Enertechnos was founded in 2013 to develop, patent and commercialise CTS as a new concept in ultra-low loss cable based on capacitance technology. Capacitance is the ability of a system to store electrical charge.
CTS uses aluminium or copper in a series of layers formed into two interlocking continuous electrodes. The layers are separated using a dielectric material, typically polyester or polypropylene. When connected to a power source, a charge is distributed along the upstream electrode which then transfers a charge to the downstream electrode by capacitive coupling. Unlike a conventional cable, there is no direct conductive connection between source and load. The CTS can be designed to have a specific capacitance value, which allows it to overcome the inductance problem inherent in all existing cables and also to contribute extra capacitance by design, benefiting the whole electrical system.
The net result is lower voltage drop and thus lower losses than traditional electrical cable. In addition, CTS has lower earth leakage which means it can be buried in situations where conventional cable would have to be run overhead (or undergrounded but at prohibitive cost). These two features allow alternating current (“AC”) CTS to compete directly with high voltage direct current (“HVDC”) systems. However, with no need for converter stations, the capex of a CTS project can be as low as 50% of a comparable HVDC project.
Typical Generation and T&D System
Underground CTS – No Pylons or Boosters
Progress to Date
Enertechnos has used equity to fund R&D since the start of 2014, successfully attaining the following milestones:
- Design and production of lengths of up to 580m of planar CTS.
- Design and validation of a CTS testing programme in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory (“NPL”) and DNV-GL, the leading European certification and technical assurance house.
- Production of 1km of annular CTS by a specialist manufacturer, using company-modified conventional cable-making equipment, with successful testing confirmed by NPL.
- Protection of CTS’s intellectual property (“IP”) through global patents.
- Established relationship with a leading UK Distribution Network Operator (“DNO”) who is working with Enertechnos to plan and install a reference test site of at least 15km of underground cable on its network. The intended installation date is from Q2 2018.
- Additional to the DNO application, Enertechnos has identified three attractive application areas for initial commercialisation of its CTS technology: (i) private wire networks or rural micro-grids, the latter particularly in developing countries; (ii) links to isolated loads such as island or mining communities, or outback farms; and (iii) subsea power-from-shore (“PFS”) links to offshore oil & gas platforms. The primary reason for targeting these initial routes to market is low barriers to entry, requiring limited interaction with existing power grids.