Light-speed awareness of power networks

UK Energy Innovation Awards Winner


Synaptec Ltd is a highly-innovative company based in the centre of Glasgow, with roots in the University of Strathclyde’s Institute for Energy and Environment: the largest power engineering research group in Europe.

We were founded in 2014 with a mission to reduce the downtime and operating costs of electrical power networks by providing cost-effective, high-performance instrumentation capable of underpinning present and future monitoring, protection and control functions. We develop and deploy unique photonic sensing systems that utilise existing optical fibre networks to measure all parameters that electricity network operators require for primary and ancillary monitoring functions.

photonic instrumentation for the electrical power industry

The increased global electricity demand and simultaneous move to greater penetration of distributed renewable energy sources challenges the established technologies for monitoring, protection and control of power electricity networks. To ensure stability and to minimize the impact of faults, modern power networks require increased monitoring of voltage and current, and increasingly also of temperature, quasi-static strain and dynamic vibration of items of plant in order to determine system health and capacity.

We have worked closely with the UK and EU electricity network operators to identify the key problems facing these networks now and in the future, and to develop cost-effective solutions based on our patented technologies. By improving network management through enhanced awareness, we provide multiple benefits to network operators and society including cost reductions, enhanced security of energy supply, and reduced emissions.

The company has an executive team with a leading research background in the areas of photonic instrumentation and power systems, and an advisory team with a strong track record of company formation and growth in these fields.

We won Best University Technology at the 2014 UK Energy Innovation Awards, and were finalists at both the IET Innovation Awards and the Converge Challenge.

In recognition of our vision and capability, we were recently awarded Best Offshore Renewables Innovation at the UK Energy Innovation Awards 2017. We are proud to say that we’re a Living Wage Employer.

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