13 Mar 2019 Introducing your Shell Springboard 2019 semi-finalists
We’re incredibly excited about the first semi-final of Shell Springboard 2019, which is taking place later this week in Aberdeen. Verco, a delivery partner of the competition specialising in low carbon technologies, has whittled down a hugely diverse pool of 100 applicants to 16 semi-finalists and now the judges have the unenviable challenge of selecting the businesses to go through to the National final taking place in July in London.
The semi-finalists will be assessed by an independent panel of judges, including Prof Gary McEwan, CEO, Elevator UK; Seamus McCabe, Vice President, Green Investment Group; Morag McCorkindale, Team Leader, Aberdeen City Council and Prof Susan Roaf, Emeritus Professor of Architectural Engineering, Heriot-Watt University.
Introducing, the Shell Springboard 2019 semi-finalists for Aberdeen:
Edinburgh-based Power REOptimise Systems has developed a way to improve the operational efficiency of wind and hydro turbines with its innovative Autonomous Continuous Turbine Optimisation System (ACTOS), a software platform that applies machine learning techniques with accurate system models to adjust the turbine control settings.
Founder Juan Pablo Echenique developed the technology as part of his PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Through related grant-funded research activities they were able to interview a wide variety of stakeholders across the wind industry, giving them a well-rounded understanding of the potential value of their software and how to sell it.
Compressed air is one of the major drains on electricity in industrial manufacturing. A typical system is based on centralised compressors and a network of distribution pipes which can lead to poor efficiency through air leakages and standby losses. Vert Rotors UK has developed a new type of high pressure, low noise and low vibration compressor, the output of which can be more easily modulated than in conventional air distribution systems. The company’s technology is designed to avoid air leakages and standby losses, which frequently account for 30% of energy consumption in centralised systems.
In India crop irrigation by electric pumps is heavily subsidised, but tends to be delivered when power is available, not when crops need it. The Farm Hand is a method of pump control that reduces over-irrigation (70% reduction in energy) and improves crop yield (30% increase in yield) with a two year payback that has been developed with the farmers and can be delivered, by aggregators, through the existing farm infrastructure.
Innova are working in the water and waste space in order to develop its Solar Cyclone, which aims to drive vapour space circulation and increase output within passive desalinators. The cleansing of dirty/brackish water by Reverse Osmosis is a major consumer of fossil energy and emitter of CO2. The possibility of replacing some of this capacity with Innova’s innovation could significantly reduce these emissions.
Based on 20 years’ worth of research at Queen’s University Belfast, Blow Moulding Technologies has developed its innovative simulation software that aims to optimise the design of blown bottles made from bioplastics. As most existing companies in this space use a trial and error approach, Blow Moulding’s software should help to accelerate the adoption of more sustainable packaging by providing the first validated bio-plastic software solution which is easy to use and accessible to all via software licence.
Fernhay Partners’ mission is to remove the van from end to end parcel movements in the UK and beyond, therefore lowering the carbon footprint of package deliveries and returns. Without the need to run all final deliveries using diesel vans, urban fuel burn levels are drastically reduced. Improving the efficiency of loading goods onto other transport modes, alongside making better use of human energy and renewables in the last mile, reduces specific energy consumption associated CO2 releases.
Oxford Nanosystems is driving forward innovations in the waste heat recovery space, through the development of its innovative nanocrystal surface coating that aim to increase heat exchanger performance. Heat exchangers have widespread applications and can be used in air conditioning, refrigeration, heat recovery systems and other key areas such as in Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems.
MasterFilter is working to reduce wind turbine downtime and, subsequently, operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, with improved gearbox oil filtration. Gearbox failure is common reason for wind turbine down time, and incurs significant costs. Contamination of lubricants through particulate and water are contributing factors to gearbox failure, and MasterFilter has developed a product that aims to clean oil and remove water more effectively than other systems available.
Once the Aberdeen semi-final has taken place, the countdown is on to April, when the second semi-final takes place in Manchester. Then, it’s on to the grand final taking place in July in London, where the overall winner of Shell Springboard 2019 will be crowned.