Every month we interview a promising startup or scale-up in the climate & energy tech ecosystem and ask them our 10 questions. With our platform (ZERO), we want to put these bold innovators on a pedestal and introduce them to our audience. Do you want to connect with this startup/scale-up, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Originating from the Vattenfall Solar Team (formerly the Nuon Solar Team), Wattlab closes the gap between science and market applications. By turning your assets into smart power plants and generating energy where needed by integrating highly efficient solar energy systems. And we had the opportunity to present our ten questions to them!
I’m Bo Salet, CEO and co-founder of Wattlab. I have a background in Space Engineering at Delft University of Technology. After beging part of the Nuon Solar team (the student team that races with a solar car) I founded Wattlab together with two teammates in 2017. I’m driven by creating something new with a great team. Additionally, because I’m rather stubborn I like to prove people wrong if I get told that something is nog possible.
Collaboration is key in solving the climate problem. Our mission is to collaborate with industry leaders in order to develop and scale new solar solutions. By integrating solar energy into the things around us we create a better world for tomorrow. Using existing surfaces results in having to sacrifice less nature for solar fields. By generating energy right there where it is needed, fuel consumption can be decreased while not creating problems for the power grid.
We’ve developed solar hatches for inland bulkcarriers. Those solar hatches generate power onboard the ships which results in lower fuel consumption. We recently finished the pilot phase and the product is currently being sold and delivered already. Additionally we’re exploring new opportunities for the product in sea shipping sector as well as looking abroad at the inland shipping in North and South America. We hope to pilot those two use cases in 2022.
We have a young team which is highly intrinsically motivated. Being a young team gives us the opportunity to challenge the status quo which results in an attitude that everything is possible. I’m convinced that in order to create new solutions a high level of perseverance and optimism is key.
Additionally we work really close with the team at Blommaert Aluminum. They are market leader in the aluminum shipping hatches market and have over 40 years experience in delivering high quality products. They provide us with the experience and maturity.
The climate challenge we are facing is huge. Although it gains a lot of media attention recently I don’t think many people yet realise how hard the challenge is we face. Large parts of the industry and transport sector need to be completely redesigned in order to meet the climate goals. Although this challenge is so large we shouldn’t be disincentivized. The way to face large problems is by breaking them down and solving them one at a time, so that is what we attempt to do. We know our solution is only part of the puzzle so collaboration is key in solving the bigger problems.
Only looking at the maritime sector there are currently no readily available solutions that could fully solve the problems. This therefore still requires lots of research and development in which we should heavily invest. On the flip side, there are currently a lot of solutions which are financially attractive and, when combined, could really contribute significantly. We should strive to accelerate the implementation of commercially viable existing solutions. This acceleration can be achieved by making unsustainable alternative solutions less financially attractive, in other words: price them fair when considering the full picture.
Last year we succeeded in producing a high quality product which is ready for the market. In less than 2,5 years we turned a completely new idea into a commercially viable and working hardware product. It’s was a great journey all together going through all the phases of development, now it’s time to scale up the product.
For an industry to get used to a completely new product takes time. We’ll have to convince the people in the industry that our product is ready for market adoption and that it’s a safe investment. The best way to do so is by delivering flawless products and gaining a perfect trackrecord. As more and more ships are using our products this will give confidence to others, additionally we created a thorough testing process for our systems which should give users confidence in the product.
I would be happy to have a coffee with anyone with a lot of experience in the maritime/transport sector who is committed to accelerating the energy transition. There are a lot of collaboration possibilities which have yet to be discovered and I would be glad to explore those.
S4Energy. Wile solar and wind energy gain traction we have more and more challenges with the grid due to peak loads. S4Energy has an elegant technology to help shaving off the peak loads and thereby balancing the grid.
Another interesting scale-up in the marine sector is Econowind. They have developed a viable way for wind assisted ship propulsion. They have shown that it’s possible and financially viable and are currently in the process of scaling up the production.
Enthousiastic about Wattlab or do you want to connect with Bo? Contact us at email@example.com and we will bring you in touch!
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