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VPhase runner-up for product which lowers and regulates household energy
Cella Energy was last night named the national winner for the Shell Springboard Awards
2011, for developing a technology which allows hydrogen to be stored in a cheap, practical
way, bringing the prospect of hydrogen fuelled cars one step closer to reality.
Cella Energy's invention uses nanotechnology to store hydrogen safely in tiny micro-beads
(smaller than a grain of sand) which then release hydrogen when heated, producing energy
which can fuel cars, lorries, ships or planes. Storing hydrogen in this way means that it can
be safely transported in micro-bead form opening the door to it being available at petrol
stations for consumers.
The hydrogen micro-bead technology is compatible with standard combustion engines
and can either be used as an additive to conventional fuels where it would reduce carbon
emissions, or on its own to make hydrogen gas creating zero-carbon vehicles.
Cella Energy received their award at a ceremony held at the Royal Society of Science
in London. Their invention impressed a panel of judges which included leading climate
change expert Lord Oxburgh, UK Low Carbon Business Advisor Professor Julia King and
Greenpeace Chief Scientist Doug Parr.
Stephen Voller from Cella Energy said:
"Being named the overall Shell Springboard winner for 2011 is a great boost for Cella
Energy which will give us real credibility in the eyes of customers and potential investors
alike. The £40,000 will enable us to scale up our technology to an industrial scale in order
to help us realise our ambition of providing a safe, zero-carbon hydrogen fuel which can be
used to power the transport industry and dramatically cut carbon emissions.
James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK, said:
"Over the last six years, Shell Springboard has supported over fifty small businesses that
have new ideas for products and services to tackle climate change. They have received
no-strings-attached financial awards totalling £2 million. It's great to these businesses still
coming through even in these tough times. Congratulations and best wishes for success to
Vphase plc was named as the Shell Springboard runner up 2011 for its product which
lowers and regulates household voltage use allowing customers to immediately cut their
energy costs without changing their energy supplier or lifestyle.
The Vphase product reduces and manages the voltage coming into people's homes, to
ensure most electrical appliances use less electricity and cost less to run, in turn lowering
carbon emissions. This reduction of domestic voltage can lead to a decrease in household
electricity bills of between six to12 per cent.
The three other finalists competing last night were:
Ashwoods Automotive Ltd, which has designed a product that regulates and
lengthens the lifespan of electric car batteries, which can cost up to £50,000 each
Cambridge Carbon Capture, which has created technology that captures and
stores CO2 from the atmosphere. The product also produces CO2 free electricity in
addition to carbonate which can be sold to the building industry
Naked Energy Ltd, which has developed a solar panel which is able to generate
both electricity and hot water in cool climates.
The global market for low carbon goods and services, which is already worth over £3 trillion,
is expected to exceed £4.5 trillion by 2015, with the UK market the sixth largest in the world1.
Nearly 200 small businesses from across the UK entered the Shell Springboard awards this
The 2010 Shell Springboard award winners, Hi Mag Solutions Ltd, used their award to hire
a new production engineer, allowing them to develop and introduce new high quality solar
powered products. The recognition of winning a Shell Springboard Award has helped Hi Mag
Solutions attract investment interest drawn engineering talent to their business.
Last year's runner up, Shiply.com, the online marketplace for transporting goods, has saved
the UK in excess of 4m kg of CO2 since winning the award last year.
1-Figures from BIS report, March 2009.
Notes to editors
•Ten Shell Springboard awards of between £20,000 - 30,000 have been awarded across the UK
•Since being set up in 2005, Shell Springboard has provided awards totalling over £2 million to 53
About Shell Social Investment
Shell runs community relations activity with organisations local to our operations. Shell also
runs a series of nationwide social investment programmes. These are:
•Shell LiveWIRE, one of Britain’s longest-running youth enterprise awards schemes, supports,
advises and rewards young entrepreneurs. A 120,000 strong international network of users
receive tailored information and advice whilst helping them build relationships and understand
the challenges faced by their peers. Up to six Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas awards of £1,000
are given to start-up businesses every month. The Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the
Year Award of £10,000 has been running since 1982 and continues to recognise and celebrate
outstanding young entrepreneurs in the UK. Shell LiveWIRE has awarded a total of £5 million to
young entrepreneurs since launching in 1982
•Shell Education Service provides a series of unique, interactive physical science workshops
to over 60,000 young children a year. Workshops are designed to support directly the UK
curricula in over 600 hundred primary schools, benefitting both the pupils and teachers. The
Shell Education Service also organises science days for local communities and trainee teachers,
building their confidence and skills in teaching science. Shell has supported this programme for
over 50 years.
•Shell Springboard provides a financial boost to innovative, low carbon business ideas from
across the UK. Since 2005, around 130 businesses have faced independent judging panels
and 54 have been awarded £20-£40,000. In total over £1.6 million has been awarded to these
businesses, with no strings attached. Through Shell Springboard, Shell supports small to medium
sized enterprises in the UK with innovative ideas to seize the commercial opportunities presented
by climate change.
For more information, please click here
Sally Aldous or
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44 0141 303 8390
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