– The plant is unique with two 10-megawatt units dedicated to research, development and education. These are large scale units in a Swedish perspective. We are implementing exciting demonstrations of new technologies that can play a major role in the industry. I hope that my involvement at Luleå University of Technology can help us to make the facility more accessible to other actors, both nationally and internationally, says Fredrik Engström, Head of Asset Management at Vattenfall Hydropower.
Wants to strengthen research and education
A model of one of the units is also available in Vattenfall's Älvkarleby Laboratory which makes it possible to study it in more detail and then compare with the large unit
– In my role as Chairman of the Porjus Hydropower Centre, I want to strengthen the link to Luleå University of Technology and eventually increase the activity of the plant that is intended for research and education. There is a natural connection to education with study visits, project work and guest lectures.
The recruitment is done within the framework of StandUp for Energy and there is a strong connection to the Swedish Hydropower Centre. Fredrik Engström will be assistant supervisor to doctoral students who graduate with a specialization in hydropower applications. He has a solid background with a MSc in Engineering Physics, PhD in fluid mechanics, researcher and consultant at the Energy Technology Center in Piteå and chief technology manager at Vattenfall Hydropower.
– I can help with hydropower expertise and problem definition in a relevant way, both from a hydropower perspective and a research perspective. My goal is to support and guide the hydropower-oriented research so that it becomes relevant both for research and industrial purposes. I would also want to make the hydro-oriented education attractive. The Porjus Hydropower Centre is a vital resource for achieving these goals.
Hydropower important to solve the climate threat
When it comes to the future from an environmental perspective, Fredrik Engström is hopeful that we will overcome that challenge.
– The climate threat is the big issue, but I do hope that we will cope with it, not least by changing the energy industry. It has come a long way and we have good opportunities to handle it with today's technology and know-how.
The type of energy that is closest to him, hydropower, is something he thinks will have an important role to handle the climate issue.
– Hydropower is a key part of the solution, not least in the Nordic region and Europe, but also in the rest of the world. It is a major energy resource with low environmental impact, but also a flexible resource that can enable new climate-friendly production of energy such as wind and solar power, where production varies with the weather. Hydropower's own environmental issue is the rivers ecosystem and there the question of the balance between the local ecological issue and the global energy issue is directly linked, says Fredrik Engström.
Photo: Ted Karlsson