Theo Mitrakis and the team at Statcom Solutions are a new kind of power rangers
Something that may come to a surprise to Queenslanders is that the state’s increase in renewable energy sources means problems for our ageing power networks.
Luckily, Theo Mitrakis, 39, and his team at Statcom Solutions have developed technologies to keep the lights on.
“The quality of the power being delivered to consumers has been affected over the last few years,” Theo says.
“This is largely due to the uptake of solar and our product is trying to fix these issues.
“We have access to distribution networks in Queensland that are particularly affected by these sorts of issues because the state has had the largest uptake of solar in the country.”
A graduate of Griffith University, Theo has more than 15 years’ experience in engineering and is now the Research and Development Manager at Statcom Solutions based in Brisbane.
Statcom Solutions develop technology to manage the power line voltage and safely allow renewable technologies and existing power networks to coexist.
“We are developing power electronic solutions for utility companies to use on their networks for managing their power quality,” Theo says.
Theo, and in turn his company, are strong advocates for Queensland designed and manufactured, high-tech electronic products and the local electronics industry in general.
“Because we do all of our design and manufacturing in house, we have developed supply chains where we always try and source locally, so there will always be an ongoing benefit to the greater industry from that,” he says.
Recently an Advance Queensland Knowledge Transfer Partnership allowed Theo to employ a new graduate from a Queensland university.
“We were looking for a new engineer and it gave us the ability to get a good graduate candidate out of one of the universities,” he says.
“I have always enjoyed engineering and as a business we were looking to support the industry. We strongly believe that industry and universities need to collaborate, and share and create knowledge together and develop the technologies and engineers of the future.
“Part of this is to continue to give young engineers coming out of university the opportunity to be trained and become skilled engineers as they learn and grow. This helps to develop an industry where this knowledge can be retained in Queensland.”
Theo and the close knit team at Statcom Solutions are now working hard to get their products adopted by power companies and out to market.
“Being able to get our products into those markets has been a long time coming and although we’ve finished the design aspect and have had the product ready for market for some time, the utilities have only recently concluded trials and are now seeing the benefits of deploying the technology — that’s one of the big factors in how long it’s taken us to establish this market.”
Despite the setbacks, Theo believes Queensland is best state to get Statcom Solutions up and running, and thriving.
“Brisbane is becoming a little bit of a hub for some quite high end developments in this area of power electronics and is a great place to be positioned to gain access to all aspects of the power industry,” he says.