16 Mar 2016 Meet the 2016 National Finalists
This year’s six Shell Springboard national finalists are competing to receive an additional £110,000 funding to help scale-up their innovative low-carbon technologies.
Each of the finalists have, over the past month, been named finalists at the Shell Springboard regional finals, winning £40,000 each in funding. They include Water Engine Technologies, C-Capture, Innova Renewables, Epicam Ltd, NVP Energy and ZERO. Each impressed the independent panel of low-carbon experts with the commercial viability, innovation and carbon savings of their ideas.
The overall national winner will have their funding award topped up by £110,000 to a total of £150,000, which will help them further develop and grow their low-carbon business.
The six finalists plan to scale up their businesses using Shell Springboard funding – either by strengthening their existing market position through targeting new contracts and sales, or by developing dynamic new applications for their innovations.
Water Engine Technologies
Water Engine Technologies has secured a place in the national final for the development of their innovative Water Engine device that harnesses low-head hydropower in local communities across the globe.
Designed specifically to operate in shallow waters, the compact Water Engine not only converts the natural power of water pressure into a renewable energy source, but it can also be used as an irrigation pump and water treatment and desalination unit.
Water Engine Technologies hope that the Shell Springboard funding will support the installation of the first Water Engine demonstration unit in the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders.
C-Capture, a spin-out company from the University of Leeds, developed technology to remove or ‘scrub’ carbon dioxide (CO2) from different industrial gas streams. These could be from large scale point sources such as power stations to smaller scale applications such as biogas upgrading technologies. Put simply, the technology is able to capture CO2 emissions with minimal energy input.
C-Capture hopes that the Shell Springboard funding will help establish the company in the biogas upgrading technology market. The company’s longer term objective is to apply the innovative technology to industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) applications and fossil fuel power stations.
Innova Renewables impressed the judges with the development of FlettnerFlow, a new technology that drives vehicle fuel efficiency.
The renewable technology company’s product is a unique but simple device that acts as an air diverter. When attached to the back of a large vehicle it reduces drift, therefore reducing the volume and energy needed to act against the low-pressure turbulence left behind. Innova Renewables estimates this could allow the vehicle to use around 17% less fuel.
The Shell Springboard funding will assist Innova Renewable’s wider business development plans. It aims to appoint four Non-Executive Directors, which will help strengthen and develop the company’s offering.
Epicam Ltd has created a Liquid Energy Storage and Regeneration (LAESAR) system that offers a means to provide renewable energy for ‘on demand’ use within stationary applications, transport and power supplies. Epicam previously developed frictionless engine technology for the aerospace industry. But it was only in 2013, when this concept received attention as a novel energy storage solution, that inventor Tony Dye realised his technology’s potential to support a low-carbon energy future.
With Shell Springboard funding Epicam hope to be able to produce a small prototype energy regeneration engine. Should they go onto receive the £110,000 national prize, they would be able to develop a full-scale system to demonstrate the 65% energy efficiency possible via the complete cycle of power energy storage and regeneration.
NVP Energy has developed a unique carbon neutral technology that treats wastewater while producing reusable energy at the same time. Utilising the principles of anaerobic digestion, NVP Energy harnesses the sludge generated during the wastewater treatment process to produce methane biogas, available for subsequent re-use. This process means that customers are able to generate heat and electricity on-site, helping businesses save money and cut down on their carbon emissions.
NVP plans to use Shell Springboard funding to scale up business operations. NVP has also secured its first full scale order with ABP Foods, one of Europe’s largest meat processors.
ZERO Carbon Future
ZERO impressed the Shell Springboard judges with their new approach to heat network technology. Their Minibems product enables conventional and renewable heat sources to operate alongside each other in an advanced, seamless way. Designed for domestic and industrial use, Minibems provides control and monitoring of complex, integrated energy networks in one solution.
The Shell Springboard funding will be used to launch a national sales and marketing campaign. The company also hopes to set up a state-of-the-art training facility where prospective installers and partners from the construction sector can learn about how to use the new technology.