FeTu is a West Yorkshire company that has designed a revolutionary ‘green’ energy device targeting carbon reduction across a broad range of systems and industries.
The FeTu ‘roticulating’ concept is perceived as the world’s first ‘quad-acting’ device. It is lightweight and scalable and uses just two moving parts to operate four anti-phased compression chambers, offering low-loss conversion from potential to kinetic energy.
FeTu’s new technology inherently lends itself to cost-effective, ultra-efficient fluid displacement devices across a wide range of applications. It is seemingly able to run any thermodynamic cycle, offering exciting potential for large-scale closed-loop Brayton/Sterling cycle engines, which are seen as a highly effective methods of electrical energy production and waste energy capture.
FeTu’s Managing Director, Jonathan Fenton, is a design and engineering manager from West Yorkshire who first conceptualised his roticulating engine as a teenager, before realising a fully functional design in 2015. He initially raised money for the project through friends and family – and managed to design, build and protect a succession of refined models in his spare time.
Recognising the need to scale up his activities, in August 2016 Jonathan had to hang up his ‘engineer’s’ cap’ and focus on funding. Progress accelerated after a meeting with Mark Matchett, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Automotive, at a Niche Vehicle Network event. Mark immediately saw the potential in Jonathan’s ground-breaking concept and introduced him to potential academic and commercial partners and to Emma Fadlon in the KTN Access to Funding and Finance team.
Emma steered Jon to a previously unknown local funding stream which, within a few months, led to a range of offers from a variety of professional angel investors. This allowed Jon to set up an office and make a full-time commitment to FeTu, which now has four employees.
“The device has the potential to generate power for industry from low yield renewable sustainable heat sources and recover waste heat from industrial processes into usable energy. It is even more pleasing because this is a British invention.”
“The potential for the FeTu device is enormous,” said Mark Matchett. “There has never been a device which has the potential to be so efficient, yet offer so much flexibility. Jon’s invention gives the capability to offer large-scale closed loop cycles with apparent ease and reliability. If successfully launched, it could produce huge savings in harmful emissions and CO2, and be applied not just in automotive, but in other applications throughout the energy sector.
“The device has the potential to generate power for industry from low-yield renewable sustainable heat sources and recover waste heat from industrial processes into usable energy. It is even more pleasing because this is a British invention. Uniquely, the FeTu initiative has a potential in terms of carbon reduction by addressing the energy issue at both point of generation and at point of use.”
“Exponential progress has been made since meeting KTN in September 2016,” said Jon. “Mark took the time to really get inside and understand our technology and has provided invaluable advice and introductions. Emma is a resolute powerhouse of financial advice, and with seemingly little effort, totally eclipsed our long-term, best efforts in securing funding.”
Since connecting with KTN, FeTu has been invited by the Advanced Propulsion Centre at the University of Warwick onto the inaugural ‘TDAP’ (Technology Development and Acceleration Program) scheme, aimed at supporting, upskilling and safely accelerating exceptionally promising companies such as FeTu, to be ‘industry ready’ in the shortest period.
In addition, FeTu secured an Innovate UK grant towards a £430k feasibility study of the air compressor variant of its device.
- KTN has presented funding opportunities worth over £2m to FeTu and assisted with applications and proposals
- KTN arranged introductions to potential collaborators and partners
- FeTu has been accepted onto the TDAP programme to help move from idea to proof of concept and development stage
- FeTu has an extensive IP portfolio, which it continues to build with help from KTN
- KTN’s help has allowed Jonathan Fenton to give up his day job and set up a company to develop and bring the engine to market.
“Prior to KTN, our best efforts to attract ‘significant’ funding had led nowhere, the growth of our technology and ability to support and fund our inordinate and ambitious journey I solely attribute to KTN. Without KTN’s continued, expert and insightful support, I fear FeTu may never have seen the light of day, certainly not in a timely manner to fulfil the needs of an industry desperate for change and in immediate need of technology such as ours.”