Fusion IP (AIM: FIP), the university commercialisation company which turns university research into business, is pleased to announce a new portfolio company, Fault Current Limited (“FCL”), has been formed under its exclusive agreement with Cardiff University.
FCL, which is founded on the invention of Dr Jeremy Hall from Cardiff University’s School of Engineering and breakthrough intellectual property developed at the School’s specialist Wolfson Centre for Magnetics, has developed a unique magnetic fault current limiter that protects utility electrical distribution networks from unanticipated power surges. These power surges can be caused by failure of aging equipment, severe weather such as lightening strikes, accidents or even by acts of willful destruction. Such faults can damage major expensive components and, if not cleared quickly, can lead to lengthy and costly blackouts.
In addition, the need for fault current limiters is driven by a dramatic increase in a system’s fault current level as energy demand increases and more clean energy sources, such as wind and solar, are added to an ageing and already overburdened electrical infrastructure.
Used in an electrical network substation, fault current limiters are Smart Grid systems that can help protect the grid by absorbing the distructive nature of faults, extending the life of existing network equipment and allowing utilities to defer or eliminate costly equipment replacements or upgrades. Estimates from Europe and the USA suggest investing in Smart Grid Technologies, such as fault current limiters, can save billions of dollars in replacement cost, increase safety, reliability and power quality.
Unlike competing faults current limiters currently in service, FCL’s unique solution is a completely passive, ‘fit and forget’ permanent magnet device, that requires no external power or back up, recovers automatically when a fault is cleared and requires minimal maintainence.
In accordance with its agreement with Cardiff University, Fusion will start with a 60% shareholding in FCL.
David Baynes, Chief Executive Officer of Fusion IP, commented:
"This is a great example of a brilliantly simple idea being turned into a potentially world class product. We look forward to working with the FCL team, as they develop this groundbreaking solution to a major global problem for the power network providers."
Martin Ansell, Chairman of FCL, commented:
"Governments, regulators and utilities around the world are faced with binding commitments to connect clean, renewable generation, to an aging electrical infrastructure conceived more than 100 years ago. An enabiling technology such as FCL's innovative fault current limiter is essential in the quest to deliver reliable power and meet our clean energy challenges".