Artemis nets £50k win for engineering award

The developer behind technology that boosts power production and cuts fuel consumption has been awarded the UK’s premier engineering prize, scooping £50,000 in the process.

Edinburgh-based Artemis Intelligent Power received the MacRobert Award last night in London after seeing off competitors from Cambridge and Blackpool. Judging chair Dame Sue Ion cited the “truly compelling” story of the company’s digital displacement power system, which uses hydraulics to improve the capacity and reliability of wind turbines.

“The company has achieved a technical advance of global importance, making significant power delivery from offshore wind considerably more credible and reliable, and facilitating the global goal of reducing CO2 emissions,” Ion said.

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“This is not simply evolutionary improvement but a complete step change, and one that took years of commitment to achieve.”

Known for spotting the “next big thing”, the MacRobert Award has previously been bestowed on now-indispensable technologies such as the catalytic converter and the CT scanner.

Originally a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh, Artemis was acquired by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2010.

Led by managing director Niall Caldwell, who has been with the company since its inception in 1994, Artemis’ digital hydraulic power system replaces the mechanical gearbox on conventional wind turbines. This improves the connection between a turbine and the electricity grid, and is currently in use in the world’s largest floating wind turbine off the coast of Japan.

The same technology is also being used to reduce the fuel consumption of commuter trains by up to 10 per cent. It has also been used in hybrid buses.