November 19, 2014

Slush injects Finnish cleantech innovations with energy

Tespack specialises in storing energy. Pictured Mario Aguilera (left), Sami Pfaler and Caritta Seppä.
Tespack specialises in storing energy. Pictured Mario Aguilera (left), Sami Pfaler and Caritta Seppä.
Teemu Granström

Just moments after the doors of the Expo & Convention Centre opened on Tuesday morning it was already filled with a steady humming of activity: Slush 2014 is on! On the first day of the event, Good News met with three Finnish cleantech and energy sector companies, all of which have their sights set on the global markets.

Mario Aguilera is participating in the event with his Finnish company Tespack. Tespack manufactures portable solar panels that can be used to charge mobile phones or laptops, for example. According to Aguilera, the company specialises in storing energy. Its product offering includes, for example, backpacks with embedded light-weight solar panels.

“When someone says mobile phone or computer, certain companies come to people’s mind instantly. When someone says mobile energy, nobody can think of anything, even though it is an extremely important thing today. We want to be leaders in mobile energy,” Aguilera explains.

Tespack was founded in 2013 and sales of its products began this year. The company employs seven people in Finland, two in Bolivia and one in China. At the moment, sales are highest in Finland, followed by the Benelux countries, South America and the UK. However, Aguilera says the company’s markets are global – energy is needed everywhere.

Prefab biorefineries

At this year's Slush, Biogts's Mika Rautiainen was in charge of the company's three-minute pitch.

At this year’s Slush, Biogts’s Mika Rautiainen was in charge of the company’s three-minute pitch.

Teemu Granström

Annimari Lehtomäki and Mika Rautiainen step down from Slush’s yellow stage – they have just finished their pitch about their company Biogts.

Biogts’s main business is the manufacture of biogas and biodiesel production plants. The new type of biorefinery plants developed by the company make it possible to turn organic waste into fuel. Introduced to the market in summer 2013, the refineries have garnered plenty of interest, according to Lehtomäki.

“Our technology is based on a so-called dry process, which means that our plants are able to process even dry waste fractions without necessarily having to add liquid into the process,” Lehtomäki explains.

“In addition, our plants are easily scalable: the smallest plant can be built to fit inside a sea container, and larger ones can be built from modules with standard dimensions. What is also unique about us is that we can deliver to our customers complete factory-built biorefineries that enable quick and easy installation and startup. That is why our biorefineries have been nicknamed ‘prefab biorefineries’.”  Lehtomäki points out.

Sensors to combat energy loss in buildings

“Our goal at Slush is to meet investors from as many countries as possible and present our concept to them,” says Jukka Aho, CEO of Pandia.

At Slush, Aho represents the Leanheat concept which aims at increasing energy savings in blocks of flats. Leanheat is a concept owned by Pandia, developed together with Si-Tecno and a few other companies.

According to Aho, the temperature and air humidity in blocks of flats is measured poorly and flats are often overheated. This results in huge energy losses. Leanheat’s solution is a sensor installed in every flat to measure temperature and humidity and transfer the measurement data to the Leanheat service. Out of a huge amount of data, the service screens the reports that indicate what to do with the temperatures in the flats.

“Our intention is to use big data to enable a proactive approach to detecting temperature problems in the flats. That means you don’t have to wait until problems occur to solve them; instead, you can make decisions beforehand based on the measurement data,” Aho explains.

Leanheat has concluded agreements on a pilot involving 4 000 flats, with sensors in use in 1 500 flats for a month now. According to Aho, the results look promising.

“As far as we know, this type of measurement technology does not yet exist anywhere on this scale. We are definitely heading abroad, as the markets in Finland are small,” Aho says and hurries to the next meeting.

Several meetings kept Leanheat's Jukka Aho busy during the first day of Slush.

Several meetings kept Leanheat’s Jukka Aho busy during the first day of Slush.

Teemu Granström

Text: Anna Korvenoja