A University of Edinburgh-supported startup business, which aims to transform the global wind farm industry, has secured an Innovate UK grant to help develop its technology.
Myriad Wind Energy Systems aims to maximise the positive benefits of wind turbines by reducing their manufacturing costs, increasing their efficiency and making them fully recyclable.
Through its multi-rotor solution, Myriad’s design simplifies the manufacturing process which currently requires massive, energy intensive plants to build ever-larger blades of up to 110m in length. The capital investment required for such facilities and the logistical complexities involved in shipping large blades has made production virtually unviable for UK manufacturers as well as for most of the world-leading wind turbine companies such as Vesta, General Electric and Siemens Gamesa.
Myriad’s modular systems with its series of smaller blades overcome this production barrier and also reduce maintenance downtime ensuring maximum energy generation from wind turbines.
Large, single rotor turbine blades need to be made from glass fibre composites with 80% of these materials having to go to landfill at the end of life whereas Myriad’s smaller blades can be produced using fully recyclable materials, making them far more environmentally sustainable. The amount of crushed landfill waste produced when all wind turbines installed globally last year reach their end of life would fill the equivalent of 100 Olympic swimming pools.
Pictured L - R: Paul Pirrie, Adam Harris, Peter Taylor
Among the company’s co-founders is Adam Harris, Myriad’s CEO who graduated with an engineering degree from University of Strathclyde and is currently completing his PhD in Magnetic Gearing for Renewable Energy at the University of Edinburgh. He co-founded the company with fellow PhDs from the University of Strathclyde engineering school Paul Pirrie (Myriad’s CTO), and Peter Taylor (Myriad’s COO). The three are also committee members of the International Network of Offshore Renewable Energy (INORE), promoting collaboration in the sector.
The £50K Innovate UK grant will be used to help Myriad increase engagement across the renewable energy sector and further develop its wind turbine design. The company has secured a test site in Ayrshire where it plans to operate a protype within the next few years.
Myriad is supported by the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service, Edinburgh Innovations. The University’s in-house venture investment fund, Old College Capital, has also invested £15K into the company to help support its early development.
Myriad CEO Adam Harris said:
The Innovate UK grant is a real endorsement of what we are aiming to achieve at Myriad. The funds will help us further progress our IP and ensure we have a proposition which can fully benefit the wider wind energy sector. "
We are grateful to Edinburgh Innovations for their advice and support which was instrumental in securing this initial grant. They have a thorough understanding of our business as well as the wider renewable energy sector and have been a key partner in helping us get to this exciting stage in our development. ”
Lorna Baird, Student Enterprise Manager, said: “Myriad is another great example of an EI-supported start-up business which is focused on delivering change for the wider benefit of society. The three founders have developed an innovative design solution which has the potential to be transformative in driving renewable energy production and significantly reducing landfill waste. We are delighted to support them on this important journey.”