Peterborough firm wins share of £11m fund

A PETERBOROUGH firm that has developed a system that uses the sun to cool buildings and uses no electricity is one of the latest technologies backed by government experts.

The new innovation, one of 32 different projects that have been supported through the latest £11.3m round of the Energy Catalyst programme. The Energy Catalyst is a joint programme run by the Government’s innovation experts at Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Solar Polar, based in Peterborough, has invented a solar cooling system that will require no electrical power, will have no moving parts and will provide cooling at low cost. The innovative system design will be simple to build with local materials, will be easy to maintain, reliable and will have an operating lifetime of 30 years or more. It will be ideally suited to the cooling requirements of dwellings and small to medium sized offices, small scale food storage and retail spaces.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom said, “We are clear that taking action on climate change goes hand in hand with securing our long term economic and energy security. By backing businesses and helping them grasp the opportunity that clean growth represents we can have pro-growth climate action.

“That’s exactly what the Energy Catalyst, run by Innovate UK and the EPSRC, does and these businesses that we’re supporting today have recognised the growth and productivity boost that a clean economy represents.”

The Energy Catalyst programme supports innovative ideas all the way from early concept through to prototype demonstrators so long as they help tackle the energy ‘trilemma’ of reducing carbon emissions, reducing costs and increasing security of supply. More than two hundred high quality applications were assessed by Innovate UK for this second round of the competition.

Head of energy at Innovate UK Rob Saunders said, “Tackling the energy trilemma is the biggest challenge facing the energy sector today. Businesses, consumers and producers are all recognising the economic sense of reducing costs and carbon emissions, as well as making sure we have a resilient energy supply.

The Energy Catalyst is specifically designed to address that challenge, while at the same time helping firms across the UK benefit economically from it and bring innovative new products to the market.”

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s chief executive said, “Based on the environmental, economic and security concerns alone , we have a pressing need to increase clean energy production, reduce energy waste and improve our abilities to store energy. By supporting research in universities and collaboration with industry to accelerate application of its research results, the Energy Catalyst is helping the UK become more efficient, resilient and productive.”

The 32 supported projects are based all over the country and will start their projects in November.