Collaboration charges up company’s EV solution10 March 2023
A Denbighshire company’s innovative solution to boost electric vehicle(EV) charging has moved up a gear towards commercialisation thanks to a digital collaboration with AMRC Cymru.
KerbPower Ltd, of Ruthin, is working alongside engineers from AMRC Cymru, part of the wider University of Sheffield AMRC cluster of research and innovation centres, and Denbighshire County Council, to breathe green life into an on-street EV charging concept.
With the move to electric vehicles increasing every year, EV charging is becoming more noticeable at off street locations. KerbPower’s solution aims to provide a valid and economical way to tackle street charge stations with a unique, fully kerb-mounted electric vehicle charger (patent pending), that solves the tripping hazard and also pavement access issues - with the additional benefit of economy and ease of installation.
The digital transformation project - which aims to improve product development and manufacturing processes through smart digital technologies - has seen AMRC Cymru engineers give KerbPower the tools to move its design from concept towards reality.
Sam Roberts, inventor, designer and managing director of KerbPower Ltd, said: “KerbPower Ltd is currently engaged with AMRC Cymru to prepare a manufacturing roadmap along with design specification and are providing guidance towards relevant external support for certification. We hope that local authorities will carry out trials throughout Wales, to ultimately benefit EV vehicle owners with no off-street parking.
“Whilst working alongside AMRC Cymru, we have also spoken to various car dealers who have said this system would be a potential game changer due to EV owners who don’t have off road parking available to them and also more importantly those not considering owning EV’s due to the issue of not being able to charge at home.”
Dr James Allum, senior manufacturing research engineer at AMRC Cymru, which is a member of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult network, said: “Through the application of our design and manufacturing expertise at AMRC Cymru, we were able to undertake important research, which considered both technical, such as mechanical, electrical and environmental requirements - as well as societal considerations, such as human factors, accessibility and interaction requirements to inform the design development of the KerbPower unit.
“Ultimately, this enabled us to develop a detailed design specification to facilitate the next steps in the development process of the KerbPower EV charging unit. This has a potentially significant impact in reducing the risks and complexity associated with the design development and future manufacturing of the device.”
Sam said his 40 years’ experience in the construction industry is what helped him spot a gap in the market.
“Having been heavily involved in the infrastructure of roads and bridges for many years led me to identify a gap in the market for an easy to install, on-street parking EV charging system,” he said.
“The concept has been developed and refined over a number of years to create the product that solves the issue of charging on street EV’s in not only a highly considered way but also in terms of economical installation and connection to the grid. It has been designed ‘specifically’ for EV owners/drivers who do not have off road parking available to them.”
The project has been funded through the UK government’s Community Renewal Fund. All businesses taking part receive expert support on three-month intervention projects from a digital specialist.