NovoGrid nets prize worth €25,000 as UCD VentureLaunch winner

18 Nov 2014

Dr Andrew Keane, Paul Manning and Dr Peter Richardson, co-promoters of NovoGrid, at the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science. Photo by Nick Bradshaw/Fotonic

NovoGrid, an engineering venture with a software solution to improve energy efficiency on wind farms, has been named the 2014 University College Dublin (UCD) VentureLaunch winner.

NovoGrid provides an intelligent control system that enables wind farm owners to reduce the energy lost when transferring electricity to the national grid.

It’s estimated that up to 10pc of wind farm revenue is lost due to inefficiencies in energy transfer, equating to about €2.3bn in annual revenue lost from wind farms globally.

NovoGrid’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) can be used to control operational set points within wind farm stations in real-time, intelligently exploiting existing wind farm capabilities to significantly reduce energy losses. The venture emerged from research carried out over several years in the Electricity Research Centre at the University College Dublin (UCD) School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering by co-promoters Dr Andrew Keane and Dr Peter Richardson.

“Following a planned field trial set for early next year, we expect to be operational in over 10 wind farms in Ireland and in the UK during 2015 and to be significantly increasing revenues for wind farm owners,” said Paul Manning, NovoGrid’s third co-promoter.

From R&D to entrepreneurship

The UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme is held at the NovaUCD Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs annually, to support and accelerate sustainable and profitable new ventures based on intellectual property emerging from UCD and NCAD (National College of Art and Design) in Dublin.

As the 2014 award-winner, NovoGrid received €10,000 from sponsor AIB and an additional professional services package worth €15,000, sponsored by Bryan Maguire Business Consulting, Deloitte and NovaUCD.

“NovoGrid is an excellent example of a new venture, emerging from research carried out at UCD, which is being established to address a worldwide problem – in this case, in the energy industry,” said Prof Orla Feely, UCD vice-president for research, innovation and impact.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.