Enecsys, the 'green' technology spin-out from Cambridge University's Engineering Department, has recently received funding of over 350,000 to help develop new systems to increase the uptake of renewable energy.
Funding boost for green energy development
The company has received 83,000 from Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds, and 250,000 from the Carbon Trust to further develop its technology that enables solar generated electricity to be fed back into the grid. Further support of 40,000 has been awarded for services from the Imperial Carbon Trust incubator.
Enecsys is developing a series of power-conditioning units (PCU), or inverters, that take the output directly from each individual solar panel and conditions it to be directly fed back into the mains grid, thus qualifying for government incentives on 'feed-in' tariffs where applicable.
The patented Enecsys technology provides several key advantages over existing systems, especially ease and cost of installation, reliability and improved system efficiency giving faster payback on capital costs than current systems.
Panels with Enecsys PCUs can be easily installed at any level of modularity and offer a high degree of flexibility for architects and designers. The proprietary electronics ensures reduced maintenance costs due to higher systems reliability. Also the modular architecture is able to overcome "shading losses" and other efficiency problems seen in current systems.
CEO of Enecsys, Dr Asim Mumtaz said, "The global grid connected solar market is growing rapidly, especially in those countries where 'feed in' tariffs act as an incentive. As a result of the Kyoto protocol, a number of governments have set targets on the supply of electricity from renewable sources.
'In the United Kingdom, the target by year 2010 is to have 10% of the electricity from renewable energy sources. We believe our work will help increase the uptake of green technologies in the global renewables market.
"This new funding will enable us to further develop the prototypes, and particularly ensure we have a robust working model that meets the rigorous standards for grid connection. This is transferable technology and in the future Enecsys will be pursuing applications with wind turbines and fuel cells."
Dr Nick Slaymaker from the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds, said, "The work of the Enecsys team has already been subject to a number of awards and investments. The company has a tangible offering, for which there is a global market. Our funding will allow Enecsys to come closer to realising its full financial and environmental potential, thus bringing benefits to everyone."
Raphael Slade, R&D Manager at the Carbon Trust, added "The Carbon Trust's Applied Research programme is highly competitive and seeks to support the commercialisation of innovative technology with the potential to reduce carbon emissions. This project aims to test whether Enecsys's technology will be cost effective and commercially viable and we look forward to the results."
Cambridge Enterprise facilitates the commercial development of intellectual property (IP) developed at the University of Cambridge. Cambridge Enterprise is one of the United Kingdom's leading knowledge transfer offices, licensing patents and other IP to existing companies, both large and small as well as to spinouts formed to exploit University technology. For the academic year ending 2005, 40 licences were entered into and income from licensing exceeded 2.7 million. Additionally, consultancy agreements generated 1.5 million.
Working together with angels, venture capital funds, University staff and students, Cambridge Enterprise facilitates the formation of around thirty new companies each year (about five of which are based on University-owned intellectual property).
Further information on Cambridge Enterprise can be found at: http://www.enterprise.cam.ac.uk
Enecsys was incorporated in July 2003 after winning the Cambridge University 50K Business Creation competition, and becoming finalists in the London School Social Venture competition. The team was spun out of the Electronics, Power and Energy Conversion Group at the University of Cambridge Engineering Department, following significant research in this sector. Enecsys has developed proprietary power electronics control and integrated circuit technology to pioneer the next generation of power conditioning units for grid-connected renewable energy applications. The company is located on the Cambridge Science Park.
The Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust works with UK businesses and the public sector to cut carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies. An independent company set up by Government to help the UK meet its climate change obligations, the Carbon Trust creates practical business-focused solutions to carbon emission reduction on energy efficiency, carbon management, and investment.
The Carbon Trust's annual funding is in excess of 69m in grants from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and Invest NI.
The Carbon Trust also promotes the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) Scheme for energy saving investments on behalf of Defra and manages the associated Energy Technology List. This ECA scheme is a tax relief that enables businesses to claim 100% first-year capital allowances on investments in energy saving equipment listed on the approved Energy Technology List. Further details on qualifying products and ECAs are available at www.thecarbontrust.co.uk/eca
For advice on energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions contact the Carbon Trust on 0800 085 2005 or visit www.thecarbontrust.co.uk/energy
For more information on the Carbon Trust visit www.thecarbontrust.co.uk
The Carbon Trust, Imperial Innovations, Low Carbon Incubator
The incubator assists inventors and entrepreneurs, not only from within Imperial College but also externally, with commercialising their technology. The incubator team helps suitable applicants build their management team, develop business skills, build the business case and help prepare a business plan in order to attract necessary levels of capital investment. They will provide this support as well as providing advice on corporate finance, mentoring for the management team, energy-related market research and guidance on technical support.
Dr Nick Slaymaker, Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds, 10 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1QA UK 01223 763764, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Asim Mumtaz, Enecsys Ltd, 01223 437049, email@example.com
Jane Heeney, Elements PR, 01223 421605, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.