School of Science, Engineering and Environment 31.01.20

New technology could help householders save energy

Experts from the University of Salford have shown that a simple, yet ground-breaking device could contribute to householders making savings on their energy consumption – and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.

The team at the University of Salford put Thermocill, a product fitted above the radiator and under the window board in a house, through exhaustive tests at the university’s Energy House test facility, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Thermocill, which is made entirely from recycled plastic, redirects the heat directly and vertically in front of a double glazed window unit attacking the Thermal Hole within the building envelope, addressing heat loss through the window thus heating the room more and retaining the heat longer.

A report by the University of Salford showed that:

  • Thermocill has the potential to save heating energy depending on the room setpoint temperature of between 16% at 21°C degrees and 3.3% at 23°C, thus operating efficiently at a lower room temperature set-point which meets today’s standards.
  • Thermocill reduces the warm-up period in a room by up to 23°C at a lower room temperature set point (e.g. 21°C in 78 minutes compared to 95 minutes without Thermocill)
  • Thermocill diverts warm current towards the window and makes the air temperature in the window recess higher, regardless of the room temperature, therefore not affecting the room temperature in anyway.
  • Thermocill reduces heat loss through double-glazed windows (U Value) by up to 3% at 21°C and 1% at 23°C increasing the double-glazed unit’s efficiency.

Dr Richard Fitton is research lead at the University of Salford’s Energy House - a whole house energy efficiency test facility in Salford which undertakes ground-breaking work on energy technologies and their effects with some of the leading manufacturers in the field. He said: “Thermocill is an interesting technology that we had not seen before. We tested Thermocill by looking at a typical double-glazed window that you might find in any home. We then looked at the thermal transfer between the inside and the outside and how much energy was saved from the heating system that was used to heat up the room.

“When we were measuring the thermal transfer through the window we found about a 16% energy saving in our thermal comfort room in terms of how much heat energy was used when Thermocill was in place. Also the room heated up around 23% quicker when Thermocill was used.”

Thermocill is the brainchild of award-winning inventor and mechanical engineer Keith Rimmer. Commenting on the research findings, Keith said: ““The University of Salford tests confirmed everything I believed. Thermocill can revolutionise the fenetration and home heating industry.“Thermocill saves energy consumption by reducing heat loss and doesn’t use any form of energy itself.

“It is manufactured from plastic waste including plastic bottle tops. It is truly sustainable and where fitted will massively reduce the property’s carbon footprint.”

This work was supported by the ‘Energy House 2.0’ project which will see the creation of a ground breaking whole building energy testing and research facility at the University of Salford. Energy House 2.0 is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.  This exciting project will allow free access to test facilities and academic expertise for small and medium sized companies developing energy saving technologies for buildings.

Following the validation by the University of Salford, Keith believes the potential for Thermocill is so great that he is now looking for a manufacturing partner or licensee to help take the product to the open market.

Now, Keith and the University of Salford Energy House team plan to computer model Thermocill using the data to enhance its design, which will also optimise the product’s efficiency.

Keith has given his permission to the university to use the data to form an academic paper.

 

Notes 

This project is part funded from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the Office for Students.  

Click here to find out more about Energy House 2.0 

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