Partnership will help meet growing electric vehicle power demand

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Critical power specialist Durata is further adding to Teesside’s growing green energy credentials by teaming up with Schneider Electric to roll out their microgrid technology that can manage electricity generated by wind turbines and solar panels in electric vehicle power points all over the UK.

Durata is directly responding to the demand for greener energy and the proliferation of renewable energy sources in its new partnership with Schneider Electric, which has come about as the demand for electric vehicle charging points grows.

The Teesside firm, which ensures that business premises can carry on trading in the event of a power cut or surge, is working with Schneider in response to a change in people’s mindset towards creating a more sustainable future and the need to respond to the UK’s ageing power infrastructure.

Durata is helping Schneider Electric roll out microgrid solutions, which can transmit different sources of energy, including green-to-green energy from wind turbines and solar panels to power points such as electric vehicle chargers.

John McGee, founder and managing director of Durata, said: “Whereas now you may only see one or two charger points in a car park, the requirement will soon be far greater and with that in mind, there will be a need to generate additional power.

“This is where microgrid technology comes into its own.”

Durata is bringing its expertise in installing, monitoring and testing uninterruptable power supplies and cooling systems to the partnership with Schneider.

It currently provides this for data-led industries, including banks, hospitals, government and Ministry of Defence sites, as John explains.

“It’s all about providing peace of mind and protection – knowing that in the event of an outage, there is an immediate and seamless supply of power,” he said.

“Even a brief loss of power may have potentially disastrous consequences and could affect a business’ ability to trade or, in the case of a hospital or bank, delay access to crucial data.

“Durata will carry out a thorough site survey, specify, install and maintain all of the infrastructure to protect your server or communications room.”

Durata also offers a containerised or modular data centre solution, built locally to a firm’s head office premises, which is ideal for sites where temporary or permanent back-up power is required and space is at a premium.

The partnership between Durata and Schneider Electric directly responds to the increased demand for electrical vehicle chargers for businesses, as well as the need to improve the efficiency and sustainability of traditional power supply models.

Where currently only one or two chargers are provided in supermarket car parks and other businesses, as the electric car market takes off, many more power outlets are going to be required across the UK.

This can be achieved through a microgrid, which responds to changes to the supply of and demand for energy, which traditionally saw central power stations using fossil fuels to transmit power through pylons to homes and businesses in a linear way.

Now we have renewable sources of energy Schneider terms “distributed energy resources”, which are not only required to serve businesses and homes directly but also the proliferation of electric vehicle charging points, as well as feeding into the national grid.

John said: “Durata is proud to be working alongside Schneider Electric to bring these solutions to businesses across the UK.

“By 2030 everyone across the nation will be required to drive an electric car instead of the petrol and diesel we currently use and there are government grants available to provide some savings.

“We wanted to be part of this rollout as early as possible, especially here in the North-East where we are based. There is so much good news for our region at the moment and it would be amazing to add to that.”

The microgrid solution responds to a number of challenges with the efficiency, supply and sustainability of older power technology, including ageing, inefficient infrastructure, which is costly to operate and too expensive to upgrade, lack of capacity on the grid and power quality issues.

Durata was founded by time-served electrician John in 2013 after he spotted a gap in the niche critical power market.

Andy Mullen, a former colleague of John’s, joined soon after as installation director, then Alison McGee came to the company seven years ago as quality director, bringing the knowledge she had learned working for large corporate companies.

Durata has worked on highly prestigious projects throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East, many of which are sensitive and covered by confidentiality agreements.

Clients include the National Archives, several Ministry of Defence sites, the British Museum, Natural History Museum and a range of businesses and data centres.

The company is a preferred partner for integrated services specialists CBRE, as well as installation partners to the world’s largest UPS (backup power technology) manufacturers.

Durata has also recently signed an agreement with one of the world’s largest technology infrastructure companies.

Since 2013, Durata has grown from a team of two to a company employing 23 staff and last year moved into new headquarters on Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP) in Middlesbrough, where it is surrounded by key suppliers, including Cleveland Cables.

John said: “Our services have been in particular demand during the pandemic, which has succeeded in underlining the importance of data security.

“Some of the additional work we have been involved with over the past 11 months has included logistics centres and testing facilities following last spring’s lockdown.”

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