Innovators of the month: Bengt-Göran Persson, Gunnar Larsson and Lennart Fellinger
Innovation of the month: Solar-powered bilge pump



Bengt-Göran Persson, Gunnar Larsson and Lennart Fellinger were originally colleagues but are now retired. But none of them have slowed down for it. During the summer, their companies are at their busiest, when the trio's innovations sell best. Their solar-powered bilge pump, pumps rainwater out of the boat and saves you the trouble of scooping it out. 

 

As former hydraulic engineers at Parker Hanniflin in Borås, the three gentlemen are used to working long days and when it was time to retire, they found it hard to unwind.



"From the beginning, the plan was to retire and go lobster fishing. We were hoping for a catch and stood around for a long time waiting. Well, we are still waiting, so it's lucky that we are now running our own business," says Gunnar.

 

When the lobster fishery turned out to be slow, ideas for solutions to everyday problems began to sprout. Inventions for flagpoles and scanner holders were among those discussed. But in 2018, Gunnar, Bengt-Göran and Lennart met at Parker's Christmas lunch for pensioners and the idea of a joint venture was born. It was the start of their company, GLB Nordica AB and their innovation solar-powered bilge pump.

 
"I was tired of bailing my boat and found it hard to go out to the summer cottage to check on the boat and make sure it hadn't sunk. Now I don't have to," says Bengt-Göran.

 

They all live in Borås and have both a country home and a boat. In the past, they have all been worried about the boat filling up with rainwater and sinking.


"When you have an open boat, part of everyday life is to regularly go and bail the boat. In a normal summer, there are several thousand litres of rainwater to be bailed. But with the solar-powered bilge pump, you can now do something more fun," says Lennart.

Pumping out rainwater when the sun shines.


In the past, similar products have been based on the pump being powered by a battery and a solar cell maintaining the battery. They have always been integrated into a box, which becomes cumbersome and has to be placed low in the boat, meaning that the sun is often shaded and the solar cell is unable to keep the battery charged.

Trion has therefore opted for a smaller size of solar panel. This makes it easy to install on the boat. This solar-powered bilge pump makes it easier for the sun's rays to reach the solar cell and the pump quickly drains the boat of water.

"The bilge pump, pumps the boat when the sky is bright. An integrated electronic level switch then shuts off the pump when the boat is empty, Lennart says.

"Normally it rains 40 to 100 mm per month, which is pumped out in only 1 to 4 hours with our innovation. Since the sun shines 100 to 300 hours a month, the margin is huge," says Gunnar.

The pump doesn't flood the boat when there are a lot of clouds, so the trio have also developed an extra battery that can be bought separately for the solar pump. The extra battery makes it possible to save the solar energy so that the pump works even when the sun is not shining. 

 

Helping out at the warehouse but still having time for their hobbies

"The pump and the solar cells are imported from Asia, other things are bought in Sweden and some small items are made locally in Borås. The product is then packed and sent out from the warehouse in Sandared," says Bengt-Göran.

"We put a lot of focus on our marketing. Especially on Facebook advertising. Sometimes we are also out in the warehouse helping out, but we still have time for our hobbies," says Lennart.

 

Starting small and scaling up

It was easy to get started with the company. Starting small and scaling up. Being so smooth with both logistics and shipping was very surprising. You don't have to be a big company to have access to this. If you're used to working as much as we have, this is very easy,' says Gunnar.

The trio admit that their long experience in the working world has given them a big advantage when it comes to starting their own business. But they encourage future innovators to take the plunge.

 

"Ten percent is about having an idea, thirty percent about having a good product and the remaining sixty percent depends on how you market yourself," says Lennart.

 

In the future, there are plans to continue inventing.

 

"You should invent something that comes from a need. We have ideas about charging batteries for electric outboard motors and other needs that can be solved with solar cells. We might even continue the idea of our scanner tapes, we also have plans for things for the ski season and soon a new extra battery for the solar pump will be out," says Bengt-Göran.

 

 The trio agree that the combination of being self-employed and retired suits them well. Being able to choose when to work and when to take a boat trip instead.

Innovators of the month: Bengt-Göran Persson, Gunnar Larsson and Lennart Fellinger
Innovation of the month: Solar-powered bilge pump


Bengt-Göran Persson, Gunnar Larsson and Lennart Fellinger were originally colleagues but are now retired. But none of them have slowed down for it. During the summer, their companies are at their busiest, when the trio's innovations sell best. Their solar-powered bilge pump, pumps rainwater out of the boat and saves you the trouble of scooping it out. 

 

As former hydraulic engineers at Parker Hanniflin in Borås, the three gentlemen are used to working long days and when it was time to retire, they found it hard to unwind.

"From the beginning, the plan was to retire and go lobster fishing. We were hoping for a catch and stood around for a long time waiting. Well, we are still waiting, so it's lucky that we are now running our own business," says Gunnar.

 

When the lobster fishery turned out to be slow, ideas for solutions to everyday problems began to sprout. Inventions for flagpoles and scanner holders were among those discussed. But in 2018, Gunnar, Bengt-Göran and Lennart met at Parker's Christmas lunch for pensioners and the idea of a joint venture was born. It was the start of their company, GLB Nordica AB and their innovation solar-powered bilge pump.

 

"I was tired of bailing my boat and found it hard to go out to the summer cottage to check on the boat and make sure it hadn't sunk. Now I don't have to," says Bengt-Göran.

 

They all live in Borås and have both a country home and a boat. In the past, they have all been worried about the boat filling up with rainwater and sinking.


"When you have an open boat, part of everyday life is to regularly go and bail the boat. In a normal summer, there are several thousand litres of rainwater to be bailed. But with the solar-powered bilge pump, you can now do something more fun," says Lennart.

Pumping out rainwater when the sun shines.

In the past, similar products have been based on the pump being powered by a battery and a solar cell maintaining the battery. They have always been integrated into a box, which becomes cumbersome and has to be placed low in the boat, meaning that the sun is often shaded and the solar cell is unable to keep the battery charged.

Trion has therefore opted for a smaller size of solar panel. This makes it easy to install on the boat. This solar-powered bilge pump makes it easier for the sun's rays to reach the solar cell and the pump quickly drains the boat of water.

"The bilge pump, pumps the boat when the sky is bright. An integrated electronic level switch then shuts off the pump when the boat is empty," Lennart says.

"Normally it rains 40 to 100 mm per month, which is pumped out in only 1 to 4 hours with our innovation. Since the sun shines 100 to 300 hours a month, the margin is huge," says Gunnar.

The pump doesn't flood the boat when there are a lot of clouds, so the trio have also developed an extra battery that can be bought separately for the solar pump. The extra battery makes it possible to save the solar energy so that the pump works even when the sun is not shining. 

 

Helping out at the warehouse but still having time for their hobbies

"The pump and the solar cells are imported from Asia, other things are bought in Sweden and some small items are made locally in Borås. The product is then packed and sent out from the warehouse in Sandared," says Bengt-Göran.

"We put a lot of focus on our marketing. Especially on Facebook advertising. Sometimes we are also out in the warehouse helping out, but we still have time for our hobbies," says Lennart.

 

Starting small and scaling up

"It was easy to get started with the company. Starting small and scaling up. Being so smooth with both logistics and shipping was very surprising. You don't have to be a big company to have access to this. If you're used to working as much as we have, this is very easy," says Gunnar.

The trio admit that their long experience in the working world has given them a big advantage when it comes to starting their own business. But they encourage future innovators to take the plunge.

 

"Ten percent is about having an idea, thirty percent about having a good product and the remaining sixty percent depends on how you market yourself," says Lennart.

 

In the future, there are plans to continue inventing.

 

"You should invent something that comes from a need. We have ideas about charging batteries for electric outboard motors and other needs that can be solved with solar cells. We might even continue the idea of our scanner tapes, we also have plans for things for the ski season and soon a new extra battery for the solar pump will be out," says Bengt-Göran.

 

 The trio agree that the combination of being self-employed and retired suits them well. Being able to choose when to work and when to take a boat trip instead.


Mentioned products

Gunnar Larsson, Lennart Fellinger & Bengt-Göran Persson Gunnar Larsson, Lennart Fellinger & Bengt-Göran Persson
Solar-powered bilge pump Solar-powered bilge pump

Helps you to empty out water from the boat

82 €
Buy
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