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.

TPS Wins Innovation Award


TPS have won this year’s award for “Best Electricity Network Improvement” at the annual Energy Innovation Awards, organised by the Energy Innovation Centre.

Held on the 30th April at Manchester Hilton Deansgate, these prestigious awards recognise pioneers of new technologies that can make significant contribution toward the UK achieving its goals for energy security and greenhouse gas reduction.

Read full press release.

TPS - UK Enegy Awards 2015

Turbo Power Systems develop ground breaking technology for flexible urban networks

About the Project and Challenges
The UK faces an ever increasing demand for electrical power supply, especially in the areas of electric vehicle (EV) charging, PV panels for solar power and heat pumps, which is countermanded by the requirement to reduce the carbon footprint of electricity generation. Hence efforts to decarbonise energy generation, heat and transport will place increasing demands on distribution networks and its operators.

This is particularly so for the low voltage (LV) networks where distribution network operators (DNOs) have the obligation to supply electricity to customers within tightly defined voltage limits and at a sufficient quality (harmonics, sags, swells and flicker). From a recent industry study by Imperial College (London) it has been predicted that an increasing trend of voltage issues and demand rises that could potentially overload transformers and underground cables, requiring large investment from DNO over a period if reinforced by conventional means. UK Power Networks (UKPN) is one such DNO who is facing this challenge and with support and funding from Ofgem and collaboration with various key stakeholders including Imperial College and Turbo Power Systems is trying to provide a sustainable and reliable low voltage flexible urban networks (FUN-LV). UKPN has selected 36 trial sites for this project.

Objective of the FUN-LV Project
The overarching aim of this project is to explore how the use of power electronics can enable DNOs to defer reinforcement and facilitate the connection of low carbon technologies and distributed generation in urban areas, by meshing existing networks which are not meshed, and by breaking down boundaries within existing meshed networks. Power electronics devices (PEDs) will be used for the first time, in combination with remote configuration and informational tools, to access latent/spare capacity that already exists, in shorter timescales than conventional reinforcement. The smart grid technology of FUN –LV will enable DNO to meet their obligation towards enabling the growth of Government led initiatives for low carbon technologies as there is no major re-structuring of the grid system and this greatly minimises the impact on infrastructure capital cost.

There are three objectives to this project and they are as follows;
• Optimise capacity on the low voltage (LV) network closest to customers
• Improve connection offers (time & cost) in urban areas
• Advance the future network architecture debate for the sector
UKPN chose TPS to supply the PEDs and this was underpinned by the proven experience and pedigree of TPS in the supply of power electronics to the energy sector.

Solution Offered
The technology proposed by TPS utilises Power Electronic Devices (PEDs) which can enable the meshing of low voltage urban networks and these devices act as soft open points (SOPs) between distribution substations for capacity sharing and which like a tap can be fully open, fully closed, or at a setting between these limits. The solution uses a cutting edge and novel bi-directional PED developed by TPS to integrate with the transmission network to enable UKPN achieve the objectives of this project. The proposed PEDs come in two formats, with two and three terminals, allowing power flows of up to 400 kVA between 3 substations, thus making use of spare network capacity at existing substations rather than building new capacity. The bi-directional PED achieves transfer of power both from supply to consumer and consumer to supply, enabling power sharing between consumer loads. Thus the resultant network becomes ‘smart’ with the reduction of load on transformers and a faster response to Low Voltage demand changes.


Key Benefits to the DNO and its customers:
• Flexibility to manage uncertainty
• Control functionality
• Maximise the use of existing assets
• Faster and more cost-effective connection offers
• Improved quality of supply
• Reduced disruption and logistical benefits
• Flexible network architecture
• Better enabled distributed generation connections
• Connection and sharing of generation or loads across two or more circuits’ ‘incompatible feeders’ –
• A significant saving in money and infrastructure – potentially £2.36M across the 36 trial sites which could be upscaled to to £112.8M across the UK