Innovation18 October 2021

Manchester puts energies into global challenge solution that’s close to home

The Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub, alongside the University of Manchester, is supporting the design and development of a ground-breaking product set to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of households and reduce carbon emissions, as well as reducing condensation around the glazing.

ThermocillTM is a discrete window board that directs air from a room’s radiator up and against the window panes creating a warm curtain in front of the glazing. The innovative device enables rooms to heat up quicker and minimises energy bills, reducing fuel poverty and the carbon footprint of UK homes.

Researchers from the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE) at the University have supported development of a prototype and applied computer modelling to optimise, calculate and verify effectiveness of the unique green-tech.

Dr Amir Keshmiri, a Reader in Fluid Dynamics who led this project at MACE said:

“Thermocill is an innovative concept based on the fundamentals of fluid mechanics and heat transfer and our results have demonstrated the effectiveness of this device in changing the flow in the room and the thermal comfort”.

Researchers from the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub (SMI Hub) worked closely with the University to help investigate the suitability and sustainability of different materials for Thermocill Limited.

The Hub conducted an assessment of the suitability of different materials for manufacturing Thermocill, which included investigations of the mechanical and physical properties as well as recyclability and sustainability.

Other innovative materials will also be considered for future development of the product including hemp, the use of which is becoming more widely recognised for its potential to help fight climate change.

Professor Michael Shaver, SMI Hub Director and Professor of Polymer Chemistry at The University of Manchester said:

“Households are huge sources of carbon emissions so it’s important that innovative solutions are developed to help reduce their impact.

“We are proud to advise the company on the sustainability of their plastic choices for both current and future products.”

Award-winning entrepreneur and inventor of Thermocill, Keith Rimmer, said:

“Both The University of Manchester and the SMI Hub have played a key role in helping to support the development of Thermocill, from the initial idea and concept through to real-world application.

“Finding a sustainable material to make the product from has always been a critically important element, to maximise the positive environmental impact of Thermocill.

“With the first major production run taking place soon we’re at an exciting stage in this journey and it’s very exciting that together, we’ve developed a product that will have a positive impact on energy efficiency and fuel poverty very soon.”

Performance of the product has also been verified by the Energy Saving Trust, with headline benefits including a 14 per cent reduction in the energy needed to heat up a room and a 150kg reduction in CO2 emissions per year for each household where Thermocill is installed.

A council in the North West has agreed to initially install Thermocill in 2,000 homes across their 22,000 properties, which will lead to 300 tonnes of CO2 emission savings and 16 tonnes of materials saved from going to landfills.

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