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FS37 - Ecotrip Heating Control Field Trial

Written by: CIC Start Online

"Ecotrip Heating Control Field Trial" by Glasgow Caledonian University and Corrour Concepts LLP

SUMMARY

Corrour Concepts has designed a user friendly, inexpensive domestic central heating control. This makes it straightforward for the user to turn their heating off when they go out, whilst ensuring the home is warm for their return. The heating fuel saved by doing this has been tentatively estimated to be around 4% annually on the basis of computer modelling carried out by Strathclyde University Energy Systems Research Unit. This would equate to approximately £50 on the average heating bill. This compares well with, for instance, the annual saving of £37 claimed by the Energy Saving Trust for changing to all low energy lighting.

The advantages of the device are that it supplements any other heating controls, requires a single action to set and is ‘set and forget’. It can be retrofitted to existing installations without recabling,requires no batteries and can be used by the sight impaired and disabled.
A patent has been applied for. A ‘proof of concept’ prototype has been produced and found to perform satisfactorily. The control, named the Ecotrip, combines a regulation room thermostat with a countdown timer.

Following interest from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, the West of Scotland Housing Association wish to trial the Ecotrip in their housing scheme in Cumbernauld this coming winter. A pilot exercise of 12 homes will identify any changes or improvements that might be required for the full trial which will then follow with around 100 participants.

The aims of the field trial are to establish how easy the users find the Ecotrip to understand and operate, record the extent that they utilise it and assess the savings made. To ensure the trial provides a reliable measure of these outcomes we need professional and independent
involvement in the trial design, conduct and analysis of results.

The CGU will:

  • Collaborate with Corrour Concepts and the Housing Association in selecting the participants to ensure an appropriate sample
  • Advise on how the effectiveness of the Ecotrip in reducing fuel consumption can be measured
  • Make proposals for the identification of a possible control group
  • Prepare a suitable questionnaire to be completed by the users to record their experience with the Ecotrip – convenience, ease of use, effectiveness, etc
  • Analyse all results and present a report on the outcomes


Key words: energy saving, heating control

AUTHOR

Dr Charles Russel, Glasgow Caledonain University

For Corrour Concepts Ltd

The outputs of this study will be disseminated in due course.

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