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Energy award for University of Manchester spin-off company

21 Jun 2010

An energy company formed by two University of Manchester academics has won a prestigious award for performance improvement.

Professor Simon Rowland, fifth from right, with the other award winners
Professor Simon Rowland, fifth from right, with the other award winners

Arago Technology, a spin-out company started by professors Ian Cotton and Simon Rowland from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, was awarded the Existing Performance Improvement prize at the Energy Innovation Awards ceremony.

The company was also highly-commended for the big prize, the Energy Innovation Grand Prix, at the awards evening at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester on Thursday night (17th June).

Collecting the awards, Simon Rowland said: "We are a new company, these are our first awards and we are really delighted that the community can see what we are trying to achieve to enable greater power transmission through existing overhead line infrastructure."

Arago Technology was incorporated in early 2010 following several years of joint research and development by EPL Composites Solutions and a team from the National Grid High Voltage Labs at The University of Manchester.

The majority of their current research and development is focused on creating an electrically insulating transmission tower Cross-Arm. This Composite Cross-Arm is suitable for retrofit to existing transmission towers or as an option for new line build. This technology is not limited to a specific tower size and can be adapted to suit any tower.

For the up-rating of existing lines, the Composite Cross-Arm allows tower voltages to be increased without any change to the overall tower structure or height. The increase in voltage will usually require a change in the conductor (the wire carried by the towers).

Significant improvements in power transfer capability can be achieved through the combination of the Composite Cross-Arm with the use of a low sag novel conductor to increase current.

Arago Technology focus on the development of new, ground-breaking technology but also work with potential clients and partners to identify how technology can best meet their needs.


Notes for editors

Professor Simon Rowland is available for interview on request.

The Inaugural Energy Innovation Awards were supported by a host of leading organisations including the Northwest Regional Development Agency, European Regional Development Fund, Department for Energy and Climate Change, EA Technology Group, EA Technology Ventures, Energy Networks Association, Electricity North West Envirolink Northwest, IET, Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Energy and UKTI.

The Energy Innovation Centre, located in Capenhurst, Cheshire, fosters innovation and provides a gateway to accelerate cutting-edge products and technologies to market.

For more details and the full list of winners visit

For media enquiries contact:

Dan Cochlin
Media Relations
The University of Manchester

Tel: 0161 275 8387