2020 became a challenging year in unpredictable ways but also a year where we were capable of growing despite headwind.
We would like to thank all of you who have supported us and shown an interest in us throughout the year. We have exciting projects in the calendar for 2021, but first let us have a look at last year’s events and highlights.
Corona turned our everyday lives upside down. Just like so many other companies, the pandemic has led to many challenges at our company, where, among other things, working from home became the new normal for a period of time.
In a time where uncertainty and sickness affect so many people across the world, the importance of unity becomes clear. Therefore, we are excited about the progress, we as a society has accomplished in the fight against Covid-19 –which also has given us the opportunity of slowly getting back to working at the office with our much-missed colleagues. Now, we just cannot wait for it to be possible to visit our existing and potential customers and partners.
We are grateful to our colleagues who have done an amazing job so far duringthe pandemic and we are pleased by the opportunities that the vaccines willprovide us – a hope that all of us can return to an everyday life with lessuncertainty and sickness soon.
In March, we launched project DanFlow in collaboration with DTU Energy, Korea Institute of Scienceand Technology, and Danish Power Systems. The main focus of the DanFlow project is to optimise flow battery stacks, which hopefully will result in a higher efficiency and lower cost.
Project funding is granted by Innovation Fund Denmark and is led by VisBlue’s own Anders Bentien through Aarhus University. We hope that this project will enable batteries to complement the intermittency of renewable energy production.
In April, we moved from our old office and workshop into new and larger facilities. We are still located at Ecopark, Aarhus, but now in an office space with adjacent workshop to it.
This is very exciting as all of our employees are now gathered under the same roof, hereby giving us the opportunity to see much more of each other. We are proud to be able to continue to grow and we are already feeling comfortable in our new space.
In April, we grew once more with a lovely addition to the VisBlue family. Klaus is working with us a couple of times a week where his area of expertise is the financial department. Furthermore, he contributes with a lot of good spirit and we are excited about our ever-growing team.
In May, our batteries were accepted on Dansk Energi’s positive list for battery plants.
This approval is very meaningful to us, especially because our systems are the first larger battery installations to be accepted on this list. We are over the moon and so proud of this important milestone.
FYI: Positive lists enable stakeholders to see if an inverter or system is able to meet certain technical specifications of specific projects.
In August, we said hello to two new interns. We are so fortunate that we get to keep one of them, Jonas, as a student worker in our chemistry department.
At the workshop, a new face is also to be found! In November, we welcomed workshop intern Christian toour team, and he has already settled down nicely.
In the fall, we also welcomedMaja as a student worker in our marketing department. She fits in perfectly andwe are so glad to have her as an addition to our ever-growing team!
In august, we said farewell to our very first investor Borean and hello to our new investor Peter Aaby. With the entry of Peter, VisBlue is now 100% owned by business angels, besides our four founders.
Now, there is a red thread, or a green thread if you will (we are of course a sustainable company that thinks in green colours), through VisBlue.
In October, VisBlue became co-founder of Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese consortium, that aims to merge key energy storage partners in Portugal from the academia, corporate, and startup sector.
The activities of theconsortium are divided into the three pillars: redox flow batteries, supercapacitors,and power electronics.
The rest of the strong founding team are A400 Projetistas e Consultores de Engenharia, C2C-NewCap,EDP, Efacec, Instituto Superior Técnico, INESC Technology and Science - Associate Laboratory, and Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto.
We are excited to follow Vasco da Gama’s journey!
Nuno Delgado , a research fellow and former exchange student at VisBlue, published in 2020 his first scientific article!
Nuno’s article presents a phenomenological model of a vanadium redox flow battery which is used to assess the concentration overpotential during charge-discharge cycling at different operating conditions. The article also presents a method to determine the mass transfer coefficient and a strategy to reduce the concentration overpotential.
All this research is incredibly important and we at VisBlue wish to congratulate Nuno on his work!
In February, we installed a VisBlue battery on the Dutch island Texel. By means of our battery solution the wastewater treatment plan Everstekoog is able to purify their water using renewable energy – even when the sun isn’t shining.
The container solution is made in collaboration with our Dutch partner Contour Advanced Systems BV. We are very proud to have initiated the year of 2020 with a new installation – and on a Dutch island even!
In June, we installed a battery solution at Mollerup Golf Club in Aarhus. Together with Mollerup Golf Club we aim to demonstrate how batteries can improve the utilisation rate of solar panels.
A large part of the club’s consumption happens after dark, which means that a stand-alone solar panel solution will not be substantially effective. We hope to improve the club’s utilisation rate of their solar panels by 75%, while also reducing the electricity, they buy from the grid by 50%.
We were privileged to have the Danish television channel TV2 Østjylland covering our story on the local television news. Our CEO Søren Bødker was interviewed about the installation as well as our collaboration with Phønix Tag Energi on this project.
As always, we are proud to install our batteries and the installation at Mollerup is a nice extension to our portfolio of installations.
In November, we finished Skødstrupbakken, an installation in collaboration with AlmenBo Aarhus and Risskov Teknik & Solar.
Pia from Skødstrupbakken stated: "New buildings and constructions have to be born with solar panels and batteries. But it is vital that it does not affect the rent – because even though the investment is green it should not end up producing red numbers."
We always find it interesting to collaborate with other companies in our projects, and this installation is a prime example hereof.
I March, we were meant to attend the Energy Storage Europe fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, and in September we should have attended Almene Boligdage in Copenhagen. Due to the Covid-19 situation, all fairs were cancelled and, therefore, 2020 has been a year without exiting and educational fairs.
We are looking forward to sharing our knowledge of flow batteries and spreading awareness of our green alternative to lithium-ion batteries when the Covid-19pandemic is under control.
In May, with funding from NRGi’s Værdipulje, we ended our sustainable education run for children around the Aarhus area.
To us, sustainable development is an absolute first priority and that is why we also invest our time in teaching the next generation on the topic.
In August, our CEO Søren Bødker hostedan educational seminar about different battery technologies, and how investments in solar panels can be made more attractive.
Søren talked about various battery technologies (applications, roles, pros and cons), how investments in solar panels can be made even more attractive, how the profile of a building work/project can be made even greener, concrete cases with batteries, and how we collectively can push Denmark in a greener direction.
We are always excited when we get to share our knowledge and meet new people. The event was a success and we hope to be able to host more of these in the future.
In August, the VisBlue family got together for a summer party. A day with nice weather and big smiles was much needed after a turbulent six months dealing with the pandemic.
We enjoy spending time together outside the office and we are already looking forward to our next company event!
Just like the majority, VisBlue has been affected by the corona crisis – both positively and negatively.
In September, our CEO Søren Bødker shared our experience, as a small company through this turbulent time, at Global Entrepreneurship Week inspiration and networking event.
We find it incredibly important to share knowledge and discuss green technology with others especially when being a small company. We are excited, despite the circumstances, to continue doing this – only being online instead of being physical.
In November, Cleantech Scandinavia held a virtual event focusing on battery storage for renewable energy, energy system integration, cloud heating control, and intelligent building management.
At the event, our CEO Søren Bødker talked about VisBlue and explained why flow batteries compliment renewable energy.
2020 has been a year unlike any other with a pandemic that no one has been able to predict nor prepare for. 2020 is also a year where we have grown with new customers, employees and projects.
We are extremely proud of our growth and the many exciting projects we have completed as well as initiated throughout the year.
We want to thank all of you who follow us and have helped us grow. We could not do it without you.
2021 is already well underway and we look forward to seeing what the year will bring. We are optimistic about the new year, and we have a lot of interesting plans that we hope to share with you during the year.
In 2021, we hope to once again be able to go to fairs and meet a lot of customers, new faces and energy enthusiasts, if circumstances allow it. We also look forward to continuing the work of the ongoing projects as well as those that we will start up during the year.
We are more than ready to again share knowledge about energy storage and green alternatives to other batteries!