Housing associations



SMARTflow battery installed to protect Vivabolig's tenants against volatile electricity prices, black-outs and brown-outs.

At Konvalvej 47 in Aalborg, tenants of the housing organisation Vivabolig can now look forward to lower electricity bills. From now on, a 10 kW VisBlue flow battery with intelligent control (SMARTflow) will ensure that the property's solar system is used optimally.

Solar energy has almost exploded in Denmark in recent years. This also applies to solar cells on roofs. Despite there are many very good reasons to invest in solar cells, there is one major challenge for the solar cell owners, including housing organisations like Vivabolig.

The challenge lies in the rule that you, as a solar cell owner, are obliged to sell the excess power back to the electricity grid within just one hour after it has been produced.  

"We are sending far too much energy back into the electricity grid, which we do not benefit from."  states René Kristoffersen, operations manager at Vivabolig.

For the tenants on Konvalvej, who are at work during the day when the solar cells are producing, this means that they miss out on their self-produced green and "free" electricity, Intead, this is sent back into the electricity grid to be bought back later at a much higher price when the tenants arrive home from work.

The answer lies in batteries

However, VisBlue has found a solution to that challenge. By storing the excess energy from the sunny hours on a flow battery and saving it for the evening and night hours, the utilization rate of the solar cells increases from 34 to 57 percent.

"It makes sense in every way to store the energy from our solar cells with a flow battery." says René Kristoffersen. "The battery enables us to save money on the energy bill, while at the same time improve Vivabolig's green profile."

At VisBlue, we are also very happy to be able to add Vivabolig to our customer portfolio. VisBlue, who also prduce flow batteries to municipalities, self-owned institutions and industry, was created out of a desire to help housing associations solve the very challenge of solar cells producing electricity during the day, when the tenants are not at home to use it, says CEO Søren Bødker.  

Housing associations have a very special place with me. Therefore, it makes me extremely proud and happy every time a housing association chooses to go with a VisBlue solution.” says Søren Bødker, CEO and Co-founder of VisBlue.

Battery shaves the top of the peak load

In addition to storing excess energy from the property's solar cell system, VisBlue's flow battery will also store electricity from the grid when prices here are low.

A further energy optimization is thereby achieved, as the battery thereby also provides value in the darker winter months, when the solar cell system produces far less. This is made possible because Vivabolig has purchased a battery with VisBlue's SMARTflow software, which uses data to purchase intelligently when prices in the electricity grid are low.

In doing so, Vivabolig has future-proofed Konvalvej's tenants against the fluctuating prices of the electricity grid, unforeseen black-outs and planned brown-outs, the frequency of which is expected to increase as a result of the switch to renewable energy. The latter brown-outs, in contrast to black-outs, are a tool that the electricity companies can use to ensure that the electricity grid is not overloaded when there is too much current in the electricity grid.

"I believe that batteries are here to stay." says René Kristoffersen. "I have faith that the electricity grid will be so overloaded in the future that we will see many more and larger price fluctuations."

"I can only agree with René about that conviction," says Søren Bødker. "Although we are getting more and more green power in the grid, electrification means a significant increase in our electricity consumption. Therefore, I am completely convinced that we will see both more and more radical behavioral regulations in the efforts to balance the electricity grid, including tariff management, black-outs and planned brown-outs.” explains Søren Bødker.

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