Through the Living Lab facility, Energy Systems Catapult provided U-Floor Technologies Ltd, with a wealth of data about the performance of their smart ventilation product – AirEx, enabling them to validate their initial energy savings estimates.
Heating buildings accounts for around 20% of total UK carbon emissions and to reach Net Zero by 2050, the UK must decarbonise the domestic heating market at the rate of 20,000 homes a week by 20251. Research suggests that traditional airbricks are responsible for up to 15% of heat loss in the home.
AirEx is a smart ventilation control – an intelligent air brick – with sensors measuring temperature, humidity and air quality. AirEx opens to reduce underfloor humidity, and closes to reduce heat loss, offering customers warmer homes, lower energy bills, and improved air quality.
The Living Lab facility, provides innovators the opportunity to test and scale energy products on a real world trial environment, allowing assessment of the performance and use of different products and services; placing consumers at the heart of the UK energy system transformation. AirEx were the first innovative product to be tested in the 100-home lab.
AirEx was able to calculate that compared with other retrofit solutions, their innovation would achieve half of the savings impact of under-floor insulation, at one-tenth of the cost, resulting in five times better payback.
Energy Systems Catapult supplied feedback from the consumers within the trial, helping AirEx refine their innovation, product offering, consumer attractiveness, acceptance and take up. The data was essential in helping AirEx attract further investment, regulatory acceptance and recognition; increasing their turnover from £111 to £543k in two financial years and doubling their employees. Up to 40 million homes across Europe could benefit from the AirEx smart ventilation control.