KEA, Denmark

Københavns Erhvervsskole

At Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA), the aim is to prepare future energy technologists, energy magicians, and electricians to manage and advise on an intelligent, green energy Denmark. Therefore, they have invested in a sustainable flow battery from VisBlue with intelligent management, which will be used in teaching, optimize the school's solar panels, and buy intelligently from the grid when prices are low.

When students return to KEA after the summer break in 2024, they will find flow batteries both in the basement and on the curriculum. Energy Manager Walther Toft and Lecturer Jens Højmann have convinced the management that flow batteries are part of the future both at KEA and in Denmark's green energy future. As a result, they have now invested in a 10 kW flow battery from VisBlue with 50 kWh, which will both optimize the school's energy consumption and be included in the education of the students.

VisBlue’s Flow Batteries are Highly Relevant for the Transition

According to KEA's Energy Manager Walther Toft, flow batteries are highly relevant for the transition and the EU's upcoming building directive, which tightens requirements for the energy efficiency of both new and old buildings. He does not understand why flow batteries are not more widespread.

"I don't understand why flow batteries are not more widespread."
"With a flow battery, you get an energy storage system to store your excess energy for later use, allowing you to get much more out of your self-produced, green, and free electricity; and the best part is that it hardly impacts the climate account."

- Walther Toft, Energy Manager, KEA

The Transition Starts in Education

Walther became aware of flow batteries during his education as an energy technologist at KEA. There, they work a lot with batteries—a technology he believes has stood still for far too many years. So when he came across flow batteries, he was excited about their unique properties, which make them a much more sustainable battery than those historically used.

"I find flow batteries interesting primarily because they are sustainable," Walther explains, adding, "They have a lifespan of 20,000 charge cycles, and after that, you just need to replace the membrane to get another 20,000 cycles, which is infinitely more than lithium-ion. Plus, everything is sustainable and can't catch fire."

- Walther Toft, Energy Manager, KEA

After completing his education, Walther was hired as the Energy Manager at KEA, Lygten, where they had just made a deal to install solar panels. He suggested they look into flow batteries to store the excess energy from the solar panels instead of sending it back to the grid. At the same time, he emphasized the possibility of using the flow battery in teaching to prepare future green hands. This opportunity was embraced by electrical engineer and lecturer Jens Højmann. He teaches future energy technologists, energy magicians, and electricians in renewable energy production, storage technology, energy communities, the balancing power market, and the future Danish supply network. "I want to ensure that the upcoming VE-certified installers and energy technologists and magicians have flow batteries in their toolkit when they go out to save the world." - Jens Højmann, Electrical Engineer and Lecturer at KEA. Jens Højmann sees VisBlue’s flow batteries as relevant and necessary for all these areas to achieve Denmark's green transition. Therefore, flow batteries will become a permanent part of his teaching.

Collaboration Sparks Enthusiasm and Hope for the Future

The collaboration between VisBlue and KEA sparks enthusiasm and hope for the future on both sides. "Educational institutions like KEA play a central role in the transition as they train the green workforce of the future. It is therefore crucial for the dissemination of flow batteries that educators like Jens see the value in the technology." - Søren Bødker, CEO and co-founder of VisBlue. "I am a big advocate for VisBlue's flow batteries. They are sustainable and superior in terms of safety. It wouldn't have been nearly as interesting to get Chinese batteries at KEA." - Walther Toft, Energy Manager, KEA