Powerstar, manufacturer of leading smart energy solutions, has invested half a million pounds in a purpose-built ‘Innovation Laboratory’ situated at the company’s head office and manufacturing facility in Sheffield.

Powerstar Innovation LaboratoryAs part of the company’s commitment to innovation and engineering excellence, this investment will assist Powerstar in delivering its bespoke solutions to clients, by allowing Powerstar’s growing in-house research and development team to experiment with new technologies and fully test solutions prior to installation, to provide maximum value to its customers.

The importance Powerstar places on innovation through research and development is embedded in the company’s core visions and values. This is underpinned by the growth of the dedicated R&D team, as well as the recent accomplishment that 10 per cent of the workforce has achieved a PhD level education.

One of the newly acquired leading-edge technologies featured in the Innovation Laboratory is a Grid Scale Emulator, which enables Powerstar to understand and rigorously test how its solutions will respond to a variety of grid events and scenarios by emulating potentially disruptive scenarios, programmed by the team. This increases the quality control Powerstar is able to maintain over its solutions before installation, and improves efficiencies at both the Site Acceptable Test (SAT) and Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) stages of the process.

Additional software that is being developed in the Innovation Laboratory includes remote monitoring and the bespoke programming of smart energy systems, allowing customers to streamline their energy use, thereby reducing consumption and CO2 emissions and promoting the intelligent use of energy.

Solon Mardapittas, Chief Technical Officer at Powerstar, said: “Although the Innovation Laboratory is still in the early stages of its development, the amount of information gleaned from the testing that has been carried out in the facility has already proved invaluable.

“An exciting revelation is being able to explore how we can further develop our offering to support the heightened asset connectivity delivered through Industry 4.0. While we already boast a varied range of monitoring and management functionality from our remote platforms, we intend to increase the range of activities to ensure maximum value is delivered to customers in conjunction with their assets.

“By using the Innovation Laboratory to its full capabilities, Powerstar will continue to drive innovation at an accelerated rate to provide a best-in-class customer experience through bespoke, tailored solutions.”

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Tracy Eaton