOSTAL paves the way to expand into new markets. This includes branching further into Scandinavia, Benelux, DACH and Southern Europe. To learn more about an energy storage system and if it is the right choice for you, contact Nilar or KOSTAL to discuss a solution today.

Learn more about the joint solutions: Click here. and in Swedish: Click here.

 

 

 


Meet a Nilar employee – Oliver

What lead you to work in this industry?
I was working in B2B publishing for 10 years prior. In the last few years, I helped with the launch of Energy Storage News which has grown to be the leading news platform dedicated to the storage sector. I have been passionate about sustainable technologies, mastering my sales skills, and decided to make the leap into energy technology. I wanted to be a part of the market finding greener solutions for tomorrow. I can see that the energy storage sector is one of the fastest growing industries and has incredible opportunities. Working for a company like Nilar has enabled me to sell at another level by offering more environmentally friendly solutions to the market, a next gen technology, and I get to work on a lot of cool projects!

What do you find most fun about your job?
That every day is different than the next and offers new challenges to overcome. I enjoy meeting partners and integrators and facilitating a sale, starting from establishing a relationship with a new client to becoming acquainted and building a trust in what great solutions we can offer the market together. I love working in a team with experts to learn from. I value how much responsibility we’re given; the Nilar leadership trusts your ability which has been shown to clearly be a winning concept.

You recently moved from UK to Sweden. What has been your experience so far?
I moved here in September. Moving has been a huge upgrade in my everyday life due to the difference in how the pandemic situation was being handled; I have appreciated having more freedom. I have fallen in love with the Swedish culture – I love the concept of what you call “fika” here; I enjoy going to our summer house on Öland and the home that I built for myself here. I’m even marrying my Swedish girlfriend and hope to start a family and settle into a life in Sweden.

What differences do you see between the energy storage market in the UK and the one in Sweden?
The energy storage market in the UK has been growing but we’re still hoping to see some sort of subsidies with the administration changes. Sweden have a very advantageous subsidy model. The UK doesn’t currently offer subsidies, so here, in Sweden, we have more incentives. This, of course, has some effect on the growth potential of the market. It seems like the UK is more focused on large scale solutions and grid infrastructure. In Sweden, we have more incentives which offer greater potential for the home and residential market.

Who inspires you?
My partner and my family have been a big inspiration; they guide me to make the right decisions in certain aspects, in my personal life as well as when it comes to my career. Throughout my career, I have also had many incredible mentors, and these have usually been managers who I respect and have learnt a lot from.

How do you keep up to date with the latest news on the market?
Having been a part of launching Energy Storage News, which is the leading news platform on the energy storage market, I learnt a lot on where and how to keep up on the latest news in the industry.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
Right now, I’m trying to expand our products on the international markets. I’m involved in really exciting integration projects with leading partners in the regions that I cover. I’ve set up our company with other incredible players on the market. Integrating the Nilar solutions with leading inverter and integration partners is truly a joy!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I see myself in a leadership role at Nilar; I would love to see myself as the head of a region or country manager. I want to be able to watch and see the company, that I have come to love, become one of the top battery companies in the industry.

A secret talent?
I can juggle, play the piano, and I love all watersports.

The best thing about working at Nilar?
The responsibility given. Also, the opportunities offered to grow and to be part of a tech company that will be one of the top energy storage solution providers.