Meet the 2015 Shell Springboard national finalists
Deciwatt has secured a place in the national final for their inspirational product, GravityLight. Its technology harnesses the force of gravity to generate sustainable energy that makes light available to people living in off-grid areas.
Using only a 12kg bag threaded through a patented electricity-gathering device to power a small light, GravityLight eliminates the significant carbon emissions created by the kerosene lamps it replaces, along with the danger of fire and smoke fumes. Moreover, GravityLight enables families in the developing world to break out of the ongoing poverty trap caused by the costs of buying kerosene for traditional lamps.
Deciwatt hopes that the additional funding and recognition from the national final of the Shell Springboard final in London will help them gain the profile and financial boost to secure new global contracts, particularly in the emergency relief market.
Bactest impressed the judges with Shepherd, a cutting-edge monitoring technology helping water companies to save energy.
Shepherd is designed to manage and monitor activated sludge (sewage with the solids removed) a key step in the waste water treatment process that requires healthy biological activity. However the current test to measure the health of this bacteria takes five days, thus test results cannot be used for operational decision making. To ensure that the process is optimal, waste water companies estimate the amount of oxygen required by bacteria to keep it healthy, frequently over estimating by as much as 33%. Over-aeration is costly and wastes energy.
Shepherd’s technology delivers this test on bacteria every 60 minutes, enabling waste water companies to cut aeration to the optimal amount required by the process and save energy. If Shepherd were to be implemented across just 135 UK water plants, it could save 16,000 tonnes of CO2! Bactest plan to use Shell Springboard funding to accelerate commercialisation of the product, boosting Shepherd sales in the UK and enabling the start-up to commence its search for international distributors.
Yomp’s innovative software encourages workers to take up low-carbon travel options for their commute, such as walking, running, cycling and car sharing. The company has developed a gamified, B2B online platform and mobile app that rewards users for their transport and lifestyle decisions, incentivising them to make more sustainable choices with a unique rewards system that has already been rolled out by one corporate client in 45 offices across 10 countries. It’s a great example of the recent trend for data-based approaches to lowering carbon emissions, as it encourages individuals to reduce their personal carbon-intensity by using a software solution.
With the LSE suggesting that a 20% increase in the number of people running, walking and cycling to work could save the economy £71m by lowering pollution levels, Yomp’s Shell Springboard funding will help the company expand into international markets.
WITT Energy have invented a device which captures wave energy from all six degrees of motion (up and down, side to side and diagonally). WITT produces pioneering technology that collects energy from water, wind or any other type of movement with no impact on the environment. With substantial variation in size and weight, WITT can be applied to buoys and small vessels, removing the need for an external generator to reduce carbon emissions.
With the support of Shell Springboard funding, the company now holds ambitious plans for future applications such as grid scale tidal energy production using a large-scale WITT device. The team is also looking at the possibility of modifying WITT to its smallest size yet, so that it would charge your mobile phone simply by collecting the energy from your daily movements.
Econic Technologies has developed cutting-edge, patented technology that can transform CO2 into plastic and other polymers. Chemically, plastic is made up of lots of very long chains, called polymers, consisting of mainly carbon. Imagine such a polymer chain as a string of beads, each bead made from petrochemical oil. Now imagine replacing every second bead with captured CO2. The catalyst that allows manufacturers to do this is Econic’s innovation – for every tonne of plastic created, more than a tonne of CO2 is saved.
Econic plans to use Shell Springboard funding to scale up activity in its primary market, applying the catalyst innovation to everyday plastics found in insulation and shoe soles. They will also target new applications in higher value engineering materials such as the plastics used for stadium roofs and car headlights.
Oxsensis have impressed the Shell Springboard judges with their new generation of non-electrical engine sensors which can operate in environments of up to 1000 degrees C, which is 300 degrees hotter than existing sensors. This means that Oxsensis sensors can be used in engine locations that traditional sensors wouldn’t be able to tolerate, for instance aircraft engine combustion systems. The company’s sensor measures multiple data types, such as pressure and temperature concurrently, reducing carbon emissions by providing the intelligence for engines to run more efficiently and thereby use less fuel.
While Oxsensis previously focussed on gas turbines and aircraft systems, the Shell Springboard funding will enable the company to expand into the shipping industry. This sector currently emits one billion tons of CO2 each year. By increasing engine pressures and temperatures of operation, whilst detecting and hence avoiding damaging combustion instability, implementation of Oxsensis technology across the sector could significantly reduce fuel consumption and save up to 30,000,000 tons of carbon annually!
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