A project led by the University of Aberdeen that is seeking to unlock the full potential of Scotland’s renewable energy resources has been awarded £75,000 in funding from Scottish Enterprise.

The funding, from the Scottish Enterprise High Growth Spin-out Programme (HGSP), will support the development of a new technology for use in Direct Current (DC) transmission and distribution electrical power systems, to support renewables projects.

The LC Direct Current Circuit Breaker (LCDC CB) has been developed by Professor Dragan Jovcic from the University’s School of Engineering as an essential component of DC systems, which are seen as key to integrating Scotland’s large amount of dispersed and remote renewable energy sources, replacing traditional AC-based systems.

While current DC Circuit Breakers are too slow and costly and have hampered the expansion of DC systems, the research and laboratory tests on hardware prototypes of the LCDC CB in the EU Horizon 2020 project PROMOTioN have delivered promising results.

Professor Jovcic is now working with Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence Paddy Collins to develop a spin out company to commercialise the LCDC CB, which may also contribute to the wider push for electrification in many industries as well as enabling large-scale green hydrogen generation.

Professor Jovcic commented: “I am grateful to the SE HGSP for its support, which will enable us to kick start the development of a company and open up routes to commercialisation for the development of this exciting technology which has the potential to help Scotland meet its Net Zero ambitions.”

Professor Marion Campbell, Vice-Principal (Research) at the University of Aberdeen, said: “The new technology developed by Professor Jovcic since 2018 has delivered promising results, and the funding from Scottish Enterprise is a significant development as we aim to build on this progress through the creation of a new spin-out company.

“We are also grateful for the involvement of Paddy Collins in this project, who in his role as Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at the University brings valuable industry experience which will play an important role in enabling us to commercialise this technology.”

Along with the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh has also been awarded £75,000 in funding through the Scottish Enterprise HGSP, for Seawarm, a project that is developing heat exchange technology for marine environments.

Jane Martin managing director of innovation and investment at Scottish Enterprise said: “Our high growth spin out programme is proven to help leading academics to turn innovative ideas into business ventures by providing investment and advice to start-up, commercialise and scale.

“These spin outs highlight the brilliant ideas coming out of Scottish universities that will help solve global environmental issues and build a greener economy and I wish the teams in Aberdeen and Edinburgh every success as they innovate in the net zero space.”