Solar and wind energy with a Bulgarian patent
It is hard to imagine but the data is categorical – over a billion and a half people worldwide still live without electricity. In order to get warm and to prepare food, an enormous number of people in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia mostly burn wood and... dung. This causes massive deforestation and exacerbates the climate change that the planet is desperately trying to overcome.
Given that global deficit of grids and electricity in 2021, the role of renewable energy sources is becoming more prominent as they become a leading trend in the support of struggling regions and humanity’s green future.
Until recently, they were just an addition to the energy system; however, they are have accumulated markets and investments.
One Bulgarian company is gaining increasing popularity in this sector.
International Power Supply (IPS) is among a few Bulgarian companies that deal with development and production of autonomous systems for decentralized electrification and smart grids using renewable energy sources (RES).
The company was founded in 1989 and currently it is operating on 58 markets worldwide. The module system Exeron developed by the company provides a solution to the global problem of limited access to electricity through a combination of solar panels, wind blades and batteries. This high-tech discovery provides IPS with work on five continents.
“With the Fund’s help, IPS will expand its operations in the Middle East and the USA,” announced the Executive Director of the BDB and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Capital Investments Fund, Nikolay Dimitrov.
The Bulgarian Development Bank’s affiliate company was established in 2019 with the mission to support small and medium-sized businesses in the country by providing share capital for growth.
“We are helping our share investments ecosystem through partnerships and opportunities for co-investment with other funds,” added Dimitrov.
It is of particular value to IPS that a state fund is providing support.
“This is an important message to foreign partners and clients that shows state support and builds even greater trust”, concluded IPS Executive Director Alexander Rangelov.
What is the story of this success?
International Power Supply (IPS) is a family-owned company that is the successor to the company 2S – Trifonov & Co. that was founded in the late 1980s by Eng. Stoil Trifonov and highly qualified radio-electronic engineers. Trifonov’s company has various versions of systems for heat and electricity supply in telecommunications, defense, and the energy sector. Its greatest success arrived with the modular system Exeron. First the product was created for military use for areas that have no electrical grid and combines solar panels, wind blades and batteries, and the computer module controls the energy storage versus consumption ratios. It is up to the design solution and the client’s preferences how much energy will be stored in the batteries and for how long they can be used. The first system was developed for the Bulgarian base in Antarctica and has been operational for ten years without needing maintenance.
IPS inherited the substantial experience and knowledge of Eng. Trifonov and his team. The secret to the company’s success lies in high technology and engineering knowhow and the ongoing process of investment in research and development. Since its founding, the company has continuously developed new competences and technologies. Exeron currently provides electricity in various sectors - for example, for telecoms, security and surveillance systems in border areas, for agricultural sites, for schools, universities and hospitals in hard-to-reach places. This technology creates small stations that power any type of sites and other critical infrastructure. The first power station of that type was installed in Central Nigeria and provided continuous supply to a local college.
“We went on a visit a year later and discovered that life there had changed substantially,” shared Alexander Rangelov.
The kids now have TVs and computers. Our people are being welcomed
“like the Pope is visiting.”
Another similar project is the electrification of 500 villages in Mauritania.
Exeron’s system brings contracts to IPS in various corners of the world, such as Australia, where it is employed by the national gas company. In Afghanistan, IPS ensures completely independent power supply to telecom towers. And In USA, the company focuses on households.
“Our technology is very well-suited for this region because of the expensive electricity and frequent blackouts,” explained IPS’ Executive Director.
The Bulgarian company’s projects have an extremely high security rate.
“Imagine a container that houses Exeron and is the starting point of cables that power all the sheds and houses from the nearby solar station. Our advantage in projects like that is our military standard of quality that ensures resistance of the system to external temperature, sand, dust, and moisture,” Rangelov explained.
First in the world
The uncompromising quality of IPS ensures it receives orders from clients like Saudi Aramco that assigns to the Bulgarian company the power supply to non-conventional gas pumps. Saudi Arabia will be counting on them significantly in the years to come in order to diversify its production. Saudi Aramco’s Executive Director described IPS’ technology in an official statement as „something that will change the development plans of our company“. The company also has a previous project with Saudi Aramco where its technological solution for electrification of gas wells was applied for the first time in the world.
According to Alexander Rangelov, that kind of success could not have happened without the support of the shareholders in International Power Supply. In 2014, the Bulgarian team won the innovation competition “ees AWARD” in Germany against 1300 companies. Exeron was elected as the best technology for autonomous systems for electrification in remote and inaccessible regions, the so-called off-grid systems. Three years later, the Exeron modular system won the Innovation Award at the SpaceX competition in California, personally presented to Alexander Rangelov by Elon Musk.
This is how the Bulgarian company made international headlines and the doors of international business were held open. The groundbreaking technology was appreciated by the funds BlackPeak Capital and PostScriptum, and later on by the Greek industrial holding Mytilineos from which IPS has been raising funds in the last 7 years.
The role of the Capital Investments Funds from the BDB Group will be key to the successful future development of IPS as it is going to invest BGN 6,5 mln. Apart from an expansion of IPS’ potential, part of the fund’s interest will be invested in scientific research and development, which will provide the company with an additional competitive advantage on international markets.