Business incubator alumnus goes from batteries to Baywatch

ASAP Watercraft

Birmingham start-up Aceleron has launched Circa - an advanced, completely reusable, lithium battery pack designed for use in homes, businesses, e-bikes and the electric watercraft used by lifeguards and rescue professionals. 

Aceleron is the brainchild of two people with a passion for batteries, Dr Amrit Chandan and Carlton Cummins, and started life in 2016 in the University of Birmingham’s business incubator, the BizzInn.

The two founders set up the company with the vision of upcycling used electric car batteries for affordable energy storage in the developing world. 

However BizzInn mentoring and support encouraged the founders to elaborate their business plan and explore additional markets.

Dr James Wilkie, Director of Enterprise & Innovation at the University of Birmingham, advised on how the founders’ expertise could be purposed to develop a product that would gain market access, and how to scale the business effectively. 

Aceleron designed both the Circa battery pack and the process for its manufacture from scratch during their BizzInn residency. 

The business partners dissembled thousands of used lithium batteries and figured out a better way to build lithium batteries. 

The performance of these serviceable packs was then assessed in a rigorous testing programme to provide the evidence that they could perform to exacting industry specifications. 

The result is a serviceable, upgradable, refillable, long-life battery that can be used in electric watercraft in the UK, or a remote small-holding in Africa. 

The Circa battery pack has an integral management system that extracts all the energy individual battery cells, a cooling system that allows the battery to adjust its internal temperature (to ensure optimal performance), and advanced communications so battery performance to be monitored in real-time from a distant location.

Aceleron is now headquartered in Bull Street, Birmingham, and runs operations in the UK, East Africa and the Caribbean.  

ENDS

For further media information contact:

Ruth Ashton, University of Birmingham Enterprise

T: 0121 414 9090

E: r.c.ashton@bham.ac.uk

About Aceleron

Aceleron designs and builds low cost lithium ion battery packs using a patented assembly technology.  The company has a partnership with the award-winning Oxford University spinout Brill Power Ltd, which provides an intelligent management system for the Circa battery packs, that extends battery life by 30-40%, and a technology and new business development partnership with Aspire Engineering.

Other projects from Aceleron

Aceleron has also set up a not-for-profit production operation in Nairobi, Kenya, which uses minimal equipment to produce battery packs that can be used to store the energy harvested from solar panels, so providing affordable energy for micro-producers in Africa.  This initiative was supported by the Shell Foundation, and the batteries have gone into the first round of field testing in the Sunculture project, which provides solar-powered irrigation systems that enable small-scale farmers to produce greater crop yield.  

About the BizzInn

The BizzInn is the University of Birmingham’s business incubator.  It provides incubation, training, mentoring and bespoke business support from expert advisors and entrepreneurs in residence.  The BizzInn is run by University of Birmingham Enterprise, and based at the Birmingham Research Park on the University campus.   Membership of the BizzInn is by application, and is available to Birmingham-based entrepreneurs, start-ups and companies that are ready to scale.   To apply, contact Andrew Cruxton, A.Cruxton@bham.ac.uk.

About University of Birmingham Enterprise

University of Birmingham Enterprise Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Birmingham.  The company commercializes innovations arising from research, and enterprise training, funding, and a full technology transfer service for the University.  It also manages the University’s spinout portfolio, and business and bio-incubation services and facilities at the Birmingham Research Park.