Innovate UK grant for Pulsiv Solar to step up development of energy-efficient solar power technology


Pulsiv Solar has won a UK government grant to reach an important milestone in the development of its patented, energy-efficient solar power technology.

Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, has awarded University of Plymouth spin-out Pulsiv Solar £129,929 towards a £288,732 project, run in collaboration with specialist consultancy Eastmap. The project will complete the technological development of its solar micro-inverter by April next year. Frontier IP holds an 18.9 per cent stake in the Company.  

Solar micro-inverters are plug-in devices that convert direct current (DC) electricity generated by photovoltaic cells to alternating current (AC) used in electrical grids. In laboratory conditions, Pulsiv has demonstrated its technology is significantly more energy efficient than existing micro-inverters.

The aim of the technological development is to create a micro-inverter ready for scale up and commercialisation providing efficiency improvements of at least 5 per cent over current market leaders. The micro-inverters can be used either as new or retrofitted to existing solar panels.

Other applications being explored for the technology include improving the energy efficiency of power converters used in a huge range of consumer devices, such as televisions, mobile phones and laptops. The technology and the early results achieved have attracted strong interest from major industrial and consumer electronic groups.

Pulsiv Solar was incorporated in 2013 to develop and commercialise the work of Dr Zaki Ahmed, associate professor in information technology at the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics at the University of Plymouth. The technology is protected by two US and one European patents.

Eastmap is run by design engineer Andy Hills, a specialist in power conversion and magnetics technology. He has worked for McLaren, Dyson and micro-inverter manufacturer Enecsys.

Pulsiv Solar technical director Dr Zaki Ahmed said:  “This grant application is a big step forward for Pulsiv Solar in commercialising our patented micro-inverter technology. The energy efficiency improvements it provides are significant, and we’re delighted it’s generating such strong industry interest.” 

Frontier IP Chief Executive Officer Neil Crabb said: “We’re very excited Pulsiv has won this Innovate UK grant to take these potentially ground-breaking micro-inverters to the next stage. We believe efficiency improvements of at least 5 per cent represent a real breakthrough, a view confirmed by the major industry groups we are talking to.