Our licensing opportunities tagged with Energy are shown below.
Thermocouples for temperature measurement at high temperatures suffer drift over time due to atomic migration. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a thermocouple sheath of unique design which significantly reduces high temperature drift. This both improves the accuracy of temperature measurement, and increases the durability of thermocouples.
This technology is applicable in many sectors including power generation, aerospace, heat treatment (of aerospace and other components), and automotive (turbochargers). Cambridge Enterprise is already collaborating with manufacturers and is seeking licensees with channels to market in each sector.
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in vibration energy harvesting, especially to enable self-powered wireless sensor networks for structural health monitoring. While some early commercial solutions have witnessed increasing deployments, two of the key technical limitations still stubbornly persist; namely, the low power density relative to conventional power supplies and the mis-match between the narrow operational frequency bandwidth of conventional energy harvesters and the wideband nature of real vibrations. Researchers at the University are addressing these issues through employing vibration energy harvesting based on auto parametric resonance rather than the conventional approach of using the fundamental mode of resonance.
With the increasing demand for power converters and high power densities, and Silicon (Si) is reaching its theoretical limits, Silicon Carbide (SiC) is the object of a growing interest. It possesses several advantages over Si, among which: lower on resistance and operation at higher temperatures . This makes of SiC transistors, and more generally SiC power converters , the ideal candidates for use in hybrid and electric cars. Only one type of SiC transistor is close to commercial production: the Junction Field Effect Transistor (JFET). However, it is a normally- on device, i.e. it needs a negative voltage to be turned off. Therefore it needs protection when used in a circuit, as a fault in the driver power supply would turn on the JFET and possibly lead to short-circuits .
The invention proposes a way of solving the problem while retaining the advantages of using a SiC transistor. Therefore it does not add switching losses and does not impede the high temperature operation.
Researchers in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge have discovered a novel method of fuelling nuclear reactors which enables the virtual elimination of long lived highly radioactive waste. The fuel is a mixture of Thorium and existing waste, which is fed into either an existing Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) or a new reactor built to the proven PWR or Reduced Moderation Water Reactor design. The reactor availability and the fuel reprocessing requirements are expected to be similar to that of existing operating reactors, with the significant benefit of removing highly radioactive material from the environment. This method also provides a way to exploit the planet's considerable Thorium resources using existing well-proven reactor technology.
A new process has been developed that has the potential to transform the lead battery recycling industry. The method uses organic reagents (derived from renewable bio-sources) to recycle the lead-bearing paste from waste batteries into a form which can be used directly as the lead oxide precursor for manufacturing new lead battery paste. This method has considerable benefits over the high temperature methods that are conventionally used to recycle lead battery paste into metallic lead.