Householders may be able to stay warm without having to crank up the heating thanks to a new invention from Newcastle University.
The device is called the ‘Radfan’ and works by distributing the heat horizontally across a room rather than letting it rise to the ceiling.
The easy-to-use invention fits onto the top of a conventional radiator and makes houses warmer by up to two degrees celsius and costs just £2 a year in electricity.
The Radfan is the brainchild of graduates Roland Glancy and Simon Barker and has now gone into production.
Roland and Simon were able to see their invention come to life thanks to support from Newcastle Science City, the Newcastle University Career’s Service and Santander Bank.
Roland hit upon the idea for Radfan whilst studying for an MSc in renewable energy as his wife was complaining about the cold even though the radiators were working.
After deciding to tackle the problem as an academic project Roland won a business plan competition at Newcastle University.
Realising the commercial potential of his invention, Roland teamed up with Simon to market the product.
The first 1000 units are now under construction at the company’s assembly base in Byker, Newcastle and all composite products are made in the North East.
The company is in talks with a number of universities, housing associations, and energy companies about distribution.
Roland said: “We are at an extremely exciting stage of development and it has been thrilling to take our idea from the drawing board, into production and ultimately launch it into the marketplace.
“It’s a moment we have been waiting and working hard for.
“The Radfan is a simple idea but it could have significant impact on living conditions – especially those of people affected by fuel poverty.
“We are really excited to learn how the first series of products are received by their buyers.”
Newcastle Science City’s business support team worked with the pair, organising testing facilities for the product, and helping Radfan take the crucial first step towards achieving independent verification.
In partnership with North East-based property business, Gentoo, the Radfan is currently being trialled in a small number of homes to investigate what difference it has made to their living conditions.
Matt Hindhaugh, business mentor at Newcastle Science City, said: “Radfan is a perfect example of the ground-breaking technological ideas that are being developed in Newcastle and have potential to positively impact on the rest of the world.
“With their innovative fans now in production, Radfan could revolutionise the way people heat their homes and will be particularly useful in the fight against fuel poverty.”
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