How can a heat-saving system cut both CO2 emission and family bills?

Windows are among the least energy-efficient components in a home. Entrepreneur Keith Rimmer worked with The University of Manchester to create specially-designed boards that act as a warm air curtain, in front of windows located above radiators, to stop cold air entering.

The Thermocill concept has been three years in the making, and Mr Rimmer teamed, along with Manchester experts, is now bringing it to market.

Dr Amir Keshmiri and his research team - based within the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering - optimised the product using computer simulations and conducted energy modelling to estimate the energy and CO2 savings of the device.

Both the design and associated scientific evidence were subsequently verified by Energy Saving Trust in 2020 - confirming Thermocill's performance in reducing heat loss and condensation in domestic homes.

Key facts

  • Heating homes is the single biggest national source of CO2
  • Thermocill could lead to a reduction of around 150kg CO2 emission for a 3-bed semi
  • The device could deliver an estimated energy saving of 8% - equivalent to £93 saving on annual fuel bills for a 3-bed semi
  • Thermocill will be made 100% from recycled nylon

Decarbonising the domestic energy sector

Following the successful design, the company started a collaboration with the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub at the Manchester-based Henry Royce Institute, carrying out research on the choice of recycled material used to manufacture the device. Thermocill will now be made 100% from recycled nylon, utilising materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill.

Thermocill is an innovative, carbon-busting business that sees decarbonising the domestic energy sector as a priority in the fight against climate change. According to a World Wide Fund for Nature report, heating homes accounts for 9.7% of the UK's carbon footprint; it’s the single biggest national source of CO2, ahead of car fuel, the production of electricity, the construction sector, agriculture, and air travel.

Demonstrating results – and cost savings

Researchers used computational fluid dynamic simulations to demonstrate the optimised design – improving the performance of Thermocill with respect to airflow rate and temperature to bolster room energy savings.

Results showed that Thermocill reduces the amount of energy needed to heat a room by up to 14%, that rooms heat up 19% faster, and can significantly reduce condensation at the bottom of windows. For a three-bedroom semi-detached house, this represents an estimated energy saving of 8% for heating costs, equivalent to £93 saving per annum on fuel bills and a reduction of around 150kg CO2 emission.

The above findings have been verified by the Energy Saving Trust and added to the Energy Saving Trust Register.

"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".

Dr Amir Keshmiri / Project Lead

A socially responsible Trust

The Thermocill Trust has been set up to enable a percentage of the profit made from each Thermocill sale to be held within a trust fund. Money raised will be used to purchase energy-efficient modular housing, and to create low-energy homes for homeless households in collaboration with social housing organisations and local councils.

By providing advice, technical input and small seed funding, the Trust will be supporting entrepreneurs and innovators, and will help to create jobs and prosperity in the community.