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Pulsiv moves on to next stages of development with a £1.5m funding


Plymouth University spin-off Pulsiv has received £1.5m funding to accelerate the development of its power-conversion technology, and prepare its growth. Initially known as Pulsiv Solar, Pulsiv has confirmed its goal to “make the most efficient use of electricity wherever it is converted” with economic and environmentally-friendly power supply solutions. Its technology aims to improve the power output and efficiency of electricity conversion, which should lead to reduced bills and efficient products. A latest example is its cooperation with Bosch on a new microinverter to generate efficient photovoltaic solar cells.

Calls for sustainable electronic systems and devices are driving the trends for smarter and more energy-efficient products; consumers also want faster battery charging, longer battery life, and energy-efficient yet cheaper domestic appliances. Pulsiv promises to deliver all these through smaller, lighter and more cost-effective designs through “fundamentally new power-conversion techniques”.

Power supply topologies have evolved over the years, especially in specific applications, with the semiconductor industry matching that with tailored solutions for improved performance and lower costs.

Now, Pulsiv offers a series of reference designs to improve the power factor in commodity power supplies of < 65W, to deliver 65W-250W power supplies for OEMs requiring high power density or lowest cost per Watt; and new power-balancing mode for consumer products.

“To deliver 65W-250W power supplies for OEMs requiring high power density, even in modest volumes COTS power supplies can be expensive. Many companies design their own or employ third parties to create bespoke solutions,” wrote the company in a statement.

Pulsiv claims to provide an alternative. Patented power factor correction techniques and proprietary microcontroller algorithms have been used to optimise circuit designs. The company has also replaced expensive capacitors in its designs with commodity parts, and completely removed large magnetic components that has translated into simpler, smaller, lighter and lower-cost OEM products.

“Electronic devices have traditionally consumed whatever they require with little or no consideration for the power source. Standby, low-power and eco modes are now a feature of many home appliances, but none of these address underlying supply limitations,” said Dr Zaki Ahmed, Pulsiv founder and Chief Strategy Officer. “Pulsiv’s low-cost integrated circuit detects grid over/under supply on each AC cycle, enabling consumer products to intelligently adjust consumption in real-time. Widespread adoption could eliminate demand surges, black-outs, bottlenecks and reliability issues in the power network.”

He continued: “Phone chargers, generic USBC adaptors, WiFi boxes, Chromebook power bricks and many other high-volume devices typically exhibit a power factor in the 30-50% range. National grid infrastructure and local renewable sources must therefore provide 2-3 times more power than is actually used. Typical peak and inrush currents are far higher than they need to be; both put unnecessary stress on transmission systems and cause losses throughout the network.”

Early prototypes of the Pulsiv design have exhibited a power factor of over 90%.

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