The iNetwork Innovation Awards Ceremony took place on Wednesday 28th November at the Manchester Marriott Victoria and Albert Hotel, with a fantastic win for Extreme Low Energy / ELe® and it’s partner Bradford City Council in the Partner Excellence Award category.

Pictured from left to right: Mike Greaves, Steve James, Yunus Mayat and Stephen Lerman from the Bradford Council / ELe team

This is the project that ELe® and Bradford collaborated on:

Bradford Council has agreed a target of 20% for energy for delivery of its own functions to come from renewable sources and for a 40% reduction in council CO2 emissions by 2020 and have already implemented solar panels and biomass boilers at a number of its properties and is now considering other energy efficiency technologies.  We recognise that while our power supply is globally standardised on AC (Alternative Current) transmission, many of today’s everyday electrical products such as computers, laptops, mobile phones and LED lighting run on DC (Direct Current) power and as a result, require bulky, inefficient, energy wasting transformers.

In developing the system, the team at ELe® have designed a method of distributing the DC power safely and efficiently through a building using Ethernet cabling. ELe® has also developed an advanced lithium-ion battery storage (independently tested by University of Manchester) to enable even greater energy savings to be achieved by avoiding energy usage in peak-rate periods, triad fines and levy avoidance along with the ability to store excess renewable energy and cheap-rate electricity to deliver power to our electronic devices, throughout the working day.

What are the key achievements?

It is within the Department of Corporate Resources that a pilot for an ELe® ‘Power over Ethernet office solution’ has been deployed. The pilot will demonstrate to the Council and its stake holders how the solution saves money off ongoing utility bills, reduces power usage at times of peak loads as the devices all run off stored energy, reduces heat output in the offices and reduces associated CO2 emissions,  increases electronic device longevity and eases maintenance ongoing.

The summarised benefits of the ELe® Low Voltage solution are:

• Leading edge energy efficiency in LED Lighting & Desktop Computers 
• Use of NIGHT-RATE overnight electricity to charge the ELe-POD or alternately using excess solar power that would otherwise be exported to the grid
• Reduction in CO2 created
• Clever use of distributed ‘Direct Current’ DC Electricity
• Utilise an IT solution WITH NO MOVING PARTS – no fans or motors means less points of failure
• Reduced energy losses & wastage
• Reduced noise & heat dissipation
• Reduced ambient cooling requirements
• Reduction in CRC tax burdens
• Enhanced green credentials
• Removal of PAT testing for 8 screens, 4 desktop computers, 4 laptops, 8 tablets or phone charges – 24 in total

What are the key learning points?

• Trying new and untested technology, you have to put your foot into the water and give it a go, we found that ELe® was just being established, yet they had gone through a number accreditation and testing before approaching the commercial market and we felt this was the right time to get this unique technology into the workplace and we signed up to NDA and also exclusivity with us (Local Authority)
• Senior management buy in of the concept, through a simple but effective business case for the use of ELe® technology
• Getting our FM and AM on-board at the beginning of the project, as this is a real game changer for them moving away from traditional electrical cabling to UTC cabling which does not require certification nor do you need to have an electrical background
• Running CPD sessions for our FM and AM teams so that they can see the benefits of DC current to AC current, but most of all enhancing their skills in installing UTC cabling whilst they carry out normal electrical cabling for those heavy duty appliances
• A dashboard showing exactly what is being saved with the use of this new technology as vital data is collected so that in the future this can be enhanced by AI and machine learning for further efficiencies

Additional Comments

The next phase is to look at theroll out of this technology within the rest of Britannia House and also a newbuilding that needs a full refresh from top to bottom to see the effectivenessand cost savings both financially and environmentally.  Mark and the teamhave been absolute brilliant working with Bradford Council and workingtirelessly in the background to make this pilot a success, if it was not to dowith Mark and the team’s effort on this project this would never had beenpossible. They have also gone the extra mile by involving the University ofBradford in their work and now creating a collaboration between the Council,University and ELe® to further enhance the product but also start to use thedata captured for some ground breaking work from ELe®.  They truly deservethis award and being a wonderful partner to work with on this new and excitingtechnology that we have been first to embrace and use and we can’t wait tostart on the next new project with them.

For more information contact ELe by telephone: 01695 731942 or email: