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AceOn serves up ace battery pack

A wheelchair tennis star represented Great Britain at the Paralympic Games wearing a lifesaving vest to keep him cool which was powered by a custom-made AceOn battery.

Antony Cotterill needed 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 had developed to enable Antony to compete at the games. 

The special battery powers a pump, which circulated a coolant through the vest which Antony wore while playing his matches to prevent his body from dangerously overheating as temperatures soared 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 used 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 attached to Antony’s wheelchair.

Glenn 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 was designed specially to help keep me cool while I played. Without it, my core body temperature would have reached dangerously high levels during a match, which sadly could have stopped me from competing."

AceOn Group has 30 years of experience in the battery industry and has a team of experts in battery design and manufacture. The company provides lithium-ion battery systems and has a diverse team of battery specialists, including mechanical and electrical engineers.

Pictured: Antony Cotterill