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Sprint wins Innovate UK funding to expand its AC regen range

25 March, 2024

Sprint Electric, the UK drives developer, has won funding worth around £300,000 from Innovate UK to support the development of larger versions of its “groundbreaking” Generis AC regenerative drive. The first 22kW models are now ready to go on sale and the new funding – from the fifth round of Innovate UK’s Investor Partnerships programme which backs SMEs – will support the development of the Generis range up to 250kW. Sprint Electric was one of 28 successful applicants for funding from 89 applications.

The West Sussex based business, which has traditionally focused on DC drives, has been has been collaborating with the University of Nottingham on the AC technology since 2018. The patented AC drives provide will precise control of AC motors, combined with efficient energy regeneration – a capability which most traditional AC variable-speed drives do not offer.

The Generis drive provides full four-quadrant control, as well as unity power factor and minimal input current distortion. Four-quadrant control removes the need for active front-end drives or braking resistors, simplifying the control of AC motors in complex applications. The technology will reduce heat generation, and improve motor accuracy and system efficiencies.

The Generis drive is the product of a five-year partnership between Sprint Electric and the University of Nottingham

“There is currently no range of inverters (AC VSDs) available that delivers effectively on efficient regeneration,” says Sprint director, Gary Keen. “Sprint Electric is capitalising on the gap in the market by creating an AC drive capable of regenerative operation and ultra-low harmonics.”

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