It was when Fredrik and his girlfriend wanted to build their own house while at the same time generating their own electricity that the need – and the problem - arose.
“People who generate their own electricity become more independent. But I thought that a good product was lacking on the market to handle generation and consumption at home. So I decided to solve the problem myself. To build and test things is what I do in my spare time,” says Fredrik Häggström, who also designs, thinks, and simulates things in his work as a postgraduate student at Luleå University of Technology.
The Innovation Award is a competition in which Vattenfall invites innovators, students and entrepreneurs to submit their innovations in the sector of smart homes, electrically powered transport, energy efficiency and microproduction. The prizes were awarded by Karl Bergman, Head of R&D at Vattenfall.
“Fredrik’s entry is a really good idea in a very interesting area. His ability to listen to feedback and make something creative out of it also played a big part in the jury’s decision,” he says.
The winning invention is currently sheathed in secrecy while Häggström examines which of its parts can be patented.
“But I can say this much, namely that it is a physical unit which is designed to fit in a small house. And that it enables smart production and consumption of home-generated electricity. I hope that it will be in the shops in two years’ time – though that may be a bit tight,” he says.
Bergman feels that Vattenfall needs help from outsiders in the big transition that the company is currently going through. And yet, many of these people could never imagine working in a big company.
“So we must find other ways to cooperate, and the Innovation Award is an example of that. Several of the final entries are really interesting, and we will continue to maintain a dialogue with their inventors,” he says.
After the prizes had been awarded, Fredrik managed to send one text that he had won, and then his phone never stops ringing. He appreciates the initiative and feels that small players and private individuals can find it difficult to go the whole way alone with their ideas.
“It’s great that Vattenfall is doing this. As a technically minded person, I have really had a lot of help from my mentors and the feedback I received,” he says before going on to accept his congratulations.