TPS and UKPN are collaborating on the innovative Active Response research project

Active Response research project

TPS and UK Power Networks are collaborating on a revolutionary research project to release spare network capacity and significantly reduce customer bills whilst achieving a greener electricity supply by 2030.

The idea behind the Active Response research project is to identify where spare capacity on the electricity distribution network can be released to support the predicted increase in Electric Vehicles. The four-year program will trial a responsive and automated electricity network that will release spare capacity to where the demand requires. This will be made possible using Power Electronic Devices to move electricity from heavily loaded substations to nearby substations with spare capacity.

Further building on the achievements of Flexible Urban Networks (FUN-LV), TPS’ award-winning smart grid converters will provide the hardware platform for Active Response. Creating Soft Open Points on both the Low and Medium Voltage network will enable the power in each substation feed to be balanced whilst maintaining supply voltage within statutory limits.

Active Response constitutes a pioneering approach that can proactively move spare capacity around the distribution system to support areas that are using more electricity. This means providing additional capacity in residential areas in evenings and at weekends when people are charging their cars, and then moving that spare capacity to where it is needed during the day – such as city centres, commercial hubs or electric fleet charge points.

This innovative project could save customers nationwide £271 million by 2030 and cut more than 448,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030.

UK Power Networks’ head of innovation Ian Cameron said: “A low carbon transport revolution is coming and UK Power Networks want to make sure electric vehicle users can charge when and where they want at the lowest possible cost. Active Response is one of our key projects to enable this, by allowing us to research how we can move any spare capacity around the network to where it is needed.”

Engineering and Business Development Director for TPS, Dr Nigel Jakeman, stressed “We are delighted that Ofgem have awarded Active Response and again to be working with UKPN to continue the commercialisation of the Soft Open Point converter, not just for Low Voltage distribution but now also for Medium Voltage sub stations”. Continuing he said: “This is another step toward TPS becoming a major supplier of Smart Grid Power Electronic solutions and we welcome approaches from industry professionals wanting to be a part of this exciting future”.

TPS is looking forward to working with its partners UK Power Networks, Ricardo and CGI on this project.


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We Shoot, We Score – Losses Category Award is ours!

Celebrations are in order as TPS have won in the Losses Competition at the UK Energy Innovation Awards 2017.

Turbo Power Systems (TPS) supported by its partner, UK Power Networks, are delighted to announce that once again we are a winner at the annual Energy Innovation Centre Awards. Held at the Rum Warehouse, Titanic Hotel in Liverpool on 28th September 2017, TPS was awarded winner of the inaugural Scottish & Southern Energy sponsored “Losses” award. Another first for TPS!

TPS has won Losses Category Award at UK Energy Innovation Awards 2017

Left to right: Jason Bradbury – Channel 5 ‘The Gadget Show’, Ian Cooper – UKPN, Nigel Jakeman – TPS, Fainan Hassan – TPS, Stewart Reid – SSE

Building on the success of winning the award for “Best Electricity Network Improvement” in 2015, our Soft Open Point converters were recognised this time around for the significant impact that they have on improving losses on the electricity distribution network. Presenting the award on behalf of Scottish & Southern Energy was managing director Stewart Reid.

On an evening to celebrate innovation hosted by Jason Bradbury, star of Channel 5’s Gadget Show, eleven awards were handed out to service and product providers to recognise their efforts as adding value to the UK utilities sector through applied innovation.

Nominated in the final category of the evening, TPS were proud to be announced winner of the losses award. Collecting the award were Engineering Manager for Smart Grid and Energy, Dr Fainan Hassan and Engineering & Business Development Director, Dr Nigel Jakeman. Responding to the success, Dr Jakeman said “It’s a real honour for TPS to be awarded winner of the first ever Losses Award”, continuing “EIC do a fantastic job supporting and recognising innovators in this sector, so to have them and the utility sector recognising the significance of our technology once again serves as real testament to the future importance of these converters in the electricity distribution network of the future”.

TPS would like to thank UK Power Networks for their support in winning this prestigious award.

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Zero Energy Building initiative by TPS – HEART Project

TPS is developing innovative and energy efficient solutions for your home by entering into a consortium agreement under the EU research programme Horizon 2020 (H2020). The aim is to deliver Holistic Energy and Architecture Retrofit Toolkit (HEART) for residential buildings.

Through HEART, TPS will create and deliver an optimised DC-bus based residential microgrid. It utilises a multi-port converter to interconnect solar roof tiles, battery energy storage, DC modular heat pumps and all other residential DC based energy assets.

Adding the microgrid will result into an efficient and optimised design that can be retrofit to improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings. This is a major leap towards Zero or Nearly Zero Energy Building (ZEB or nZEB respectively) initiatives to reduce carbon emissions of the residential sector by 80% by 2050.

The DC-bus based microgrid will also be interconnected to the distribution system operator (DSO) or services aggregator through a power line communication interface. This provides a secure connection to a Smart Grid platform and facilitates the contribution of the residential buildings to Demand Side Response (DSR) Schemes.

TPS will develop control algorithms that will ensure the resilience of the buildings’ energy supply for both heat and power, while tapping into other Smart Grid schemes to provide a stack of benefits to the building manager and the DSO.

In the UK, carbon emissions from buildings and industry account for two thirds of the total emissions with the residential sector emissions, accounting for the largest share. There is a governmental and regulatory push towards a smarter energy system through facilitating DSR and its access to the balancing and wholesale power market to achieve our carbon emission reduction target.

Turbo Power Systems (TPS) collaborate on a UK solar power project

TPS collaborate with Imperial College London, 10:10, Network Rail and other partners to investigate the use of track-side solar panels to power trains.

Network Rail is currently investing billions in electrifying the UK’s railways, in bid to significantly reduce the number of trains running on diesel fuel, curbing costs, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

The project will look at connecting solar panels directly to the lines that provide power to trains, a move that would bypass the electricity grid in order to more efficiently manage power demand from trains. It is the first in the world to test the completely unique and innovative idea, which could have a wide impact with commercial applications on electrified rail networks all over the world.

Initially the project will look at the feasibility of converting “third rail systems”. These supply electricity to the locomotive through a power line running close to the ground. They have the advantage of matching the way electricity is supplied by solar panels as direct current, and using a similar voltage to the rail network of 750V DC.

There are several major technical hurdles that will have to be addressed before the system could be accepted for operation, for instance, maintenance personnel safety. Interfacing a PV system to a utility network has taken many years to develop protocols and algorithms, which allow the PV system to come online when the grid is healthy and offline if the local grid has become disconnected from the main utility network.


Business photograph designed by Victor217 –

TPS excels in this particular area. It has a staff member Tony Lakin who is the UK expert to the International Standards Committee IEC TC82 who will provide the specialist expertise. Tony said “this is a requirement because the grid must not be able to power back up again autonomously, if an engineer has disconnected the mains supply to enable safe working on the disconnected area. The same considerations apply to the third rail system; you do not want the local energy system repowering the rail if remedial work is being carried out on it, the maintenance engineers would not be happy”!

Another consideration is that third rail on most rail networks is also used for signalling purposes, so injecting power into this rail raises electromagnetic compatibility issues. TPS is ideally placed to solve these problems because it already manufactures convertors to pick up power from the third rail and distribute it to on-board systems within the rail vehicle. The interface to the rail forms a key role in their design process and TPS have many years of know-how in implementing safe and successful systems. TPS experience combined with Imperial’s capability gives an unparalleled amount of engineering expertise to this project.

Imperial’s experience is on integration and management of renewable energy sources in electricity grids, while TPS work on the distribution and management of power in the railway sector. “TPS and Imperial really give us the full technical package,” says Leo. “We couldn’t have better partners to work out how we can integrate solar power with our trains.”

The Renewable Traction project will start on 1 February 2017. It is a collaboration between 10:10, Turbo Power Systems (TPS), Community Energy South, Network Rail and Energy Futures Lab. It is funded through Innovate UK’s Energy Game Changers programme. It will release the results of their feasibility study in late 2017.

Find out more about this project here: Plugging solar power into our railways


Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or © Imperial College London.


IET Innovation Awards For Energy Announcement!

‘Highly Commended’ by IET amongst 400 entries

TPS have been awarded the ‘Highly Commended’ certificate by IET Innovation Awards, which is a great achievement! We are thrilled to have been shortlisted and recognised under the Energy 2016 category for our Power Electronic Devices (PED).


Great achievement!

You can read below a summary of our entry:

Ground-breaking grid technology for a low carbon future

By 2030 it is estimated that an investment of £31bn will be needed to re-enforce the low voltage electricity distribution network in the UK, as distributed generation and electric vehicle charging matures. Our PED devices also known as the FUN-LV research project, was a collaboration of partners and universities coming together to tackle the need of costly upgrades to reinforce electricity network.

TPS supported UKPN by supplying the power electronics hardware which fuelled the innovation of the project. The hardware has been installed in 36 locations within the UK. The PED devices can provide many benefits including:

  • Maximising the capacity of existing distribution assets.
  • Simple addition to the existing network.
  • Flexibility to manage changing consumer demands.
  • Improved quality and surety of supply.
  • Reduced network disruption.
  • Faster Distributed Generator connection offers.
  • Cost Effective Alternative.

Most recently the PED devices produced successful trial results which can be read here.


TPS PED device installed in London and a substation.

The Ceremony

The IET Innovation Award Ceremony was held at the Brewery in London on the 16th of November, hosted by TV Presenter Rob Bell.

Chairman of IET Nigel Fine opening the ceremony.

Engineering and Business Development Director Nigel Jakeman, Business Development Oliver Merz, Embedded Systems Engineer Steve Mitchell and our partners from UKPN, attended the evening celebrating all those that had been shortlisted for their innovations.

All smiles for TPS and UKPN!

UKPN won the Power 2016 category for our PED devices and we are delighted for them!

There were 15 categories within the awards and each of them were judged by a panel of experts in the field, click here to see a full list of the winners. When applying for the Energy Category awards, TPS had to consider the technical and commercial benefits of the product in the following areas: storage, conversion and load consumption and our PEDs matched the requirements.

If you want to know more about the PED devices please contact the Marketing Team on Alternatively you can also download the datasheet here.