UBIK Solutions featured in business newspaper Äripäev
Äripäev, the leading and oldest business newspaper in Estonia, interviewed our board and published in its latest issue an article about UBIK Solutions and the OPTIVERTER® Technology in both its Estonian- and Russian-written editions.
During an interview held at the Power Electronics Group Laboratories of the Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ), the board of the firm spoke about the founding story, the shareholders and the team and how the OPTIVERTER® Technology became a reality.
Power Electronics Group Laboratories of the Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ) - From left to right and from top to bottom: Tanel Jalakas (Senior Hardware Engineer), Hannes Agabus (CBDO), Dmitri Vinnikov (CTO), Gerardo García Díaz (NPI Manager) and Andre Lindvest (CEO).
Our CTO and Scientist of the year 2016 in the TTÜ, Dr.Sc.techn. Dmitry Vinnikov, explained Äripäev how UBIK Solutions is the result of his long scientific work and how in three years we have successfully reached a working product that represents a totally unique approach in the solar industry.
"Our innovative Optiverter, so-called “shadow-tolerant maximum power point tracking”, enables efficient energy production, even with a significantly shaded solar panel. This ensures maximum energy output, even if, for example, two out of three strings of the panel are dirty, covered with snow or wood leaves and therefore completely or partially shaded" noted Vinnikov.
The product is currently in its testing and certification stage in order to enter the European market next Autumn while US release will follow in 2018, as it was explained to Äripäev by Andre Lidvest, our CEO.
He also told the journalists another of the great advantages of the device: that it is suitable for all panel types. “Our biggest competitive advantage lies in the fact that in worst case scenarios, such as solar panel shading, our converter can handle about 30% more energy from the panel," Lindvest said.
Hannes Agabus, our CBDO, explained how the S350 OPTIVERTER® is a truly all-in-one device, integrating the communications gateway and allowing the customer to monitor the system via FlowEM—our web, Android and iOS management application, which name is also registeded.
"Already now, you can monitor the production of electricity and the parameters of the state of solar panels to make sure that everything is in order. Our next step is to offer a deeper analysis to optimize the energy flow and move forward towards an increasingly integrated and experienced consumer" Agabus said.
In the business side, he also acknowledges the challenge that represents the business-academic cooperation, since the company is at the intersection of business and science: "We had to do everything very constructively, and think on many steps forward".
Roman Kosenko, Control Software Engineer, configures the devices that are currently testing at Seljametsa, in Pärnu, Estonia.
Martin Kruus, Chairman of the Board of 4Energia and one of the shareholders of the firm, spoke also in the article about the importance of renewable energies and how the sun and the wind are in some sense rivals, but in practice, operate in many different niches. For Kruus, the advantage of solar energy is not only that it is releatively easy to integrate in buildings, but also that since in that case the production is close to the consumer and the energy produced can be directly consumed, network charges are reduced to a third.
Vinnikov added that everything goes to the fact that the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, that requires all new buildings to be nearly zero-energyby the end of 2020, will be a great motivation for solar energy since, for small households, windmills are not suitable in a densely built environment. Agabus added also that the product could be integrated without problems into any "smart house".
UBIK Solutions is expected to be, by 2021, a recognised global player in the Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE) market under 10kW with an estimated Compound Anual Grouth Rate (CAGR) of circa 30% and an estimated market share of +10%.
Before that, the firm aims to raise capital “in order to validate the solution for customers, start production and sales, while continuing to develop, make the product more functional, compact, smarter and cheaper”, noted Lindvest.
“We have a good chance to enter the highly popular energy storage world and provide innovative power electronics solutions. Solar energy with storage is an undeniable future. However, it is a very capital intensive and time-consuming development, which many fear.”
Based on the Estonian and Russian articles of Alyona Stadnik. TTÜ Laboratory picture by Andras Kralla.
About the publisher:
Äripäev is the leading B2B publisher and the biggest conference maker for managers in Estonia. Its namesake flaghsip publication is the most read among decision makers in the Nordic country. The mission of Äripäev as a company is to make the Estonian business environment a shiny example in transparency and entrepreneurship on a global scale by being the leading information provider to business professionals.