The University of Southampton

Perpetuum aims for global leadership in fast-growing market

Published: 26 October 2007

Perpetuum, the leading manufacturer of vibration energy harvesting devices, has completed a £5 million funding round backed by Environmental Technologies Fund (ETF), Quester, and Top Technology. The investment is to be used to support Perpetuum in commercialising its vibration energy-harvesting generator.

Perpetuum’s micro power generator is the world’s first truly practical vibration-harvesting device capable of generating enough power to enable wireless transmission of large amounts of data. Energy harvesting is considered a key enabler for wireless sensor networks, which are becoming increasingly important in a variety of areas including industrial monitoring and control, rail transport, and shipping. Perpetuum’s novel energy source generates electric current from the energy of low levels of vibrations as they are present, for example, on standard electric motors common at industrial sites. Harvesting power locally makes the sensor nodes independent of the use of batteries or mains power and drastically reduces installation and maintenance cost.

The current round of investment has been led by ETF. It will be the second investment from ETF’s new fund, which was launched last year with a target size of 150 million euro. Both Quester and Top Technology were previous shareholders of Perpetuum and have taken up pre-emption rights.

Mike McTighe, Chairman of Perpetuum said, ‘Our generator is already being built into sensor node designs by some of the world’s leading industrial condition monitoring companies. There is no comparable device on the market today and we have a great opportunity to position Perpetuum as the global leader in this fast-growing market. We are very pleased to have ETF as an investor, and to welcome Henrik Olsen of ETF to the board.’

Henrik Olsen, a founding Partner of ETF added, ‘Perpetuum has developed a novel alternative energy source that harvests energy otherwise wasted and renders batteries unnecessary. By enabling wireless sensing it will significantly improve industrial efficiency. Perpetuum is a great example of the type of company we would like to support – it has a market-ready, universally applicable product that can make a real difference in a rapidly growing market. It has an excellent management team, enjoys great customer interest and is poised for significant growth.’

The original research behind the Perpetuum products was carried out in the School of Electronics and Computer Science, by Professor Neil White and colleagues in the Electronic Systems Design Group.

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