Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Project Comes in from the Cold; ENERGY

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Project Comes in from the Cold; ENERGY

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT GIBSON robert.gibson@ncjmedia.co.uk

ASUNDERLAND company has secured a slice of an PS11.3m funding package to support the development an ultra-low temperature battery that can be used in Antarctica.

Hyperdrive Innovation is working with the Oxford-based Oxis Energy to test a new generation of energy storage than can be used in extremely cold climates.

It is hoped the British Antarctic Survey will be able to use the new technology to improve scientific measurements without raising transport costs or emissions.

Now the project has been named as one of 32 to receive support through the latest round of the Energy Catalyst programme, run by Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The programme supports innovative ideas through to prototype demonstrators so long as they help reduce carbon emissions and costs while increasing security of supply.

More than 200 applications were assessed in the latest round of the competition, which has so far backed 72 projects.

"We couldn't have gone ahead without this funding," said Hyperdrive business development manager Steve Abbott.

"We can see more opportunities for the technology developing, but it really needed a catalyst in order to get it going."

Established around three years ago, Hyperdrive, which employs 19 staff, works largely with lithium-ion battery systems that can be used in an array of vehicles, as well as offering consultancy, R&D and testing services. Having relocated from Cramlington to the Future Technology Centre in Sunderland around 18 months ago, it also taken on production facilities that give it the capacity to manufacture around 10,000 batteries a year.

In 2014, the company reported revenues of around PS1m, but is on track to triple that figure this year. …

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