New "flow battery" technology project to showcase Lotus Engineering's
non-automotive engineering skills
Lotus Engineering is widely known for its automotive engineering
excellence, but a new "flow battery" project brings to light the
diverse skills base that has been nurtured and refined at its
headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk.
ITI Energy is investing £9.3 million to develop a novel "flow
battery" capable of delivering high power capacity for an extended
period of time at low-cost. The R&D project and associated commercial
development, which will be based in Scotland, involves a collaboration
of Applied Intellectual Capital (AIC), Electrochemical Design
Associates (EDA) and Lotus Engineering.
Lotus Engineering will act as the engineering consultancy that will
support the realisation of the product by providing key skills to
support the project from prototype design through to product
realisation. Plurion Systems Inc., will contribute all of its
background IP and know how to the project to form Plurion Ltd. a new
Scottish company to lead the commercialisation of the technology.
Ian McDonald, Chief Electrical Engineer at Lotus Engineering,
commented: "This is a challenging and exciting project for Lotus
Engineering to be involved with. We will be bringing a number of
skills to the project that we have obtained from both the automotive
and non-automotive engineering fields together to support the
production and commercialisation of alternative energy technologies."
The resulting technology is expected to have a range of key
applications, including large scale power storage for use with
renewable power generation. The R&D project will focus on producing
large scale 250kW modules capable of offering up to 8 - 10 hours of
continuous high capacity discharge.
Existing applications of large scale power storage are limited due
to the lack of low-cost, commercially proven technology alternatives
to pumped hydro and compressed air systems. Novel flow battery
technology, such as that being developed in this current programme, is
key to improving power supply-demand quality, reliability and
David Thomas, Chief Engineer Chassis System Design, commented:
"Lotus Engineering has worked on a number of non-automotive projects
in the past and this serves to strengthen our profile within the
non-automotive sector. Our extensive knowledge not only assists with
product concepts and development, but also with the commercialisation
of the products."
Steve Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, AIC and Director of Plurion
Ltd, said: "We are looking forward to working with ITI Energy,
Scottish Researchers and the many Scottish companies that can help
develop and benefit from the introduction of this technology. We look
forward to growing Plurion Ltd into a world class Scottish-based
Tony Amor, Chief Executive Officer, ITI Energy, said: "The
successful development and commercialisation of this game-changing
technology will have enormous implications for capturing the full
potential of Scotland's renewable resources, at the same time as
offering Scotland the opportunity to sell a unique product around the
Lotus Engineering is planning to have an engineering presence
within Plurion's Scottish engineering facility. It will also assist
with the training of local personnel and technology transfer into the
country that is only an hour's flight away from Lotus' headquarters in
Hethel, Norfolk, UK.