Passive Magnetic Fault Current Limiter Tech gets Investor
Eriez® is utilizing its vast experience and expertise to support a device created by FaultCurrent Ltd. which protects power systems from disruption and damage to network infrastructure. According to Eriez President and CEO Tim Shuttleworth, Eriez Investments Ltd will become a shareholder in FaultCurrent and Eriez Magnetics Europe Limited will manufacture the commercial product under license at its facility in Caerphilly, South Wales.
FaultCurrent uses groundbreaking magnetic technology to allow the existing power grid to cope with excessive fault conditions, brought about by the rapid move toward decentralization of electricity generation, including the connection of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar.
FaultCurrentâ€™s full scale 11kV prototype Passive Magnetic Fault Current Limiter (pmFCL) has successfully passed a series of rigorous short-circuit fault tests. The tests, undertaken at KEMAâ€™s laboratories in the Netherlands, were performed at both 50 and 60Hz and have proven not only the concept but also the pmFCLâ€™s suitability for global applications.
â€œEriez is excited to become an investor in FaultCurrent,â€ says Shuttleworth. â€œWe have the knowledge and understanding of magnetic materials and processes to support FaultCurrentâ€™s ambitions to grow as a global business.â€
Developed as a spin-out from research undertaken at Cardiff University, the device is inactive during normal power flow and only reacts when excessive fault currents are detected, inhibiting the flow to allow the existing power network protection systems to safely isolate the problem. Eriez Magnetics Europe was engaged in the successful manufacturing of FaultCurrentâ€™s full-scale prototype.
FaultCurrent Chairman and CEO Martin Ansell says, â€œWith help from the UK Governmentâ€™s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund and our founding investor, IP Group plc, FaultCurrent has already successfully tested a full-scale prototype and now has the investment needed to refine its design into a commercial product, suitable for application on power distribution grids. We are aiming for commercial trials before the end of 2017.â€
Dr. Nick Bourne, Head of Commercial Development at Cardiff University, says, â€œIâ€™m delighted the University has developed such a productive partnership with Eriez Magnetics which will help establish and grow a new high-tech venture in Wales based on our respective strengths and expertise.â€
The patented technology behind FaultCurrent has been developed by magnetic engineering expert Dr. Jeremy Hall at Cardiff Universityâ€™s Wolfson Centre for Magnetics. Dr. Hall explains, â€œOur technology can play a major role in managing new demands on aging and already overburdened electrical infrastructures to allow the connection of cleaner distributed energy sources, which is good news in terms of tackling climate change.â€