FVB-News 44: Message from the CEO

“Technology, customers and employees are the focus of this FVB newsletter.”

Energy storage is a hot topic in the energy industry. This is true in the district heating industry and on the electrical side. But it is also true for cooling. A large tank of cold water is also a form of energy storage. A new accumulator tank for Uppsala’s district cooling network helps meet the delivery capacity as the need for cooling grows. An exciting project where FVB has solved the challenge of connecting two parallel accumulator tanks with different sizes and heights.

Sweden is known throughout the world for having good systems thinking in the energy field. At FVB, we place a high value on system knowledge and our goal is to take a leading role in systems analysis in the district heating and cooling fields. There is a growing need and demand for such analyses. Energy companies recognize that they have to understand how different parts of the energy system affect each other and interact, to be able to develop, streamline and optimize the energy system in the best possible way. The goal is to maintain the competitiveness of district heating and cooling and contribute to a sustainable future. FVB is ready to help!

Working with system analysis issues often touches on research and development. R&D is another area FVB wants to stand out in. As a cutting-edge company, we want to contribute knowledge to the industry and improve the skills of our employees. In this FVB newsletter, you can read about two exciting research projects FVB has conducted under the Energiforsk research program Futureheat. One project is about power reduction in district heating systems. This is an exciting and important topic. Whether the power problems occur in the distribution or production system, there is much to be gained from being able to reduce the power consumption of the district heating system. The other research project, which was done together with W2 Energiteknik, is about “adapting properties for 4th generation district heating”. This is also a very interesting research area, as fully implemented 4th generation district heating could provide many benefits. Lower system temperatures mean lower losses, higher power yield for cogeneration systems and the ability to utilize energy flows that would otherwise be lost.  Though it is very difficult to overhaul a fully existing district heating system and associated buildings, the goal for district heating companies must be lower system temperatures. This is probably a must if district heating is to maintain its dominance in the heating market in the future.

FVB has played a big role in major transit projects in recent years. One example of this is the assignment for Jönköping Energi, where a district heating line and associated pump stations from Torsvik to Jönköping is planned for construction. This is part of Jönköping’s vision for a more secure and efficient district heating supply in the future.

FVB’s talented Electrical & Automation group is sinking their teeth into many different types of projects, often focusing on resource management and sustainable energy solutions. A good example of this is the project where the Ekeby treatment plant built a new sludge treatment facility, a complex project where FVB did a lot of the heavy lifting. A high level of commitment and close cooperation with the customer created a great end result. This water and sewer project acts as a nice segue to discuss FVB’s goal of expanding further into the water and sewer field. It is common knowledge that there is a great need for renovation and renewal, particularly on the network side. FVB is of course ready to step up and get the job done!

As noted in this FVB newsletter, FVB is expanding geographically and in the market. We are pleased to have finally been able to open offices in England and we have hired English personnel who can develop and run the business locally.

It is also very satisfying that FVB is continuing its stable and organic growth. Just like all other technology companies, we are searching high and low for talented female engineers to hire. There are still too few women getting a technical education, but the trick as an employer is to successfully attract the ones who are actually in the labor market. In this FVB newsletter, we meet Malin, who enjoys her job and her work and brings positive energy to her workplace. My first meeting with Malin was when we crashed into each other on the ice during FVB’s annual hockey game. As Malin got up and brushed off the snow, she gave me a look that promised revenge. At next year’s hockey battle, I can probably expect a cross-check or a well-aimed spearing. It is important to have fun on the job!

Speaking of which, all the old FVBers who are currently members of FVB’s retirement club had fun on the job. It is great to see old colleagues in the hall when they pop into the office to have one of their meetings. It is also encouraging to read the minutes from the retirement club meetings. They have a lot to do with maintenance: Preventive maintenance in the form of exercise and various recreational activities and palliative care. After a while, I realized it is about repairing the body and replacing worn parts.

After a rather cold month of May and some much-needed rain, we are looking forward to summer. As usual these days, you ask yourself which effects climate change will bring this time? Will it be another record hot summer? With droughts and fires as unwanted side effects? How will electricity prices be affected by autumn? We will soon find out.

At FVB, we want to take the opportunity to wish our customers a “just hot enough” summer and remind you that we are ready to help, both before the upcoming vacation season and afterwards when business gets going again.

Leif Breitholtz, CEO of FVB.

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