University spinout awarded Japanese patent for energy technology

Pulsiv Solar, a University of Plymouth spinout company, has been awarded a Japanese patent as it speeds the development of its pioneering power technology.

The patent is the 13th granted to the company and covers the microinverter product it is currently developing with global technology giant Robert Bosch Limited.

The company has also successfully integrated its technology into a standard battery charger significantly improving its energy efficiency and attracting strong interest from potential industry partners.

In laboratory conditions, Pulsiv has improved the power factor of the charger – used in devices such as power tools – from around 50 to over 90 per cent, and reduced the heat it generates.

The Pulsiv circuit board comfortably fits into the same form factor as the standard battery charger circuit board, and can also improve the energy efficiency of power converters used in everyday devices such as mobile phones, computers and televisions

They are the latest success for the company, which was created to commercialise the research of Dr Zaki Ahmed, Associate Professor in Information Technology, and is based at Plymouth Science Park.

It has previously been awarded patents in the United States, Europe, China, Taiwan, Australia and Mexico, with a further patent also proceeding to grant in China, and they have covered both power conversion and solar micro inverter technologies.

Pulsiv is also advancing its work with Robert Bosch Limited, a subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmBH, which has been working with the company to optimise the design of its energy-efficient solar micro inverter prototype. It means that when the prototype moves into full-scale production, Pulsiv will be able to market the devices as 'Engineered by Bosch'.

Dr Ahmed, Technical Director of Pulsiv Solar, said:

“We’re delighted to be granted a patent in Japan. We are making strong progress, and are very excited about the potential for our technology in the type of battery charger used by millions of devices every day.”

The ongoing success – which has also previously included a grant from Innovate UK – is being supported by the University’s commercialisation partner Frontier IP, which holds an 18.9% stake in Pulsiv Solar.

Frontier IP chief executive officer Neil Crabb said:

“Pulsiv continues to go from strength to strength. Its success in successfully integrating its technology into a standard battery charger used by devices such as power tools worldwide is a further demonstration of the company’s enormous potential.“

Ian McFadzen, CEO at Plymouth Science Park, added:

“Pulsiv Solar are committed to changing the energy sector for the better. Their truly dynamic approach to technology and business has seen them develop ground-breaking energy solutions. We are delighted that through collaboration with Frontier IP and the ongoing support of the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Science Park they have been awarded a Japanese patent to protect the development of their pioneering power technology."

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Our disciplines provide a vibrant inter-disciplinary and collaborative environment dedicated towards producing graduates with the necessary applied knowledge and skills to meet demands of employers today and tomorrow.

Read more about our expertise