I presented two papers (on elpipes and Ballistic Breakers) at the Claverton Energy conference in Birmingham, England

This small conference (IP&EE, http://www.claverton-energy.com/nec-latest-list.html) was held in Birmingham and brought together a unique group of energy technology innovators and providers. I presented an update on elpipes. This was the first time I discussed Ballistic Breakers™ from the perspective of their use for enabling an HVDC supergrid, or before that, enabling a lower cost multi-terminal HVDC grid (such as the Atlantic Wind Connection) than would be the case if all the circuit breakers were based on power electronic devices, as is the current thinking & expectation.

I came over to England for several purposes, and I used the conference to anchor my visit. I also met Joe Corbett of Mainstream Renewable Power and together we had a tour (on April 17) of Alstom Grid's facility in nearby Staffordshire, lead by Norman MacLeod (Technical Marketing Director & Senior Expert). Joe and I plan to do a paper together on using elpipes to cross the Irish Sea; Mainstream Renewable Power plans to build a large wind farm "supernode" offshore of Ireland, and needs to bring the power over to the UK grid, which is large enough to accept the nearly 5 GW capacity of the wind power project; a single pair of elpipes would replace five pairs of 600kV subsea cables (which is the current state of the art for undersea power transmission; such cables can carry at most 1.1 GW of power).

A main purpose of going over was to meet Robert French, who is an amazing & creative English "ex-pat" engineer who has been helping me to develop a new strategy to bring elpipes to market. Through him I have tapped into an amazing international community of  engineers that Robert has met over the years as he has moved around the world building or upgrading things like refineries and polymerization plants. When I met Robert he was between projects, having just worked on a new polymerization plant in Korea. (He is now working on a refinery upgrade in Khabarovsk, Russia.) Robert introduced me in particular to Andrew Morrison, CEO of Upsyde International Inc, a developer of pipeline projects. Robert and Andrew have convinced me that the key alliances I have been missing are with pipeline developers and third world (or at least, non-EU, non-North American) utilities. Up until now I have focused mainly on strategic partnerships with electric utility insiders like ABB, Siemens, and Alstom Grid, or Western utilities per se; the entire Developed World electric utility industry is perversely risk averse, whereas pipeline developers and the petroleum/petrochemicals industry have a "can do" attitude. Several recent innovations in HVDC occurred due to pressure from customers (600kV HVDC was developed for Brazil, 800kV HVDC was developed for China). I am now following up on this new perspective, and making progress that I cannot describe yet.

I had quite a few phone conversations and emails exchanged with Roger Critchley of Alstom Grid (Head, Strategy, Collaborative Developments & Power Electronics) prior to coming over to England. He was not able to meet with Joe Corbett, Norman MacLeod, and I on April 17, so I came back for a second visit on April 20 to meet Roger Critchley, and got a tour of Alstom's High Voltage Research lab.

I have so far found that US-based venture capital investors will not take an interest in the elpipe because it is "too big, too long term." I have therefore put my startup Electric Pipeline Corporation onto Wefunderhttps://wefunder.com/elpipes 
in hopes that I can get started on this important (and expensive) development soon. It would help me move this forward if you will "follow" me on Wefunder; I expect the US Securities and Exchange Commission will be issuing rules by May that will allow me to raise funds though Wefunder (this is not legal yet, but by following EPC, you will help move me to the front of the queue when the final rules are announced). 

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