Phoenix is a project dedicated to tackling fuel poverty and global warming, by reducing the amount of Co2 emissions into the atmosphere produced by the heating system, and cutting costs on utility bills, bringing some relief to those who deserve a better quality of life.
Project Phoenix has resulted on the development of three products: The Lava, The Chill-beater and The ClingOn.
The Lava & Chill-beater to improve the domestic heating system. And the ClingOn, an indoor drier to be attached to the radiator, meeting the needs of any householder wishing to dry clothes indoors and reducing both utility bills and Co2 emissions to the atmosphere.
"More energy is used in housing than either road transport or industry, and housing represents a major opportunity to cut energy use and CO2 emissions."
Over the last twenty years there have been many innovations in central heating boiler technology, pumps and thermostats, however there has been no major innovation in central heating radiators, until now.
Our new design offers a 25-30% improvement in the time it takes to heat a room and sustain it at the required temperature with a corresponding reduction in Co2 emissions.
Our three products are both affordable and easy to install. They dispense with the need for alterations to the dwelling or an external power source to drive a fan. The benefits, however, don't stop there.
How do radiators work?
Radiators heat the room via two methods: convection and radiation:
However, our device works by capturing heat at the rear of the radiator and then propelling warm air out from the base of the radiator. From there, the heat is able to rise into the living space. This disrupts the typical pattern of convection and radiation that causes heat to accumulate close to the ceiling whilst leaving the occupied space at a sub-optimal temperature.
This results in savings in the use of fossil fuel whilst reducing the time it takes to warm the room. It also extends life of the boiler and reduces the boiler’s carbon foot print.
Better heat distribution in the room results in improved comfort for the occupants. Set out below are the results of our tests undertaken in a room with and without our technology. Again the image on the left shows a more even distribution of heat.
Our tests involved recording the temperature registered on each of 14 thermometers located at different heights and at different points in the room. Each test involved heating a room using just the radiator and then flushing out the warmth and returning the room to the original temperature before augmenting the radiator with our technology and repeating the heating process, carefully recording the readings from each thermometer at regular intervals throughout the heating process in exactly the same sequence.
Significant improvements in performance were recorded in each test. What is more, the pattern of difference was consistent. Reductions in wasted heat are illustrated in the chart that follows:
How does our innovation work?
A plate with embedded thermo-electric generators are positioned between the radiator and an external wall. This plate serves three purposes:
1. It blocks the heat from the radiator heating the wall and then exploits the heat differential between the radiator and the wall.
2. It generates electricity using the temperature difference between the wall and the radiator with an embedded array of thermometric generators. So the colder the external wall upon which the radiator is mounted, the greater the generated power is.
3. The generated electricity powers a fan that draws the hot air from behind and through an exhaust located at the base of the radiator.
"The colder outside...
...the warmer inside!"
What the final product will look like?
The core technology, clever as it is!, didn’t present us with as great a challenge as the product design itself!
We have produced two designs, one that can be installed in a new build and one that can be retrofitted in any older houses. Our aim was to make them both practical and appealing.
Our target markets, therefore include both individuals on low or medium incomes whether they are homeowners, landlords, tenants, councils or housing associations.
The challenge is to provide both flexibility and choice to all these groups so that they can incur the benefits without significant cost or inconvenience.
To achieve these goals we decided to offer an integrated model which we called “Lava”. It incorporates modular flexibility and targets the new build sector.
We know that builders are not inclined to increase their costs unnecessarily
before selling on to householders. With this in mind, the Lava is designed so that our technology can be fitted to the radiator by the householder after the house has been purchased.
Our second design is a retrofit device that we have called the “Chill-beater.”
It targets older dwellings occupied by people who do not want the disruption and mess associated with fitting new radiators, many of whom, government statistics suggest, are on lower incomes and may in fact be the victims of fuel poverty.
Our aim is to offer a solution that will pay for itself in a winter.
More about the products...
A product for new built dwellings
The Lava with the drier module fully extended along with cross-sectional
Lava contains all the technology that we have been working on in a modular framework.
Builders, therefore have the option to sell on with all the technology incorporated or to sell on with just the basic radiator leaving it to the householder to purchase additional modules as and when desired.
The basic model will sell at the same price as a conventional model. Householders can then add the thermo-electric module post-purchase along with an integrated pull-up clothes drier if they wish.
A product for older dwellings
Purchasers simply take the thermo-electric module and slide it behind the radiator.
It is then held in place by a compression plate that also acts as a heat sink.
The fan assembly and exhaust the clips on to then bottom of the thermo-electric module.
An integrated pull-up clothes drier
The ClingOn represents a stylish and practical addition to any standard radiator. It can meet the needs of any householder wishing to dry clothes indoors.
Several of these units would eliminate the need for a tumble dryer, thereby, reducing both utility bills and Co2 emissions to the atmosphere.
The Cling-on is mounted on the front of a radiator of standard dimensions and places a clothes drying facility at the disposal of the householder by the touch of a button.
After use, the rack is simply pushed back down into the radiator cover by the touch of a button.
The transformation from a standard radiator to a radiator sitting within the Cling-on envelope is shown below:
Image 1) Standard radiator
Image 2) The ClingOn with the drier in closed position
Image 3) The ClingOn with the drier in a open position
The aim: tackle fuel poverty and global warming
The Phoenix project is dedicated to bringing relief to those who are experiencing the real hardship of fuel poverty, along with those who are just managing but for whom saving money is a priority.
Project Phoenix aims to reduce the Co2 emission from domestic heating systems by up to 20%.
Climate change is now the world’s most challenging sustainability issue, it has far reaching consequences for both society and the world’s economy.
In the UK, for example, more than 50% of Co2 emissions to the atmosphere come from domestic heating systems.
Some ugly Facts
The burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas to produce energy and fuel for transport, together with intensive farming, are all releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere whilst deforestation limits the natural carbon sink’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide. These gases trap heat from the sun, causing ‘global warming’ and changing weather conditions across the globe. The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), of the type emitted by domestic heating systems, although other gases including methane and nitrous oxides are also culpable (Leeds Initiative 2008).
Ps. The carbon footprint of a heating technology is measured in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour of heat (gCO2eq/kWh). Carbon dioxide is the most important GHG, so others are measured in CO2 equivalent.
Some words from our Managing Director Daniel Mirfani:
"We are aiming to tackle fuel poverty. A problem faced by a sizeable proportion of the population in many societies in Europe and communities in the US and Canada. People affected by fuel poverty range from the retired and elderly, to the unemployed, to single parents and families on low incomes. We have come across families who have to live in cold conditions while suffering from a range of physical and mental issues, partly caused by the conditions in which they live. We know of parents who have to choose between eating, feeding the children and warming their homes. It was the challenge of fuel poverty that prompted me to sit down and think about how best the issue problem could be addressed. So tackling fuel poverty is a priority for us."
By helping these groups we can also help governments to achieve
their climate change targets.
Where the idea comes from?
International Innovation Services was established in 2016. Phoenix is one of three company projects. It is also the most advanced one. Its origins lie in an initiative to help the elderly get to grips with computers.
Whilst studying for his Master’s degree, IIS Managing Director Daniel Mirfani, already a computer science graduate, began visiting elderly people at their request to help them learn how to use a computer and the internet.
During these visits Daniel was struck by how many homes he visited were really cold. His suggestion that the heating might be turned up elicited the response that the heating was too expensive to run. This was Daniel’s first encounter with fuel-poverty. He resolved to find a solution. He built a team of like-minded enthusiasts to work on the project.
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