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.


Meet a Nilar Employee – Henrik Wahlgren

How would you describe yourself?
As a person I am very driven, as I always like to try new things and am curious about the unknown.

How did your journey with Nilar begin?
I had been working in the wind turbine industry for several years. I decided to look for something new, even though I did not know what I was looking for. When I came across this job ad for Nilar I felt like batteries was the next step within the industry. I was interested in the position because it seemed like an innovative company to me, that is still growing, and it was exciting to join it in that phase. I have been with Nilar for nearly 4 years now. 

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
For the most part, I work directly with integrators. Ive been developing new kinds of storage that could fit with the inverter from the integrator. I think its motivating to work directly with the integrators to meet the customer’s needs. There are new ideas created by both sides as we identify a need and figure out how to address it. It is very satisfying to be a participant in developing new products and solutions that can contribute to taking Nilar to new markets. I think it is cool to be a part of that.

What led you to work in the energy industry?
I would say curiosity. I have always been curious about new things, wanting to learn and try unfamiliar experiences. In the beginning, I was actually a car mechanic. From there, I transitioned into the iron industry, working for a large factory as an electrician. Then I got the opportunity to work for a wind turbine company as a technician and was promoted to Area Manager. This has brought me to where I am today.

What are some lessons learned over your career?
It has given me a broad perspective having to work my way up and learning along the way. Something important I have learned is that you need to be flexible and have good communication. 

Your favorite hobby?
As a hobby, I like to go fishing. It is how I spend most of my free time. This summer we went to the mountains and enjoyed both hiking and fishing. It mostly involved fly fishing, but I like all types of fishing. It was an interest that grew more as I got older. It is a nice way to relax, it requires patience and a great deal of focus to have some success.

A secret talent?
Something that only a few know about me is that I really like to cook. I do a lot of cooking, to the point where I do everything from scratch without any semi-processed food, using natural and preferably locally grown ingredients. I have a well-equipped kitchen, potentially with some strange tools maybe for other people, and a smoker. I would say my best and most popular dish is tacos based on Zander fish.  Cooking can involve many steps, but I find it relaxing to focus on just one thing. I like working with my hands, which also includes baking. 

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
One thing is that it’s continuously evolving, and we are moving forward. Also, I really appreciate my coworkers and all the competence that they bring to the company. It is incredible how much it feels like a community.


Meet a Nilar Employee – Mathias Forsberg

How would you describe yourself?
I think of myself more as a philosopher, in a way, instead of a hardcore scientist or engineer. It’s more that I like to take in the big picture on the problem I am dealing with, not diving into all the small details. I think it makes it easier as a problem solver to combine all the perspectives I hear into a cohesive strategy.

What led you to work in the energy storage industry?
I feel like I have always been within the green sector of technology in some capacity. My PhD involved exploration in LED technology. This turned into work with solar cells after my PhD was complete, since they are quite similar in physical aspect. And now I have branched into battery technology. I suppose I have been working my way through all the technologies associated with the green movement.

How did your journey with Nilar begin?
I was exploring new positions and had posted on LinkedIn that I was open to new opportunities. A recruiting agent contacted me and shared the position information. In all honesty, I had not set out to go into the battery portion of the industry since it doesn’t seem to align with my background. However, once I was able to learn about the needs in the department, it was an intriguing transition to make.

What kind of work do you do with your role at Nilar?
My background is in thin film physics. Though my expertise was not in batteries, per se, I have been working with the different surface types within the battery construction. Most of my days are spent looking at any operational issues that may involve the chemistry of the internal surfaces. I am able to investigate solutions and validate experiments to understand the mechanisms involved. I do some lab work but mostly I take in data and analyze and read information from other sources. I have only been here a short time but the research I have been involved in has been interesting and I am able to bring a new perspective to it with my background.

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
Although most of my time is spent on the surface chemistry, I also serve as the project manager for a project involving the reuse of scrap material. We are exploring a way to reuse the positive electrode material, especially since there are no annealing or wet processes applied. This work is in collaboration with Uppsala University and a company in Norway. Work like this will not only be beneficial to the environment but will also serve as a good selling point for the battery overall.

What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
I like working at small, fast-paced companies. Before I was pursuing my PhD, I had summer jobs at larger companies and did not enjoy it as much. There were strict workflows with a lot of administration and bureaucracy. Sometimes that kind of bureaucracy can feel suffocating. Here you have more freedom. I like this way of working where you have time to explore your ideas and test them out. It’s not so regimented.

What motivates you?
I do have a general interest in making a change that can help the environment, however, I left the world of academia because I wanted the feeling of creating value. I want to help make something that people want and need that is made efficiently and affordable. I want to be a part of bringing value to people’s lives.

A secret talent?
I don’t believe it is really a secret. Besides any engineering and scientific talents that I may have, it is probably painting. It is not something I may pursue as a career but I enjoy doing it for myself. I have been painting for about 10 years. It is a nice way to relax and quiet the mind. After a little break from this hobby of mine, I recently unpacked all the colors and easels, and been taking lots of time to paint over the summer.

Do you have a favorite movie?
My all-time favorite has to be 1917. It is about World War I and follows two soldiers, going through what happens in a mission they are picked for. The way it is filmed is just nonstop and it really hooks you in. The whole movie is filmed like a single scene. The movie really highlights the reality of war; that it is horrible. Other movies I have seen seem to find it hard to capture it as well as 1917.


Advantages of adapting 5S in the workplace

An unorganized workplace not only costs time and money, it also increases the risks of accidents in the work environment. Tomas Sandin started off as a Test Technician at Nilar in May 2012. Today he is working as a LEAN-coordinator, but also as operative support to the production manager and production team in their daily operations when it’s needed. Tomas is constantly curious of gaining more knowledge, both about people and techniques. His aim is to learn something new everyday. We asked Tomas Sandin a few questions about his role and why it’s important for industries to put the 5S method into practice. Take part in his answers below.

What is 5S?

5S is a tool for creating and maintaining an efficient, safe and orderly workplace. A workplace with good order significantly reduces the risk of injury, increase opportunities for better maintenance and reduces waste such as long adjustment times and scraps. Above all, it provides a more pleasant workplace.

What does 5S stand for?

  • Sort: The team go through items together. This is to identify what are essential for daily work operations and not. This includes sorting out tools, supplies, office material etc.
  • Set in order:  This step is to reduce waste and to store items based on their frequency of use.
  • Shine: Clean and remove trash. Unclean process equipment can lead to equipment failure which in turn lead to waste, lost time, safety issues and increase risks for injuries.
  • Standardize: Work instructions, checklists and other documentation are developed. If lacking clear instructions, individuals might develop their own ways of working in a way that is not in line with what was determined together.
  • Sustain: Sustain is to perform 5S on a consistent and systematic basis. The goal is to get 5S deeply rooted in the company culture.

 

As a LEAN-coordinator you must have an interest in organized environments, how come?

I have always had an unconscious attraction to the 5S system. I used to be an expert at forgetting where I’ve put belongings. If there are lots of things lying around, they have a tendency to disappear. I realized that this is a common issue, and wanted others to understand how it can easily be prevented with adaptions, structure and teamwork. If more people recognize the risks of an unorganized workplace, more people can come up with common solutions.

Since you are interested in keeping things tidy and organized, are you just as organized at home as at the work place?

I really try to be organized at home. I actually implemented a 5S system at home for important items such as car keys, wallet, scissors and my childrens gloves and beanies. These are things that always causes lots of stress, waste of time and waiting. I would love to have a pure 5S system at home, but as you might imagine, the other family members are not as motivated as me to do so.

What is something you’ve learned from 5S that you would like to tell others?

The thing you don’t leave on the floor, is one less thing for you to pick up.


Nilar welcomes trainees for Technical Internship

We are proud to announce that from September 2022, we will take part in Tekniksprånget, an internship program that aims to attract young adults to continue with higher technical education. The need for technical 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 within the technical 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 will get to work all over our R&D department including mechanics, chemistry, systems and production technology. The internship will not only give them insights in the company, but also provide them with practical knowledge that will be useful for future technical studies. We are excited to welcome our trainees and are looking forward to have them on the Nilar team!

Learn more about Tekniksprånget and their vision here.