Pioneering switch could yield hundreds of jobs
THE world's first diamond electronic switch has been developed by a Durham company which its bosses say has the potential to create hundreds of jobs in the North East.
Evince Technology, which is poised to win £2m of venture capital funding, has made a commercially viable model of a high-voltage switch which it says could make renewable energy generation able to supply power much more cheaply than current silicon switches.
The three-year-old company has also had positive talks with power companies and train operators about buying the solid-state devices it hopes to start making by the end of 2011.
Evince chairman Dr Neil Loxley said: "The development of a working device using our diamond diode is a major milestone in the development of the company. This has enormous potential in industry as the properties of diamond mean that it can switch voltages of up to 15,000 volts compared withthe 3,000-volt capacity of silicon diodes.
"It is much cheaper and more effective than working with silicon switches and solves many of the problems of integrating power generated by renewable means directly into the grid as it can easily manage variations in power.
"The work going on to develop renewable energy in the North East makes this an ideal place to work and we believe it is very likely we can start large-scale production by 2015 and this would create hundreds of jobs."