Regional companies secure share of £116 million in new government funding to boost green innovation

Aceleron's Project BATLAB
Acceleron Battery Pack

Companies based across the region have secured a share of £116 million in funding to progress their home and buildings green innovation.

Abingdon-based Cognition Energy along with Oxford Nanosystems, Bromsgrove-based Aceleron Energy, Ada Mode in Bristol, Measurable Energy in Reading, Qdot Technology, based at Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire and Innovative Materials at Nuneaton in Warwickshire are among 54 projects from across the county which are developing new technologies that increase energy efficiency in homes and buildings, reduce carbon emissions, boost the UK’s energy security and provide cleaner ways to generate power and heat.

The government has also announced that it will make a further £64 million in government funding available to support projects that will capture carbon emissions and remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere – through the Direct Air Capture and Greenhouse Gas Removal programme; and a further  £30 million in funding to develop a wide range of new decarbonisation and energy saving technologies.

Oxford Nanosystems will use its funding to further develop its advanced coating technology and focus on the developments to coat the internal structure of fin and tube heat exchangers, for air source heat pumps, and brazed plate heat exchangers, for ground source heat pumps. The support will also aid OnS in the commercial developments required to achieve the maximum impact possible from the program. The work will all be carried out at OnS R&D facilities at the Abingdon Business Park in Oxfordshire.

Aceleron Energy’s Project BATLAB will design and develop a multifunctional pop­-up battery facility. The project will pull together the design and battery expertise of partners to produce a transportable solution which will include the ability to build, service and repurpose batteries. The creation of a proof-of-concept facility could revolutionise the battery manufacturing and service capability of the UK. Aceleron will build on its experience as a partner in two previous Faraday projects to successfully lead the project and provide a business model with tangible routes to market by the end of the project, as well as test, break down and repurpose second life automotive batteries, create inventory management and databases and traceability protocols for repurposing. Weston-super-Mare based Aspire Engineering will provide develop automated methods to build and dismantle battery packs while Witney, Oxfordshire based Venture Engineering will provide concepts and engineering for the proof of concept and future builds.

Ada Mode in Bristol is developing intelligent machine learning-based platform to reduce the cost of the operation and maintenance of offshore wind turbines, which could reduce the costs of renewable energy to the UK consumer. The Windscope project brings together wind turbine specialist engineers, machine learning specialists and industry representatives to develop a condition monitoring platform that will enable a flexible and independent predictive maintenance capability for offshore wind operators. The platform will be tailorable to any turbine design and will be licensed to operators on a per­MW subscription,allowing for maximum flexibility. The project will utilise concepts and technological development processes previously developed for delivering condition monitoring in the civil nuclear sector where Ada Mode’s technology has been shown to deliver considerable benefit to operators, with very short return ­on ­investment timescales.

Measurable Energy in Reading is developing the machine learning to identify and eliminate wasted energy. It focuses on reducing the considerable and, as of yet, relatively ignored small ­power sector of the commercial energy usage spectrum. Small power covers all devices that are either plugged into a socket or wired into a fuse spur; these devices are not centrally managed, monitored or controlled but account for approximately 40 per cent of a buildings energy use.

The Cognition Advanced Battery project at Abingdon will accelerate the market introduction of innovative battery technology that can last four times longer than competitors, reducing customer total cost of ownership by 75 per cent, the company claims. Cognition can optimise life performance of battery packs through its testing and design methods. More enduring battery packs reduce the total cost of ownership for customers, making a stronger business case for adopting the technology. Cognition has been able to substantiate life improvement claims by manufacturing and testing a prototype battery. This prototype capitalises on Cognition’s patent- pending electrical architecture. As a part of the project, Cognition will build a pilot battery manufacturing facility in Oxfordshire to produce mature prototypes for customer trials and fulfil small volume commercial contracts.

Innovative Materials’ INTEGRAL project in Nuneaton will develop cost effective thermo-electric generators for application in combined heat and power applications. It says the project will deliver a step change reduction in the cost of thermo-electrics, enabling the widespread uptake of thermo-electric devices within micro combined heat and power systems. This inturn will deliver both electrical efficiencies for the consumer, reducing household electricity and heating costs.

QDot Technology in Didcot has been developing high power density, high energy density, battery packs that incorporate advanced thermal management strategies. The primary objective of this project is to deploy this technology in a ducted fan propulsion system demonstrator designed for applications in hybrid-electric aircraft,