Unless you are a devotee of small providers of renewable energy solutions, you may never have heard of Crossflow Energy. Based in West Glamorgan, Wales, the company is only small—it has just 13 employees on LinkedIn[1], and company listings suggest it has a maximum of 50 overall. However, it had a very good year in 2021. The company is now looking like a key partners in delivering sustainable energy solutions in remote sites. Read on to find out more…

Crossflow’s most recent collaboration is with Vodafone, to provide self-powered mobile masts

This project may be many people’s first introduction to Crossflow—but it is unlikely to be the last that you hear of the company. Back in December, both Vodafone[2] and Crossflow[3] tweeted about a new joint project, to provide self-powered mobile masts This is crucial to two Vodafone goals: expanding mobile coverage to remote areas—and therefore providing better coverage across the UK—and reaching net zero carbon by 2027.

The new mobile masts draw on Crossflow’s new wind turbine technology

The collaboration between Vodafone and Crossflow has been running for two years, and has involved the development of a revolutionary new wind turbine technology.[4] Until now, wind turbines have been both too big and too unreliable for use with mobile masts. However, Crossflow’s new Eco-Towers combine turbines with conventional solar and batteries, removing the need to connect to the electricity grid. This makes them ideal for use in remote areas.

Crossflow’s wind turbine also has potential in other projects

Several industry-specific media sites have picked up news of Crossflow’s wind turbine, suggesting that it has wide potential. Magazine Highways Today described the turbine technology as set to transform highways projects[5] by meaning that they no longer need to be connected to the grid. In remote areas of Northern Scotland—where there is insufficient sun at certain times of year to rely on solar panels—this could be a game-changer. Similarly, International Construction[6] and Design and Build UK[7] have both suggested that the technology could transform construction by enabling small-scale wind power generation.

Crossflow’s work has been recognised as one of the green innovations of 2021

It may be a surprise to hear that wind turbines are still considered innovative. However, sustainability media company edie gave Crossflow an ‘honourable mention’ in its round-up of green innovations from 2021,[8] alongside autonomous electric transport pods, and rapid electric charging forecourts. This highlights the innovative nature of Crossflow’s technology.

Crossflow has worked closely with Swansea University to develop its technology

Some reports suggest that Crossflow is a spin-off from Swansea University, but the company itself does not seem to make this claim. However, there is no doubt that it has close ties with the University. The Chair of its Board of Directors—who is also, incidentally, the company’s Executive Director for R&D—has recently retired as Professor of Renewable Energy from the engineering faculty at the university.[9]  The company’s technology development timeline also describes a collaboration with the university’s centre for computational engineering to model airflow for the turbine development.[10]

Crossflow is active in promoting renewables and the move to net zero

There is something of a theme to Crossflow’s social media activity. Naturally, it shares tweets on its own products and partnerships. However, it also shares information about two other areas: the UK’s move to net zero carbon, and the rise in renewables. For example, one recent tweet shared the news that 42% of the UK’s energy had been generated from renewable sources in 2020.[11] Another discussed the National Grid’s launch of a unique new system to increase renewable energy connections to the grid,[12] and a third shared news that the Climate Change Committee had confirmed that Wales has a credible path to net zero emissions by 2050.[13]

The bottom line

Crossflow is a small company, and at present really only has a single product. However, that product is a new and revolutionary form of wind turbine that looks set to be adopted widely whenever small-scale wind power is needed, and no external grid connections are available. This is likely to prove crucial in the combined move to net zero and expansion of telecoms cover in remote areas, as well as widely applied to construction projects. Crossflow is definitely a company to watch for the future.

 

[1] https://www.linkedin.com/company/cross-flow-energy-company-limited/posts/?feedView=all

[2] https://twitter.com/vodafone_VCS/status/1471799907791126528

[3] https://twitter.com/cfecwales/status/1469287315281526785

[4] https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk/press-release/vodafone-building-self-powered-eco-tower-mobile-phone-masts/

[5] https://highways.today/2021/12/20/small-wind-turbine/

[6] https://www.international-construction.com/news/new-wind-turbine-for-construction-projects/8016890.article

[7] https://designandbuilduk.net/revolutionary-small-wind-turbine-set-to-transform-construction/

[8] https://www.edie.net/news/8/Hydrogen-for-heavy-industry-and-autonomous-transport–pods—The-best-green-innovations-of-2021/

[9] https://crossflowenergy.co.uk/about-us/leadership/non-executive-board-of-directors/

[10] https://crossflowenergy.co.uk/smart-turbines/development-timeline/

[11] https://twitter.com/cfecwales/status/1370024717038481411

[12] https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/national-grid-launches-first-of-its-kind-coordinated-system-to-increase-renewable-energy-connections

[13] https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/national-grid-launches-first-of-its-kind-coordinated-system-to-increase-renewable-energy-connections

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