"We get lots of requests for custom-designed battery and power packs, but this one was very unusual. "
Mark Thompson, founder of AceOn Group
A wheelchair tennis star will represent Great Britain at the Paralympic Games later this month — wearing a lifesaving vest to keep him cool which is being powered by a custom-made AceOn battery.
Antony Cotterill needs to wear the vest in Tokyo’s searing heat because an accident has left him unable to regulate his own body temperature.
Telford-based AceOn was commissioned by pioneering cooling technology company Paxman to provide a power pack for the vest it has developed to enable Antony to compete at the games, which open on August 24.
The special battery powers a pump, which circulates a coolant through the vest which Antony will wear whilst playing his matches to prevent his body from dangerously overheating as temperatures soar into the 30s.
Mark Thompson, founder of AceOn Group, was delighted to answer the call when Huddersfield-based Paxman approached.
“We get lots of requests for custom-designed battery and power packs, but this one was very unusual. Paxman’s design team had very specific needs for the power source for Antony’s vest as it also needed to meet the demands of a wheelchair tennis player — so it had to be light, provide charge for at least 30-40 minutes (the average length of a set) and it needed to have a quick connect facility so it could be easily changed at the end of a set.
“We set our inhouse design team to work on creating a bespoke power pack solution with all those qualities and came up with a unique 200W battery configuration which Antony will be using in Japan.”
Paxman is a family business that uses pioneering cooling technology to help cancer patients keep their hair during chemotherapy. The company founder and chairman, Glenn Paxman, was approached by the manager of Antony’s tennis club two years ago to see if they could help with an innovative cooling solution.
Glenn’s brother Neil Paxman, one of the UK’s top cooling technology experts, designed the lightweight miniature cooling device which attaches to Antony’s wheelchair.
Glenn Paxman said: “Cooling innovation is firmly embedded in the Paxman family — both scalp and beer cooling — so Neil took these years of experience and research to make something bespoke that would help Antony compete safely in the Tokyo heat.”
Antony said: “The technology is incredible, and I cannot believe it has been designed specially to help keep me cool while I play. Without it, my core body temperature would reach dangerously high levels during a match, which sadly could stop me from competing. I am now looking forward to representing Team GB this summer and cannot wait to get on the court.”
Mark added: “This project was a really special one for AceOn to be part of. We’ll be cheering on Antony from Telford, and we wish him every success in Tokyo.”
The Paralympics will take place from Tuesday 24th August — Sunday 5th September, Tokyo, Japan.
AceOn Group has 30 years of experience in the battery industry and has a team of experts in battery design and manufacture. The company is one of the UK's leading providers of lithium-ion battery systems and has a diverse team of battery specialists, including mechanical and electrical engineers.