Double coup for TTP with Dyson and Dhaka projects
Cambridge technology hothouse TTP has followed up revelations that it is working with Dyson on new ventilators to fight COVID-19, by showing its versatility in a solar energy partnership with a Bangladesh company.
National media widely reported that TTP was working with Dyson to produce 15,000 ventilators, branded The CoVent – a bed-mounted, portable ventilator that can run on mains or battery power.
TTP is not allowed to comment on the Dyson-run project but the use of battery power would allow the ventilators to be used outside normal medical emergency departments, for example in field hospitals.
In addition to that work, TTP revealed that it was collaborating with Dhaka-based ME SOLshare to develop a next generation solar energy trading platform. The collaboration aims to achieve a ten-fold increase in power-sharing potential of SOLshare’s SOLbox energy trading platform.
A smart peer-to-peer micro-grid enables trading of excess solar energy in real-time – enhancing lives and economies of communities in developing countries.
SOLshare manages such systems in rural communities across Bangladesh, which enable the real-time trading of electricity generated through solar power; this allows users to earn a direct income selling excess electricity to their neighbours.
By designing a higher-efficiency, isolated and bidirectional DC-to-DC power converter, TTP and SOLshare aim to boost the amount of electricity that can be shared across these grids from the current limit of 100W, to 1kW per unit. This will mean more households can use or sell electricity and run more appliances at a higher power.
TTP will deploy its power electronics expertise in the joint development of the bi-directional power converter and develop, for mass-production, the electronic PCBAs which are inside the SOLbox.
This capability includes the electronics which constitute the metering, wireless communications, safety, power conversion and user interface functions. TTP and SOLshare aim to have a prototype of the new system completed this Spring.
Globally, almost one billion people lack access to electricity and another billion have intermittent supply. For areas without reliable electrical infrastructure, installing solar panels on homes can be an attractive way to generate power locally and sustainably.
However, high installation costs mean this option is out of reach for many people. Additionally, an average of approximately $1 billion of power is wasted every year due to unutilised excess power by individual systems.
The peer-to-peer micro-grids pioneered by SOLshare are one way of overcoming these issues; solar electricity can be traded between different households, allowing users of solar power to become both consumers and producers.
Selling excess power provides income to mitigate installation costs while the option to buy power from the micro-grid can provide electricity to other households in need. Sharing electricity in this way can power entire villages, with all the social and economic benefits that brings.
SOLshare has installed over 28 micro-grids across Bangladesh as well as in India, which are allowing businesses to run more smoothly and more children to study after dark. SOLshare aims to have 160 micro-grids running around the world by the end of 2020. By working together to drastically improve the capabilities of these grids, TTP and SOLshare hope to facilitate the development of a sustainable infrastructure for the future.
Dr David Smith, head of industrial technology at TTP plc, said: “We are really pleased to be involved in such a rewarding project, one that has the potential to transform the lives of people in some of the world’s poorest communities. This project is just one example of how technology can be leveraged as a powerful force for real social change and economic development.”