Start-up Heliex Power raises stg£5m to develop its energy recovery tech

18 Jun 2012

A Heliex Power pre-production machine on display

Heliex Power, a clean-tech spin-out from City University London that is pioneering a technology to generate electrical power using waste steam from industrial processes, has raised stg£5m in a new investment round.

The company spun out of City University London in 2009 following years of R&D into screw compressor technology. Its offices and manufacturing facilities are now based in East Kilbride, Scotland.

Heliex Power, which has just begun trading, was set up to focus on the commercial realisation of the university’s licensed screw compressor technology systems. Its technology aims to recover low-grade energy from steam and use it to generate electricity.

Today’s stg£5m funding round was led by ESB Novusmodus, a €200m fund that has been set up by the Irish utility ESB. BP has also contributed significantly to the fund, according to the company.

BP Alternative Energy International already invested in Heliex in the past.

With this latest funding injection, Heliex is now planning to speed up the development of its technology, which it says can generate electrical power using waste steam from industrial processes.

According to the company, an estimated 40,000GWh of energy is lost in the form of waste steam worldwide, so it’s hoping its technology will disrupt the marketplace.

The company is exploiting patented screw expander technology jointly developed with the Centre for Positive Displacement Compressor Technology at City University London. It said today that pre-production machines are already in advanced testing.

It said today’s announcement will bring forward production availability.

Heliex CEO Dan Wright said today’s news will provide the company with the funds to accelerate its growth.

“The very limited publicity we have received to date has produced a wealth of business leads from around the world, demonstrating the intense interest in our technology and pointing to the vast potential we have,” he said.

In a statement today, Bertrand Gautier, partner of Novusmodus, investment adviser to ESB Novusmodus, said Heliex has developed a unique value proposition with the opportunity to shape a new sector in energy recovery.

“The technological expertise of the management, its product development experience, and strong patents give it enviable positioning and an enormous addressable global market. We look forward to supporting the team over the coming years as they transform this proven technology into a dominant product,” he said.

ESB Novusmodus has also made investments in companies such as Nualight, Airvolution, Intune Networks, Lumicity, SELC, Wind Energy Direct, Geothermal International and tenKsolar.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic