FT Technologies

FT Technologies

FT Technologies specialises in the design and manufacture of high performance Acoustic Resonance wind sensors – also known as anemometers or air-flow sensors. All our sensors incorporate our own patented Acu-Res Technology which enables them to deliver reliable wind speed and direction data, from compact, lightweight sensors. Users typically experience over 99.9% data availability, even in harsh climates with the toughest weather conditions. FT sensors have been installed all over the world in a range of applications from weather stations, marine buoys, on top of some of the world’s tallest buildings and along railways. Our FT742-SM sensor is designed to be incorporated in other manufacturers’ own equipment to provide compact, rugged, high quality air-flow measurement indoors or outdoors. The FT742-SM is used in a wide range of OEM applications from vehicle and ship based systems to clean rooms.

Company details

Sunbury House, Brooklands Close , Sunbury-on-Thames , TW16 7DX United Kingdom
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Business Type:
Manufacturer
Industry Type:
Meteorological Monitoring
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

FT Technologies was founded in 1981 and has been in business for over 30 years. We began selling wind sensors to the wind turbine industry in 2002. We are now the industry’s largest supplier, with 11 of the world’s top 15 turbine manufacturers amongst our customers. We are the market leader in the offshore wind energy sector as more than 70% of all offshore turbines in the world are fitted with an FT sensor.

Our latest products, the FT742 and FT722, offer enhanced accuracy. The FT742 also has offers a wind speed reading range of up to 75m/s. The FT742-DM direct mount variant will also fit directly to pipe making it ideal for customers in the meteorological, marine, environmental and defence industries.

What makes FT wind sensors unique is our use of Acoustic Resonance Technology. Invented by our Executive Chairman, Dr Savvas Kapartis, and patented in 1997, Acu-Res® is a solid-state (no moving parts) technology for measuring wind speed and direction. It uses an acoustic (ultrasonic) wave which is resonated inside a small cavity. Using Acu-Res® technology results in a small, easily heated sensor which operates reliably, even under extreme weather conditions.

We pride ourselves on the thoroughness of our engineering and the quality of our manufacturing processes and our products. All design and manufacture is carried out by our highly-skilled and creative UK-based team in our factory in Sunbury-on-Thames, just west of London. All of our sensors are 100% wind tunnel checked and calibrated before despatch. We have recently designed an installed a new fully automated wind tunnel with a maximum flow speed of over 80m/s and very low turbulence. All our new FT742 and FT722 products will be calibrated in this tunnel.

Our head office is also in Sunbury but, as 98% of our products are exported, we also have sales offices in Denmark, Spain and the USA. We use a network of distributors to supply our customers in South America and Asia, and have dedicated technical support staff in China.

The wind energy industry is growing significantly, and FT is growing with it. In the last decade, we have tripled in size. We now have around 80 employees and are always looking for more high quality engineers.

The future for wind energy, and for FT Technologies, is bright. We are continuing to invest in new products and new manufacturing technology. This will enable us to better serve our existing customers in wind energy and to offer the strengths and advantages of the FT7 Series wind sensors to more customers in meteorology, marine and defence.

FT Technologies was founded in 1981 by Peter Elgar and Derek Cavendish-Pell. The business originally concentrated on defence based research projects. In 1988, Dr Savvas Kapartis and Dr Stephen Norton joined the company. In the early 1990s there was a military requirement for a wind sensor for ballistic meteorology with no moving parts. It had to be rugged enough to operate reliably on battlefield equipment.

All the mechanical and ultrasonic technologies available had weaknesses. Dr Savvas Kapartis and his small team developed the concept of combining Acoustic Resonance with ultrasonics and the measurement of phase shift. This now forms the basis of the Acu-Res® technology that powers all FT sensors.

The technology was patented and the first product, the FT702, went into production in 2000; this had a stainless steel body combined with other features that suited many military uses. These products were sold to a wide range of wind sensing applications but it gradually became clear that the product’s robustness made it ideal for the developing wind turbine industry. The first sales were made to European manufacturers in 2002. In 2003 this innovative technology was a finalist for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s prestigious MacRobert Award. The business developed rapidly. The LM product range for integration on OEM equipment was developed in 2003 and rapidly found favour in defence and civil defence as well as a wide range of civilian applications.

In 2008, the first sales were made to China, where the business has grown rapidly. A new factory was opened in 2009 in Teddington to accommodate growing demand and to incorporate robotics into the manufacturing process. Since then production capacity has more than doubled. Advances in manufacturing continue and include the development of a fully automated, robotised wind tunnel and assembly and automated test equipment (ATE).

The FT702LT series products have been through an extensive development cycle from Version 7 up to the Version 22 which was launched in 2011. In 2016 we launched our newest models in the form of the FT7 Series. Whilst continuing to produce the FT702, we now offer the FT742 with improved accuracy and reading wind speeds up to 75m/s and the FT722 which reads up to 50m/s with a similarly enhanced accuracy.

In 2017 FT Technologies moved to a brand new factory and established a new head office in Sunbury-on-Thames, southwest London. The new building, Sunbury House, is four times the size of our old site in Teddington, and has been carefully selected to be suitable not just for present needs, but for the next ten years. It will allow us to grow as a company and invest in new processes, state of the art technology and all the necessary equipment to keep producing innovative products for the wind energy and meteorological industries.

With more space for production, research and development we will be able to increase the volume of wind sensors that we produce, as well as deliver improved quality and shorter lead times.

Sunbury House features: 

  • Office space for 135 staff
  • ESD protected, temperature and humidity controlled production facilities
  • Separate automated production area for robotics
  • A dedicated cleaning room with independent extraction
  • Greatly enlarged R/D laboratory
  • Robotic and automated production laboratory

We will also be adding:

  • Two temperature controlled closed loop calibration-grade wind tunnels with a maximum air speed of 220mph, equipped with robotic loaders supplied from conveyor belts.
  • Two process rooms with independent temperature and humidity control, equipped with robots supplied from conveyor belts.
  • Automated assembly and inspection equipment, automated industrial computed tomography (CT) scanners.
  • Environmental laboratory with temperature, humidity, altitude chambers, a HALT chamber, corrosion and UV chambers, electrodynamic shaker, rain simulator.