Extreme Low Energy

Published: 15 July 2020

Innovation is critical to unlocking value from decentralisation, maximising the use of renewables and enabling more efficient operation of the whole energy system.

Extreme Low Energy (ELe®) has developed low voltage power infrastructure systems that eliminate the waste of AC/DC conversion to run DC-powered electronic devices directly from DC renewable generation and storage.

Energy Systems Catapult is helped ELe to explore wider applications for their innovations through our Innovator Support Platform.

The Challenge

All modern electronic devices (such as computers, TV’s and LED lighting) are run via Direct Current (DC) power and require AC/DC adapters that convert Alternative Current (AC) power delivered by our electricity networks into DC power. Yet that AC power has itself already been converted from DC electricity generated by power stations, wind turbines and solar panels.

Each conversion from DC to AC and vice-versa results in inefficiencies, generally showing up in the form of wasted heat energy. Heat sometimes also needs to be moved away through cooling systems or fans, which themselves require more energy to run.

ELe offers low voltage power infrastructure systems to eliminate the waste of AC/DC conversion. So buildings, lighting and electronic devices can run from DC power delivered directly from on-site renewable energy or storage – providing significant energy cost and carbon emission savings.

Yet this value proposition focused on saving energy costs – with ROI timeframes of five years or more – was often viewed as a ‘nice-to-have’ rather than a ‘must-have’. The Innovation Support Platform is helping  ELe’s® explore wider applications for their innovation.

The Innovation

Extreme Low Energy (ELe®) developed a system that distributes DC power safely and efficiently through a building’s existing Ethernet cabling (used for globally standard computer networks and internet cabling).

This ‘plug and play’ low voltage power infrastructure allows lights and electric devices like computers and televisions in houses and offices to be powered using computer cables, cutting out the need to install additional power cabling. ELe’s system also delivers energy efficiencies and enables the use of renewable power on-site or locally without AC/DC conversion losses.

ELe® aim to have their system become a default global power standard for installing lights and electronic devices into properties – either houses or office blocks.

The ELe® system is patented in Europe, Australia, Africa and the US.

Our Approach

Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Innovator Support Platform (ISP) that draws on Catapult capabilities and assets, along with those of our partners.  The ISP provides innovators with tailored incubation and acceleration support to selected SMEs to help address systemic barriers, de-risk innovation, help businesses scale and secure investment.



Acceleration Support

Scale-up support for selected high-impact potential SMEs and links to investors. With further Business Model development and validation, access to demonstration environments such as ‘Living Labs’, engagement with potential corporate customers, Investment Readiness and Partnership, access to International opportunities.


The ISP critically scrutinised the technology that ELe had developed, before independently testing and validating the Ele® value proposition with the marketplace.

While ELe’s low voltage infrastructure system can be viewed as a medium term cost and energy saving solution for businesses and new housing developments, the value proposition testing revealed a more immediate benefit in the technologies ability to reduce maintenance costs.

The Ele® system can monitor the power levels of individual devices in order to predict if a component – such as a ventilation fan – is using more power than usual, which could indicate that it has a problem or is in need of replacement. The system can then send an email or text to facilities teams, enabling them to schedule maintenance visits in advance.

Energy Systems Catapult support for Extreme Low Energy, included:

  • Technology Benefit Mapping: Delivery Support Network partner Cutland Consulting was commissioned to advise Ele® on the Function, Feature & Benefits (FFBs) of its DC power-over-Ethernet system.
  • Customer Value Proposition: Delivery Support Network partners Duffin Associates and Swansea University innovation centre, Specific, supported ELe® to evaluate these FFBs within their target market to develop a CVP.
  • Market Testing: Delivery Support Network partner Duffin Associates conducted in-depth market testing of the CVP.

The Impact

Innovator Support Platform and delivery partners identified key strengths and potential blind spots for ELe’s® technology across the targeted user market. They verified the Customer Value Proposition across key market and life cycle players and the outputs were used to develop pitches for future customers.

  • ELe® is now planning a full product launch in the housing sector and taking its technology out to market.

The Innovator Support Platform also revealed a new market for ELe® to explore:

  • While the ELe® low voltage infrastructure system can be viewed as a medium term cost and energy saving solution for businesses and new housing developments, the value proposition testing revealed a more immediate benefit in the technologies ability to reduce maintenance costs.


The Ele® system can monitor the power levels of individual devices in order to predict if a component – such as a ventilation fan – is using more power than usual, which could indicate that it has a problem or is in need of replacement. The system can then send an email or text to facilities teams, enabling them to schedule maintenance visits in advance.