HK start-up launches zero-pollution energy storage system

Hong Kong start-up Ampd Energy has launched a novel energy storage system that offers an environmentally friendly and reliable alternativeto pollutive diesel generators for developing countries to deal with frequent blackouts.

The next-generation energy storage system branded Ampd Silo uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to store electricity when power is available, and then provides energywhen the main power source fails. It can be used to replace backup diesel generators that are widely used in the developing world to cope with blackouts caused by inadequate electricity production or poor energy infrastructure.

Ampd is an incubatee of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park Corporation (HKSTP). The company joined HKSTP’s Incu-Tech incubation programme in 2015.

“This technology is at the forefront in the industry,” says HKSTP ChiefCommercial Officer Andrew Young.

“It could improve the quality of living for people and contribute to enhance global eco-friendliness. We are glad to see that Ampdhas benefited from the Park’s advanced lab facility and I&T ecosystem. HKSTP is eager to support the development of such technology that contributes to greener and smarter cities.”

For debilitating blackouts in developing countries

The launch of Ampd Silo is especially good news to countries like Indonesia and India, where daily power outages affect millions of lives. A 2016 PWC report estimatesthat the Indonesian manufacturing sector alone loses around US$415 million annually from blackouts.

Diesel generators are often used to keep cities going and hospitals running during blackouts, but such generators pollute the environment and affect people’shealth.

Ampd Silo will offer a clean and safe alterative to help countries with weak electricity grids, like Indonesia, to keep residential, commercial and industrial applicationsin operation during power cuts. Ampd’s sole distribution partner in Indonesia, Yakin Wijaya, who is Director of PT Praptadaya Sumber Perkasa, applauded Ampd’s breakthrough technology. “Ampd Silo has the potential to transform the way Indonesian companies operate.It will increase productivity, allowing companies to focus on their core businesses,” he said.

Grander plans in place for commercialising the energy storagesystem                                               

The start-up has a grander vision beyond clean energy backup storage. Ampd plans to grow to serve the US$250 billion distributed energy storage sector. With sophisticatedsoftware updates, Ampd Silo owners will even be able to make money by buying and selling clean energy to the electricity grid.

Once economies of scale are achieved through commercial sales, Ampd aims to enter the consumer market. Ampd’s CEO and Co-founder Brandon Ng stated: “We are incrediblyexcited to be contributing to a much-needed missing piece for society to fully transition to renewable energy sources. Ampd Silo is the most compelling zero-pollution alternative to backup diesel generators.”

Ampd’s Hong Kong partner Yau Lee Construction Company Limited will offer the service of replacing existing lead acid UPS (uninterruptible power supply) battery systemswith Ampd Silos, through its affiliate REC Green Technologies Co., Ltd. This will provide backup power to mission-critical settings such as hospital emergency wards, airports and data centres.

Compared to Lead Acid UPSs, Ampd Silo’s ecological footprint isonly 20% of the former and its lifespan is twice as long, without any toxic materials.

“I believe the joint effort between Ampd Energy and RGT will transform the UPS market, and will provide a very stable and cost-effective UPS solution,” said Antonio Chan,Executive Director of REC Green Technologies Ltd.

Ampd Energy was co-founded by Brandon Ng and Luca Valente. The pair first started working on electric motorcycles and subsequently changed their focus to energy storageafter experiencing blackouts in Sumatra and realising their motorcycle battery systems could serve a much greater purpose. To date, Ampd Energy has secured US$3.7 million seed investment – one of the largest seed rounds for a Hong Kong start-up.