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Energy efficient hybrid applications resulting from company collaboration

Trying to do everything alone is not always useful, particularly when a good partnership brings real synergy benefits. This is the belief of both VEO and Danish electronics manufacturer Danfoss, who have been successfully cooperating with each other since 1996. Today the companies are working together on the manufacture of components, which are used in some of the most demanding hybridisation solutions on the market.

VEO and Danfoss share a common history: back in the 1990s, the company known as Danfoss Drives today was called Vacon, which operated on VEO’s premises. Although Vacon changed its name to Danfoss Drives after merging with the Danish company in 2014, the cooperation with VEO has remained the same.

Together, VEO and Danfoss Drives have successfully delivered hundreds of joint projects to customers around the world. Recently most of these ventures have focused on hybridisation, which is used to improve the efficiency of electricity, prevent interference, optimise equipment dimensioning and control network behaviour, for example by balancing load or frequency support.

”Among other things, hybridisation has the advantage of saving energy costs and correcting possible defects. We mostly work with Danfoss in AC-drive projects, where Danfoss manufactures the Common DC Bus equipment and VEO incorporates it into switchgear to form hybrid technology applications. So, we are both integrating things together in these projects,” says VEO’s Drives Sales Manager, Jouni Rintamäki.

Hybridisation is one of the main trend topics of our time. The most common form of such technology is an electric energy storage, typically Lithium-ion battery, added to a system. Most people know of hybrid technology through hybrid cars, but the same technology is also found in many industries like mining equipment and as well as marine.

”Although hybridisation applications enable today’s most efficient energy use, it would not be possible for us to produce it without collaboration. Both VEO and we at Danfoss need each other’s knowhow and products to be part of the hybridisation market. Battery technology makes it possible to reduce traditional engine usage, which means that engines are not running unnecessarily, emissions are reduced, and efficiency is increased. As the share of electric operations increases, the use of fossil fuels can be reduced,” explains Marine and Offshore Global Director of Danfoss Drives Martti Alatalo.

”For us, VEO is a long-standing and extremely reliable partner because they can manufacture high-quality products and create functional designs. Every order in a hybridisation project is unique, so it is a great advantage for us that the strength of VEO is in tailormade solutions. We can always rely on our joint projects being completed. The market is now getting stronger, and there is a growing demand for hybridisation. That is why we have also focused on it even more than before,” Alatalo continues.

The cooperation between VEO and Danfoss is remarkable; not only because of their long history together, but also because of the geographical proximity of the companies – there are only 30 metres separating the front doors of their offices in Vaasa.

”Things can often be dealt with very quickly when there is no need to travel between cities or countries. This makes the work more effective, which is beneficial for everyone. Since working together has been fruitful for both companies, we have intensified our collaboration over the past few years, and it will develop even further in the future,” says Timo Ala-Heikkilä, CEO of VEO.

Although hybridisation is now on everybody’s lips, at some point the technology will become standard ­– as with all innovations.

”In the future, other energy sources may appear alongside batteries, and energy production is likely to become even more diverse as new technology develops. Our cooperation with VEO will change as the world changes, so we can only wait and see in which direction we are heading from here,” Alatalo muses.

”But even if the trend changes, the cooperation between VEO and Danfoss remains. The goal is that someday the customer sees only one system integrator in a project, even though there are two separate companies involved,” Ala-Heikkilä concludes.