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Visitors to Cenex-LCV 2018 to preview leading “Silent Power Project” vehicle that keeps the lights on during power restorations

A new electric response vehicle is being developed with an onboard energy storage system (ESS) to supply homes while power is restored.

  • The “Silent Power Project” for the Distribution Network Operator (DNO), Northern Powergrid, offers a quieter, cleaner alternative to the traditional diesel-powered generators currently used.
  • Led by the innovation team at Northern Powergrid, the project brings together technology from exciting UK SMEs, Hyperdrive Innovation and Offgrid Energy.
  • Visitors to Offgrid Energy’s stand SP-13 at Cenex-LCV 2018 will be able to see a proposed model of the vehicle ahead of a formal launch later this year.

Visitors to the Offgrid Energy stand at Cenex-LCV 2018 from 12th – 13th September will get the first opportunity to see the progress of a revolutionary new project. The “Silent Power Project” was started at electricity distributor, Northern Powergrid by its in-house innovation team.

Keen to investigate if using an electric vehicle equipped with a large battery can efficiently cut running costs, noise and CO2 emissions, during a power cut, the team initiated the concept to compare with the diesel generators currently used. A mock-up of the electric van with its new energy storage system will be on the stand ahead of a formal launch later this year.

When complete, the “Silent Power Project” will provide an additional tool to help Northern Powergrid keep the lights on for its 8 million customers across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

The project is a collaboration between three leading UK companies, pooling expertise and resources to deliver this transformative approach to providing temporary power supply to homes. As well as Northern Powergrid, the project includes pioneering UK SMEs, Hyperdrive Innovation and Offgid Energy. Hyperdrive, the Sunderland-based developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery technology has used its world-leading expertise in energy storage and integration to help deliver the ESS. Offgrid Energy, a leading supplier of off-grid solutions, has used its decade of alternative power expertise to provide a hybrid power solution that best meets the needs of the van.

For Hyperdrive, this is another significant project incorporating its battery pack technology as it continues to scale.  Founded in 2012, Hyperdrive has already manufactured 5,000 battery packs from its facility in Sunderland for a variety of blue-chip customers including a leading online grocer to power robots in its warehouses and a global provider of home and commercial energy storage systems.  As its order book grows, Hyperdrive is planning to double the size of its production facility as it expects to produce up to 10,000 packs alone in 2019.

Since first introducing hybrid generation technology to the temporary power market back in 2010, Offgrid Energy has seen steady growth that is now being boosted by a greater focus on environmental factors such as noise and the capture of energy generated by renewables.  EV charging infrastructure challenges are also bringing into focus how storage technology has a multi-faceted role to play in the energy networks landscape be that for permanent or temporary/portable applications. Offgrid Energy’s expansion is underpinned by growth of its specialist hybrid power rental business that delivers clean alternatives to running diesel generators. Working with Northern Powergrid on the Silent Power project takes this into a new dimension and opens up a whole new sector.

Ross McFarlane – Innovation Project Manager – Northern Powergrid commented: “This project will enable us to restore power quickly, quietly and cleanly for customers after a fault on the network, while we carry out necessary repairs. This will be particularly valuable in supporting people on our Priority Services Register who may be more dependent on electricity due to a disability or medical condition and could need greater assistance in a power cut. Our Silent Power Project will bring significant societal benefits, deliver on our commitment to innovate and help us better serve the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

Stephen Irish, Founder and Managing Director – Commercial, Hyperdrive Innovation said: “It has been a fantastic experience for the team at Hyperdrive to work with Northern Powergrid and Offgrid Energy to integrate our world-leading battery technology into this exciting project. The potential market for this type of backup energy storage system is huge. Along with electricity distributors, we believe there are other areas, including construction and major events that could benefit from this secure, environmentally-friendly and quiet portable power solution.”

Danny Jones, Founder and CEO, Offgrid Energy said: “We are very proud that our technology is able, not only to address air quality and carbon emissions but to also have a significant impact in reducing the cost of managing network faults. Doing so in a way that eliminates noise for consumers means that there are significant wins for all parties and that doesn’t happen very often.”