Sustainabilitylive offered the perfect platform for established players to start-ups in the sustainability and cleantech spaces to pitch their products. From the several hundred exhibiting and participating in the conference, we have selected five to watch:
Who says you can’t be clean and green in the automotive sector and deliver power? Not Aeristech, which has developed an engine turbocharging technology that reduces carbon emissions, enables engine downsizing and improves driving performance whilst managing cost and weight. If all of this sounds too good to be true, believe the hype: Aeristech’s motor generator is already being considered for Formula 1 cars for the 2014 season. There are also projects in development for mainstream motor vehicle applications, including a main drive electric motor which requires 20% fewer rare earths, a micro gas turbine range extender, which delivers power generation for EVs, as well as a hydrogen fuel cell air compressor.
Like our client Xeros, Aeristech has also been feted by the Clean and Cool Mission 2012 which selected Aeristech as one of its Mission companies. The Mission aims to facilitate dynamic UK talent in the influential U.S. market. Only sixteen firms make the cut. They must demonstrate the “potential to become future UK leaders of a low carbon economy,” through high growth potential and ground-breaking products tackling Earth’s environmental challenges. With an impeccable board of directors and a game changing technology to cut carbon dioxide emissions and improve performance, Aeristech looks set to race ahead. www.aeristech.co.uk
Voltage optimisation technology is one of the viable ways to reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions and the biggest brand in the sector is powerPerfector. It introduced the concept to the UK from Japan, which at the time was facing the soaring energy bills that are now familiar here.
Although voltage optimisation is an easily understood concept and demand for the technology is high due to the price of energy and legislation requirements, companies in the sector struggle to stand out.
Step forward PowerSines, which differentiates by the ability to control and optimise voltage proactively and measure savings in real time. All of its systems are designed with a topology of transformers and switchgear (known as RIGHTvoltage) that enable controlling the output voltage with small steps. Unlike systems based on step-down autotransformers, PowerSines devices use its INV technology to control and transform only a part of the voltage that should be reduced from the mains.
The firm, which is Israeli and backed investment capital from Arison Investments, is intent on shaking up the UK market. Its marketing is every bit as slick as powerPerfector and its blog, cheeky and irreverent and informative in equal measures, is well worth a read! www.powersines.com
Brother and sister team of Sir Brian Souter and Ann Gloag have made Stagecoach one of the most successful companies in the UK. They’ve been quick to embrace clean technology in running the transport business and applied the same level of innovative thinking to set up Argent Energy.
Argent Energy produces biodiesel from tallow and used cooking oil by-products. A plant was established back in 2005 with a £17 million grant. In 2009, a further £1.8million was invested, supported by a grant from the Scottish Government, to build a pre-processing facility. This allows Argent Energy to remove impurities from raw materials ready for the chemical biodiesel production process. It means that Argent Energy can use more locally produced tallow as well as used cooking oil. In taking the problem and converting it to energy, the region’s catering and hospitality sectors as well as the Scottish red meat sector have every reason to get on board the Souter family’s waste-to-energy venture. www.argentenergy.com/about/
Ferrets are well known for getting down holes and Ferret Technology chose its name well: the water industry in England and Wales loses 3.36 billion litres of water a day in leaks and Ferret Technology aims to ferret out the problem.
Detecting leaks on small-bore service pipelines is time consuming, costly and disruptive. Leaks are often small, rarely visible on the surface and make little or no noise. Identifying the exact location of leaks often requires expensive exploratory work to expose or re-lay sections of pipework.
The Ferret patented technology provides a fast and accurate method for finding even the smallest leaks, on pipelines made of plastic, copper and lead. The system is designed for pipework in the 10mm-50mm internal diameter (ID) range.
The system comprises of a loose fitting plug (the Head) that is introduced into the pipeline via an existing access point such as a meter or valve pit, or directly into the exposed pipeline.
The Head is inflated with mains water pressure to block the pipeline. A separate stream of mains water (the Drive) is introduced behind the Head. The Head and Drive pressures are manipulated using the Ferret. Once the pressures are balanced the Head will move along the pipeline. When the Head passes a leak it stops automatically. The water loss through the leak is recorded by a flow sensor in the Ferret system, providing instantaneous quantification of the leak size.
A flexible umbilical cord attached to the Head contains a trace wire that allows the depth and position of the buried pipeline to be traced and the exact position of the Head / leak to be located accurately. The leak location process can be repeated to find any number of leaks in a pipeline. Up to fifty meters of pipeline can be surveyed from a single access point. www.ferret-technology.com
Extreme Mobile Information Gathering System – aka E-MIGs – is a start-up that’s looking to transform external asset inspections by putting GPS spies in the sky. The product lives up to its acronym: E-MIGS look like fierce radio-controlled toys for big boys and though they could be used for recreation the camera and GPS equipment they carry are designed for serious applications, such as asset geomapping, linear asset surveys and aerial leak detection, as well as internal inspections of reservoirs, sewers and other confined spaces. In fact, the applications could be much wider. E-MIGS could be used in disaster relief and humanitarian aid situations, to monitor biodiversity and environmental concerns, as well as provide manifold benefits in building and construction, all from safe, legal and carefully controlled heights as long as you have the equivalent of an E-MIG pilot’s license. It’s a novel technology, which though lacking obvious IP at this stage, could take off.