New Director of the Board at Nilar

Man in a black suit is smiling and looking into the camera

Nilar gives a warm welcome to Peter Wesslau, our new Director of the Board since June 2022.  Wesslau is currently CEO at Rabbalshede Kraft AB and a board member of SmartInnovation Sweden AB. He has held a broad range of executive positions at Vattenfall including Director of Controlling, Head of Offshore Portfolio and Transactions, Project Director for Danish Kriegers Flak, Country Manager in UK and Ireland and more.

Nilar’s board currently consists of six board members, including the Chairman of the Board. The Chairman, Gunnar Wieslander, tells us he is looking forward to have Peter on the team: “With Peter Wesslau’s extensive experience and knowledge of the energy market and the on-going green transition, we are sure that he will be very valuable for Nilar in executing our new strategy”.

Learn more here about the Board of Directors at Nilar.


European Union must prioritize Energy Storage to reach Climate Targets for 2030 and 2050

Seven EU Flags in front of a grey building

The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) recently published a study for estimating energy storage targets for 2030 and 2050. The results of the study shows that in order to support Europe’s climate targets, not only renewable energy sources must be taken into consideration, but also energy storage. The study highlights that there should be a greater focus on storage needs with the existing climate targets, especially due to the accelerated renewable buildout plan in Europe.

It is estimated that by 2050, at least 600 GW of energy storage will be needed in the energy system. This will require a ramp-up in storage deployment of at least 14 GW per year in the upcoming nine years. This is a large increase compared to the 0.8 GW per year of battery storage deployed in 2020. According to EASE, storage must become a political priority along with renewable energy sources. Without a strategy for storage, EU won’t be able to achieve a net-zero power system, meaning that exposure to fossil energy markets in that case will continue.

Read more here about the study and why storage must become a priority in relation to EU’s climate targets.


Meet a Nilar Employee – Mattias Pettersson

How would you describe yourself?
I am always eager to fulfill my tasks with results. I believe I am a humble person with a big interest in all technical matters. I suppose this started in my childhood. I was always assembling things and putting them back together. It drove my mom crazy. I would take apart the alarm clocks, my bicycle, the television; sometimes without being able to reassemble them. This has evolved over time, of course, to be a more useful interest.

What led you to work in the energy storage industry?
I think it was a general curiosity about the market. Also, I wanted the possibility to gain more experience within product design more aimed towards end customers. I like the idea of being close to a product that can end up making a difference for people, a product that I can be proud of.

How did your journey with Nilar begin?
By coincidence, I guess. There was a headhunter that contacted me the first day after my parental leave. I think from the timing I wasn’t initially interested but I went to the interview out of curiosity about the company. Once there, I found a lot of the puzzle pieces I was looking for. I have now been here for more than 2 years.

How would you describe what you do?
In a team of four, we are divided by function. My primary focus has been battery components. I work on the casings for the battery modules, exploring different materials. A common misconception about the role of my team is that we can answer every question regarding the design of the battery. There are many aspects beyond the mechanics that are the reason behind the design.

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
Right now, I am part of a team is working on the creepage phenomenon. It might look simple on the surface, but there are so many factors involved. Also, we are looking into developing the next generation of modules.

What motivates you?
The belief that effort always makes a change to a better solution. Also, my family provides good motivation as well.

Early mistakes that you learnt from in your career?
I’ve learned to always take feedback from colleagues to double-check a drawing before it goes to manufacturing. It is never a bad idea to have an extra pair of eyes. I hate to find out I missed a tiny hole months later. This is the best way to avoid as many issues as possible.

Your favorite hobby?
I enjoy motorcycle riding and hiking, taking time to regain energy. I have owned a motorcycle for the last couple years but have had a license for 20 years. I enjoy riding during my free time, but I do plan to do a longer journey. My dream trip is to go to South Africa and drive through Kruger National Park. They have packaged trips that include a rental bike and a group tour, with arrangements in all accommodations. Riding alongside the elephants and giraffes would be awesome. Perhaps when my children are older.

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
I think it is my inspiring colleagues and the possibility to make an impact for the company’s future. We have a young, diverse team and everyone is open and ambitious to try. It is fun and amusing to have the possibilities to make changes and to strive towards finding the answers.


Information to owners of energy storage systems with batteries from Nilar

Information to owners of energy storage systems with batteries from Nilar,

We would like to inform you that you may be contacted by our partner Granitor in connection with inspection work. This only applies to customers in Sweden.

For questions regarding this, we refer you to contact our support department at support@nilar.com.


Increased Demands on Energy Security

solar_panels_and_wind_power

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has had a large impact on the global energy markets, meaning that policymakers must find a way to balance sustainability, security and affordability. Therefore, energy security is currently on the top of the agenda and European economies are searching for opportunities to decrease their dependence on imported fuels. Policies are already moving towards an increase in wind and solar power, but the high prices will accelerate the speed of the shift to low carbon energy even more.

To support the changing characteristics of the power generation mix, there will be a build up in infrastructure investment focusing on interconnection, transmission and distribution. This means that growth in flexible resources such as battery storage, will be critical to balance the increasingly variable nature of production. Nilar batteries utilize a bi-polar design, which contributes to making the battery a reliable source of power for more than 20 years. The production of the batteries is powered by 100 percent renewable energy and are designed, developed and manufactured in our factory in Gävle, Sweden. The unique solution that Nilar offers aligns with this current issue, and even if it’s a big challenge to overcome the current high prices, battery storage is the ultimate solution for providing energy security, sustainability and affordability today and in the future.

Read more here about the war’s impact on the global energy market and why energy security is critical in this matter.


Meet a Nilar Employee – Jim Wennmark

How would you describe yourself?
I hear from others that I am clear and concise with my communication. I feel I am very curious, and I want to know how things work and how things are connected. I constantly want to learn more.

How did your journey with Nilar begin?
I was in a part-time role at a company nearby and saw the full-time position on social media. It sounded very interesting, so I took a chance. I joined Nilar in February 2020. Given the state of the world shortly after I joined, it can be considered a bit turbulent at times. However, I truly consider these last 2 years as the most exciting in my life and career so far. I have learned so much in such a short period of time. I was super positive about coming to a company where it feels everything is possible. With all the things I have experienced, I feel I have developed not only in my role, but as a human in general. 

What is the most common misconception about your role?
A common misconception about a role in management like mine is that I would have all the answers to anything asked. I have learned over time that a single person should not try to solve everything on their own. My team has the power to have all the answers and I am 100% confident in us coming to a solution together. My team’s biggest strength is their desire and eagerness to learn, and I feel Nilar supports this attitude.

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
There are so many things; it has been an exciting two years. For those of us in production, it is cool to be part of the hands-on testing, being able to perform different trials. We have a different team of production engineers who perform the process design within the factory, but it has been really fun to collaborate with them and be part of the development and layout of the equipment.

It is also nice that my role involves both administrative and technical work. I feel value is made on the shop floor for us. As a production manager, it is cool to have the whole responsibility of the production process from raw material in to battery string out. To go from metal powder to tangible product is very cool.

Something you have learned from in your career?
I have a strong faith in people, which is why I highly value my team. I have learned that when managing people, you do not need to be afraid of challenging them. It is important to give people bigger tasks that they themselves do not think they can handle and support them through it. I believe that if you provide the right environment for a person, they will do their best. 

Your favorite movie or book?
It all depends on what state or mood I am in. One movie that really stuck with me is Pulp Fiction. I saw it many years ago and it still is one of my favorites. As for literature, I feel somewhat like a nerd because most books I read these days are in lean production. I feel you can spend a lifetime in just reading about it; there are so many perspectives. I think it is important to keep your knowledge refreshed and implement as you go. I truly believe the value will be in lean production.

A secret talent?
I don’t know if it is a secret, per se, at least not in my group. I love to fly fish and I am very good at casting. It is something I have done throughout my life. My father was a “fishing maniac” and started my journey in fishing, establishing it as a way of life. All my sisters have been fly fishing since they could walk. It was one of primary family outdoor experiences.

I travel all over to get the opportunity to find new areas to experience. It can be a good excuse to travel; I have been able to explore Europe through this hobby. I am fortunate that I also live really close to the sea; I can walk there and fish whenever the mood hits. I truly enjoy fishing and want to do it as often as possible. Not to brag, but I do spend a lot of hours doing it. I am proud that I introduced my wife to fly fishing.

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
It’s many things to be honest. Most importantly, it’s all about the coworkers. They are absolutely the best thing about the job. There are many amazing people that work here. I feel like there are not that many jobs where you can speak about something trivial for a moment on the shop floor and then transition into an advanced discussion about chemistry moments later. It is really amazing to have these connections.

 


Safety Day at Nilar

On April 28th, in observance of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, Nilar hosted an all-day event for safety for our manufacturing facility in Gavle. There were five stations prepared for the day. The employees were divided into groups, intentionally pairing people from different departments. This encouraged people to mingle and made the day a social event. The different groups were able to rotate through each station, gaining new information and participating in certain demonstrations.

 

 

It is important to feel safe at work since you spend most of your day there. I feel like my colleagues and myself are much better prepared for anything.”

– Nils B.

 

 

 

To start, there was a presentation to educate all the employees on a new law regarding whistleblowers. The Whistleblower Protection Directive was adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council near the end of 2019, creating a standard for protection of whistleblowers in the EU. Compliance for a company size like Nilar is required by the end of 2023. At Nilar, safety is intrinsic to our operation, so we embraced this new law and used safety day to introduce employees to how these protections work. We had implemented an internal channel where an employee can find any information needed and how to utilize it.

There was a discussion of the waste and recycle management at Nilar at another station. The goal was to ensure all employees were up to date on Nilar’s approach. Clarification was provided on what can be recycled and how to deal with various waste throughout operations.  There are special bins readily available around the factory to promote separation of different items. The circular economy philosophy has been a central part Nilar’s research and production, so every effort is taken to reduce waste.

One station focused on promoting awareness of all the alarms and locking systems. This included discussing the proper procedures to follow for different alarm sounds and ensuring the proper lockout/tag-out methods were known.  Another station provided a lecture on the internal system for accident reporting and injury prevention proposals. Nilar wanted to make it clear how valuable reporting can be. Not only is there support for any sustained injury, but more importantly, reporting helps the company address any process issues that led to the incident. The documentation of near misses was also discussed given how invaluable they are in efforts towards preventing injury. There is a firm belief that entrusting employees in process improvement makes the company stronger.

The final station involved practical firefighting measures. The training was provided by an outside contractor that furnishes companies with appropriate personal protective equipment. Employees were reminded of the possible fire hazards that could be present and then trained on how to deal with a fire if it were to occur. The types of extinguishing techniques were discussed, and it was clarified what works best in different situations. This hands-on activity allowed different employees to extinguish the fire, showing them how to use the preventative tools on hand.

 

“Here I am putting out a fire with a carbon dioxide extinguisher. It was a great rehearsal of important knowledge and I learned about what kind of extinguisher to choose in different situations.”

– Henrik G.

 

 

 

 

By the end of the day, the positive feedback received and the flourishing camaraderie brought aspirations to make this a recurring event. This day of learning was prepared for the Gävle facility, but Nilar plans to extend this to be for all locations on an annual basis if possible. For Nilar, it is essential to empower our employees by providing a safe environment where they can actively and proactively participate in the implementation of preventive measures. As the occupational environment is constantly evolving, Nilar embraces days like this to progress with it.


Meet a Nilar Employee – Tommi Enholm

How would you describe yourself?
I feel I am a hard-working and patient kind of guy. I like to be quite organized. I strive to make the best for my customers.

How did your journey with Nilar begin?
I was looking through the paper and saw a job posting by a consulting company needing employees. This was in a different location, Gävle, but that was appealing to me because I could move closer to my girlfriend, now fiancée. We had only been able to see each other every few months at that point. I interviewed and when I was confident that I had the job, I went back to my old job to resign.

How would you describe your position?
We just had a company reorganization, so my current job is quite new. I make appointments with customers and do system inspections as well as assist customers with troubleshooting. It involves a lot of time on the road, maybe 4-5 days, since many of our customers are located throughout Sweden but my weekends are very free. It will take time to adjust but I do like being able to travel around more. With more time in the car, I tend to mostly listen to radio on these drives or have my phone hooked up to make calls to feel more efficient. Audiobooks are a possibility, but, perhaps, I am old fashion since I prefer to turn the pages of a book.

What do you feel is the most common misconception about your role?
I think it is that I can solve all problems. I have learned a lot of new ways of working with my new role and had gained a lot from my past experience in system design, but not every problem has a direct solution. 

What motivates you?
If we are talking about in a general sense, I am motivated to work because I need to pay bills. But who doesn’t? I do feel Nilar has a unique product and seems to be best suited for homeowners and large housing complexes. I believe we will be competitive in the future.

Early mistakes that you learnt from in your career?
I think I was less communicative when I was younger. Now I am much better at this. I am more informative about what I think what we should do and am able to help better in planning. I suppose this comes with age. 

Your favorite book or genre?
I mainly like science fiction and fantasy. I started with Tolkien books. The movies were also very engaging. I am excited to see what they do in the new series that is going to come out soon, The Rings of Power. I am also a fan of George R. R. Martin. The Game of Thrones series was a great read. The TV series was also good for a time, but I think they pushed the end too far and too quick. I would have definitely seen it differently.

What do you do in your free time?
My fiancée and I do a lot of gardening. We have a decent greenhouse developed, maybe 30 square feet, where we are growing tomatoes, chilis, beans, cucumbers, and paprika. I hope to install a heating unit in the future so that we can perhaps use it year-round. It’s enjoyable to be outside when I have downtime. I also enjoy hanging out with friends and playing computer games

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
It is exciting to see the progress; there have been a lot of updates in the production cycles. When I started, the assembly of batteries felt quite slow; we had a low production volume. It is exciting to see how all things have come together and raised the level and speed of production.


Nilar and Enequi announce strategic partnership and battery order of 10 million SEK

The market for stationary solutions of energy storage is growing rapidly. The demand is elevated and climbing for the European market. The time was right for Nilar and Enequi to enter into a strategic partnership for the development of customized solutions for energy storage with the goal of providing customers with the safe, sustainable, and high performing energy storage they want and need.

Nilar’s strategy is to focus on developing and producing competitive batteries, BMS platform, and reoxygenating technology. Collaborating with our select partners, like Enequi, will bring the customization and system construction that the customer needs. Enequi is a Swedish developer and supplier of intelligent solutions for energy storage, energy control, and industrial automation. Combining their system solution, QuiPower, with Nilar’s batteries will provide property owners access to clean and environmentally friendly energy through intelligent energy storage and control.

“The partnership with Enequi is an important step in achieving our goal of signing strategic agreements in 2022 and 2023 with key integrators for jointly developed solutions aimed at our leading customer segments. We thus follow the roadmap set out in our revised business strategy, which was established at the beginning of 2022. Based on our unique product benefits, we continue to develop our batteries and our offering. We have high ambitions and, together with select partners, we strive to become a leader in optimized solutions for customers who are looking for high-performance, cost-effective, safe, and sustainable energy storage,” says Erik Oldmark.

Read more in our joint press release here.


Meet a Nilar Employee – Pär Möller


How would you describe yourself?
I generally am a person that likes to have a lot going on. This can sometimes be stressful, but I like to keep busy and see it more as an enjoyable challenge. I like to be part of developing new ways to work to ensure that me and my team meet our set goals.
 
What led you to work in the energy storage industry?
I had spent more than 30 years in other industries. For a while, I was feeling frustrated at my last job, and I really wanted to branch out into production planning. Then I saw this advertisement for a new job at Nilar. They were seeking for production planner/buyer. The job description attracted me, and I saw it as a new challenge that I really wanted. Another thing that drew me to Nilar was that they provide a very interesting product.
 
How did your journey with Nilar begin?
When I came to Nilar, I started with a broad role in logistics. At first, I mostly worked with purchasing and experienced all kinds of other things that had to be implemented. I was paired with a veteran employee that was going to train me over a couple years. However, when he retired soon after, I was more or less alone in logistics. My area of ​​responsibility grew considerably, and it took a while to establish myself comfortably as a resource. When the company went through a recent reorganization, I was given a new role as Inventory Coordinator. I am in a central position to make a difference. We have the time in this moment of transition to make sure that everything is running better. It should be an exciting year and we will be ready to roll out stronger and more efficient than before.
 
What is the most common misconception about your role?
I think it can be that I have the answers for any question, even if it’s not my area of ​​responsibility. When my former mentor had retired, I had to adapt to his absence and learn a lot fast. Although it took time, I feel I have become a valuable resource, but I cannot know everything.
 
What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
At the moment, it must be my work to set up the business system (Monitor) so we are prepared for the coming challenges. We are improving our level of documentation and instruction manuals to help employees better embrace the software. I have been working on the roll-out of a new version that will completely enhance how we work. We will be more effective in lean manufacturing. We will be adapting production for most efficient flow. This work has allowed me to collaborate directly with production to build Monitor to be something good for all of us. It is interesting work and I look forward to what the future may hold.
 
What is your favorite thing to do?
I like to play disc golf. I am able to play a few times every week. There is a local league, but I tend to play with friends every weekend. It is my kind of way to relax, where I can just generally take it easy when I am out of work. Living without a schedule is my favorite thing to do.
 
A secret talent?
I don’t feel I have any specific talent. I mean I play disc golf, but I don’t feel I am really good at it; I would classify myself as a “medium” player, having fun and doing well enough to keep the game going. If I were to develop a new talent, I would like to learn more about painting. I like to paint but I feel I am not good at it. I would like to find the time to learn and practice that. That is maybe a future goal to pursue.
 
What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
I would say it is my colleagues. I’m lucky to have the best colleagues in the world. Everyone is happy, positive, and driven. Before Nilar, I worked at a company that was more established in its product line, providing a well-defined commodity. It was already well established in its industry, so a lot of the work felt like going through the motions. It was a different attitude coming here. I felt a huge difference in my first year. It was a new building atmosphere. We were all doing the best, creating new products, collaborating out on the floor. Nilar was very diverse. It was such a mix of old and young, new and experienced – everyone working together to meet the goals. I appreciated how accepting it was for different cultures when I entered.