As part of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, the government has outlined £524,626 to develop Think.Air, a low energy, residential ventilation system, that will use AI to improve the performance and functionality of home heating control systems.

Think.Air is being developed by Smart Ventilation, Belfast.

Another project that was awarded funding was Caldera Heat Batteries.

Caldera’s Warmstone Heat Battery stores 100 kWh of low-cost renewable electricity as heat for use on demand by the homeowner and is “a direct replacement for a fossil fuel boiler”, the organisation says.

“100 kWh can provide both heating and hot water for a 4-bedroom home for 24 hours in winter and hot water up to for 7 days in the summer. The unit can be charged electrically in 5 hours and discharges heat at the same rate as a boiler. In the UK there are 1.2m homes that are off the gas grid, heated with oil (1m) or LPG (0.2m).

“Government research and papers have highlighted this sector as a particularly difficult segment to transition to Net Zero due to the extremely high costs of converting the fabric of the building to reduce heat demand and accommodate a heat pump.

“This project aims to deploy 10-12 heat batteries into real homes to demonstrate and quantify the role that heat batteries can play in the decarbonisation of heat and balancing a grid powered by renewables.

“The trial using real homes will allow consumers to feedback on their experiences of the installation as well as the performance of the system. The units will also be monitored to assess their overall efficiency and expected cost of running for comparative purposes against oil and LPG.”

Powervault were also awarded funding for their “next generation battery energy storage system (BESS) with deep smart home integrations, accelerating Net Zero while keeping electrification costs down combining cloud technology and cutting edge commercial innovation for new business models, addressing the triple challenges of A) achieving Net Zero via B) electrification and decarbonisation of energy while C) keeping the costs down.”

U-Floor Technologies were given an opportunity to develop its idea around modernising the air brick.

The organisation says it has “developed an intelligent air brick (AirEx) that measures temperature & humidity and regulates air-flow accordingly by opening/closing embedded air­ vents. Using cloud-­based algorithms, AirEx minimises cold airflow whilst ensuring sufficient air exchange to prevent moisture build­up, timber rot or poor indoor air quality.

“By replacing existing air bricks, AirEx is proven to deliver a significant reduction on energy bills whilst maintaining air­exchange.Having reliably demonstrated AirEx’s performance benefits, the next phase of its development is to prepare for a large ­scale commercial launch. Accordingly, this project is centred on refining designs, testing, design for manufacture and product certification in preparation for this.”

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: “This £116m government investment will support businesses across the nation to turn their green ideas into reality, and to develop ground-breaking projects that save energy, slash utility bills and tackle pollution.

“British businesses and entrepreneurs are already leading the world with innovative solutions to tackling climate change. This is not only good for the planet, but will bring new jobs and investment across the UK.”