Rockfin is working on technologies that will help transform the energy market. For the better.
There is a huge responsibility on our shoulders - the results of our work will, hopefully, support the energy transition that is now a policy priority for many countries and global companies – says Dariusz Mroczka, director of the technical and development department at Rockfin.
Darek, it seems that you have been working at Rockfin for quite some time. So you could observe the evolution of the company and its various stages of development.
That is correct. I have been at Rockfin for 20 years now. During these two decades, I have seen how the company's business is growing, how the energy market and its needs are changing, and what trends are shaping the entire industry. I started in Rockfin when it was a small organisation that employed 40 people. Over the following years, I have gained experience, which has enabled me to hold my current position. I’m managing a team of nine excellent, competent and passionate experts who are responsible for the processes that the company handles, and for the design of equipment, as well as the development and implementation of new solutions that meet the growing needs of our customers.
The scope of your tasks is very wide.
Yes, and they are highly dependent on a particular project. The main focus of our work is the relevant leveraging of our know-how. In addition, my team is responsible for preparing the documentation of prototype devices and optimisations on implemented and commercialised products, e.g. reducing the manufacturing costs of devices (without reducing their quality) as well as improving their competitiveness. In addition, we are constantly improving existing products for new applications. For example, in the field of filtration it is connected with the purification of natural gas or hydrogen.
Do you participate in every stage of these processes?
In fact, there is no need for this. Rockfin employs the best specialists on the market. This is why I focus mainly on solutions requested by new customers. In this case it is particularly important to thoroughly analyse the needs of the company in order to provide it with the most optimal tool. Among other things, I am also working on Green Box technology, which involves the production and storage of green hydrogen. This is a conceptual work, which at the moment is in the R&D phase. Currently, together with my team, I am also working on gas purification technology, including hydrogen. In addition to new trends, we are also focusing on improving the efficiency of existing processes. For example, we are currently participating in a project to build an installation for the conversion of waste heat into electricity, based on the Rankine cycle. In many industrial plants in Poland, this heat is currently being lost. If the project is successful and this technology is implemented, energy efficiency will improve throughout Poland. There is a lot of work to do, but it is an extremely fascinating and rewarding job. There is also a huge responsibility on our shoulders - the results of our work, hopefully, will support the energy transition, which is now a policy priority for many countries and global companies.
What does the conceptual work on the Green Box look like?
The Green Box technology itself comprises several devices that can be obtained from the market. Our task is to integrate them, and ultimately to manufacture some of them ourselves.
A container construction of Green Box would be suitable for outdoor operations, with standardised dimensions and which would be relatively easy to transport. It would make it possible to provide dedicated solutions that are competitive in terms of both price and lead time. Depending on the selected variant, the Green Box could be equipped with an electrolyser with individually selected operating parameters, a compressor to pressurise hydrogen to the required pressure level (e.g. 350 or 700bar), a water demineralisation system, a hydrogen purification system of up to 99.999% purity, and a set of storage tanks.
Okay, but you have mentioned that your team is also responsible for optimising existing Rockfin products.
This is an extremely important part of our work. Every solution must be optimised based on the changing needs of the customer and the trends that shape the extremely dynamic energy market. We need to stay one step ahead of these trends. Moreover, any mistake or oversight can result in a loss of reputation and trust between us and our partners, the end consumers of our solutions. Therefore, every solution we deliver must meet all of our high-quality standards. Thanks to this approach, we successfully build long-term relationships with our customers.
At the end of the day, quality is what matters most to your customers.
That's true, but you have to be careful with over designing - any solution has to be bespoke, taking into account the interests of the customer, which means also offering a reasonable cost for the technology we provide. In our industry, quality is often defined as the lifespan of a particular device and refers to a 35 to 40-year lifespan. In addition, there is a time warranty period, where we commit to repairing malfunctions. The delivery time of the equipment, which is also key, depends on the efficiency of our work.
And if you had to indicate the priorities for Rockfin in the coming months, or maybe years?
There is no doubt that these are hydrogen technologies; they are the future of the market, the cornerstone of a sustainable energy sector. We want to take an active part in this process, and certainly do our bit by providing the technologies that will enable hydrogen storage. This is the aim of the development of the Green Box. Current energy losses with storage are around 50%. My team is working to reduce them significantly.
Another priority for the entire industry, globally, is decarbonisation - individual companies, but also countries, not just the most developed ones - such as India or Brazil, are declaring their intention to achieve zero net carbon. Our aim is to help meet these targets. About a year ago, for example, we started deliveries of auxiliary modules to synchronous condensers, which is used to compensate for short-term changes in the energy system. This is applicable to wind farms, for example.
How do you manage to find the time and energy to balance all these tasks?
I won't be very original if I say that as long as passion is your job, you don't treat it as an obligation. It drives you to do your best every day. I am also aware that I am working on technologies that will help change our world for the better. This is the best motivation to set the bar higher and higher for myself. We want to become the leading technology company in the energy field. We also have long-term plans to strengthen cooperation with scientific communities. For years, we have also been cooperating with the Gdansk University of Technology, where we have been supporting the implementation of new solutions and commercialisation of ideas. I cannot complain about boredom in my work.