Category Archives: thermal storage

August News – Cambridge GrapheneTechDays 2015

We welcome you all!

Who Should Attend? 

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Why attend? Pricing

Sponsors & exhibitors marketing | Click for detailed info and pricing

Sponsor Credits: Haydale plc (Lead) FlexEnable (Co-Lead) CGC (Co-Lead) Marks & Clerk LLP (Gold)

The Cambridge Graphene Tech Days 2015 is a leading festival of events over two days for networking and learning more about the latest advances in commercialising Graphene and related materials  in sectors such as electronics, displays, energy storage, composites, packaging, aerospace & defence and automotive.

Airbus & BP will give new presentations on the challenges for Graphene Solutions Providers in their set of industries and will be joined also by other global conglomerates.

The special programme of events will be held mainly in Cambridge’s newly-opening Graphene Building: with an exhibition of technology and tours of new labs as well as a media event, conference and a fine Hall dinner. The expert-led MasterClass covering the value network srtructure and barriers & application prioritisation offer enormous added value to corporate executive leaders.

Introduction from Dr Justin Hayward, CEO of CIR and Co-Director of Cambridge Graphene Days 2015
It is an honour to have the chance to bring together such excellent industrial and entrepreneurial growth companies in the graphene and GRM sector with Cambridge University and its new Graphene Centre Building Hub. Cambridge is perhaps the top global university across all key measures such as teaching and research. It is also home to a burgeoning technology cluster. Great companies have been born & grown to billions in the 25 years that I’ve lived here, but now multinationals also regularly come to have a base in Cambridge to find excellent research, engineering & coding staff, partnerships with top academics and other outsourcing and learning with many other players offering services in the tech cluster. I look forward to an inspiring couple of days of events.

Ray Gibbs, CEO of Haydale commented ”The Cambridge hub is one of the pre-eminent places to go for the highest quality science and application skills. As a leading technological solution provider to this rapidly evolving market sector it made great sense to support this centre of excellence covering graphene and related nano materials, . We believe the conferences and workshops at the Cambridge Graphene Days will showcase the adoption and use of the graphene materials in real products. Haydale’s functionalised graphene technology already is providing ground breaking benefits to organisations involved with composite materials, conductive inks and next generation battery technology”.

Chuck Milligan, CEO, FlexEnable commented ”The relevance of graphene and graphene-like materials to flexible electronics for displays and sensors is clear, and we are proud to be co-sponsors of the Cambridge Graphene Days event – and the opening of the Graphene Building in Cambridge. We believe that our unique manufacturing processes for flexible electronics, together with the exponential growth expected in the flexible display and IoT sensor markets, provide enormous opportunity for this exciting class of materials.”

Professor Andrea Ferrari added “We are very much looking forward to our Cambridge Graphene Technology Day on the 5th of November, when we will showcase industrial applications of graphene and related materials. We are also excited to be hosting high value manufacturing-oriented meetings on the site of the Cambridge Graphene Centre”

To learn more about the Cambridge Graphene Technology Days 2015 please visit http://www.hvm-uk.com/graphene2015

Book now!

Who should attend Cambridge Graphene Days 2015? 5-6 November

Booking online | Info | Why attend? Please call Maya on +44 1223 303500 for help booking and service.

Top 12 Reasons

1 Anyone with an interest in traction of business involving Graphene and GRMs

2 Anyone wishing to understand barriers to adoption and use of Graphene & GRMs

3 Anyone on a science and technology watching brief for Graphene and GRMs

4 Anyone with a startup or entrepreneurial idea for Graphene or GRMs

5 Anyone with business problems to solve that might be influenced or helped by Graphene or GRMs

6 Those wishing to understand the full uptodate and prioritised range of applications and those nearer to and further from market

7 Anyone wanting to get an IPR landscape & investment level update for Graphene and GRMs

8 Anyone wanting to meet new industrial and business entrants into the Graphene and GRM areas

9 People wanting to build quality networks or ecosystems in this set of fields

10 Sector specific players seeking to access solution providers

11 Solutions providers seeking to understand customer pull in a range of sectors

12 Those in related areas of technology such as nanotech, IoT, cleantech who wish to see the potential and synergies with Graphene and GRMs

Booking online | Info | Why attend? Please call Maya on +44 1223 303500 for help booking and service.

The Value of the Smart Systems Summit 2014 1-2 October London IoD

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This is a special summit culminating 7 years of smart systems conferences within various segments

We form media partnerships with those who can extend our reach further

We are a strategy consultancy rather than an event organiser following instructions

We specialise in market research, using contact referrals and social media to obtain top speakers year after year

The value is in the bringing together of industry leaders beyond your own lists, with government and other academic groups

Our databases are large, from 12 years of conferences with 3,200 delegates

Network with industry innovators to create and develop critical new business collaborations and to exchange knowledge

Minimize risk by keeping up with technology developments – where is the industry going

Bring in cross-over engineering situations that might lend valuable ideas to work already being done

The spice of high level events in the capital, a greater chance of serendipity in networking

We’re bringing together top people from no fewer than 21 conferences in Cambridge and Oxford on these topics – so it’ll be a unique group, not the same people

If communications are important to you, this will be a well-covered conference in social media and in print

It will quickly generate a legacy website and slides for the site Slideshare, which are looked at by delegates and referred to others over time, something which builds over a long period

Gain industry recognition for yourself and your company through speaking, roundtable participation

For buyers – what new systems, products and services are there to buy?

It’s a prestigious venue – one of the best in the UK

It’s in a central location easy to reach from all directions –  In the capital, in exciting West London, near parliament.

Book now via this link

iHEAT Conference enabled optimal intelligent heating system

Plenty of “small fry” aka exciting startups and SMEs made up the programme for the first HEAT conference focusing on intelligent heating systems in Cambridge in November 2012. Companies expert in accumulator tanks, heat metering, control systems and intelligent automation joined to provide the basis for liberating the householder from the worry of reducing their heating bill & carbon as best they can.

Summary slides and images | Conference Home | CIR Event Registration

The problem of reducing the heating bill & carbon as best one can is initially supported across the board by the ingenuity of ARM’s engineers who design chips that minimise the energy used by sensors and control systems and do so with maximal utility and intelligence.

ARM sponsored the conferences iHEAT and iWATER in November 2012 and spoke of the idea of partnership driving innovation in energy efficiency. Keith Clarke of ARM mentioned OECD forecasts of a very different world in the medium term of 20 years’ horizon, where the middle class, living much as most do in the UK and “West” live now, will increase globally by 3 billion people! The same source suggests an increase in energy usage of 60% to 2030, something which BPAE’s Katrina Landis has highlighted at CIR Events before. ARM also noted that 18 countries are estimated to see a water shortage in the next 13 years to 2025.

With this backdrop, there are huge opportunities and indeed imperatives for efficiency and innovative solutions in data and services for the sectors of consumer products & systems, infrastructure, transport, power generation and industry and transmission.

For ARM, intelligence is emerging everywhere – in cars, homes, smart devices – even street lighting. ARM calls this the Architecture of the Digital World.

There is a “connectivity gap” which ARM hopes to help solve, where one has long communications distances, short battery life and very high cost – moving this to shorter distances, long life and low cost.

ARM also believes in and supports an internet of things architecture (see the iotaforum.com site) rather than an internet of silos (the higher “entropy” result of organic growth).

Galu Accumulator Tanks spoke after ARM plc as an up and coming startup manufacturing products that will be a key pivot in the move towards optimal cost, carbon and convenience home heating and energy systems.

The important departure from the typical British home is that the hot water storage tank is no longer a small copper tin with something akin to zip-up pyjamas as insulation, and which goes cold overnight. It is now a larger, highly-insulated store, which loses only a degree centigrade overnight and thereby opens up the possibility of storing the resultant energy until needed.

We can also combine energy sources such as biomass boilers, solar thermal panels, heat pumps, with mains gas. Once there are choices of inputs, we have another fundamental shift; now, one can choose which source to use as input energy source and at what time. And with a stratified tank, one can choose which section of the accumulator tank to withdraw energy from. An analogy was given of “pennies and pounds” that one may need to take from the tank depending on the temperature required.

This is actually quite revolutionary (although ancient and indigenous peoples have for millenia used such optimisation techniques).

Furthermore, we have the problem of convenience and human effort. Most people do not have the time or interest to manually run their heating systems. They do so because they have had to. By introducing sensors inside and out, we can gather a lot of ambient information. Then through control systems and intelligent learning, one can reduce to negligible levels, the human effort to run the system optimally. Running it optimally is crucial. Theoretically, one can obtain the best possible efficiency without human input other than the information obtained about the human occupants in the general running of their households. Specifically, human interaction with the system can be reduced to adjustment of temperature of rooms to comfort – the simplest possible choice, leave alone, warmer or cooler. This minimal interaction is sufficient for an intelligent system to learn how to run the heating system according to the occupants normal patterns of behaviour and needs and wants.

Heat pumps, solar thermal, and mains gas require little maintenance by the holseholders as they are “on tap”. The case of biomass (logs or pellets) clearly has a feeding system that is limited by the store of biomass that can be held or stored, but this process can be almost seasonal only for larger systems.

The system can be set to optimise for cost and then carbon, which might be the “default”, or vice versa, or indeed only for one or other factor.

The remainder of the conference was devoted to systems that can achieve this ideal heating system based on efficient thermal storage and multiple input sources.

One such provider had an in-home M2M (machine-to-machine) technology that is scaleable and such that one can avoid the internet of silos. It is an enabling technology.

Another company, New Era Controls, had a system for industrial and commercial property energy management.

A third company, Your Smart Home, through technical director, Will Hopkins, gave the stark contrast between the modern car and the modern home. The car has a range of intelligent features, such as automatic lights, zoned heating controls, heated seats, dimming, satnav, adaptive occupancy settings and so on. The house by contrast has a wiring system based on 1950s technology, no zoning, energy management, sensing, integration and so on. It seemed a huge and glaring opportunity!

Some insight into why this smart home automation for heating hasn’t already happened came from the final session opening talk based on research by the government’s cabinet office.

One-off, conscious, deliberative “decision making” such as buying an energy efficient home or improving the energy efficiency of ones home was contrasted with habitual purchasing decisions, or everyday behaviours which are automatic, non-conscious habits like reducing everyday energy consumption in the home.

The smart heating trial showed that “making it easy” was crucial. Incidentally, this agrees entirely with CIR Strategy’s work on routes to market whereby one designs the service around removing the key barriers to purchase and use of the product or service. In this case, the cabinet office speaker gave the example fo the loft clearance service, which made take up of loft insulation much more rapid than simply reducing cost through group discounts, which made little difference to take up.

DECC’s speaker noted that “daily heat storage can help to improve the performance and consumer acceptability of heat pumps, which are less able to meet spikes in heat demand than the incumbent gas boiler technology.”

DECC added that: “heat storage can help make heat networks more economical by allowing heat sources to operate more efficiently, reducing the amount of heat generated on capacity to meet peak demand.”

This shows the high importance of thermal storage and accumulation of heat, and that this is supported strongly by government is clear in its strategy of March 2012, as well as in numerous prior documents.

AlertMe’s Founder Pilgrim Beart stated that “1⁄4  of  all UK energy  goes on Home Heating & Hot  water.” Pilgrim noted that we have warmer houses – up to an average of 18C from 12C in 1970, not as a result of climate change or of turning up the thermostat, but from heating more rooms within the house and for longer. Yes, consumption of energy has risen, though more modestly than the temperature, as a result of efficiencies.

According to BERR, though, 10 million of our 26 million homes do not have a thermostat! And almost no-one has visibility on the cost changes as well as the temperature changes we make. Beart stated also that temperature was not the same as comfort: one can feel warm when it is cooler, and cold when it is hotter!

Of those homes that have thermostats, many of them are old-style, that act like simple “switches”  – turn up and on when cold. Some are “modern” thermostats which are programmable like old VCRs, and which defeat 47% of the people who have them, according to research by YouGov.

And some have “cloud thermostats” on their smart phones which give home heating control anywhere, anytime.

AlertMe noted that stakeholder views are quite different, with industry looking for unique, value-added services & upsell, smart meters & TOU billing systems, while consumers look for lower cost, peace of mind, control, simplicity, comfort and convenience.

“In an extendible,  intelligent heating system”, said Beart, “the most common action is of course to ignore the system and leave it alone. Such a system, as described in the conference piece by piece, will improve efficiency, be simpler to use and yield better comfort.”

Finally, Fiona Saunders, Head of Investment at British Gas, gave a talk covering smart metering, remote  heating control and the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR). Fiona highlighted positive reactions from more than half of those customers surveyed who have smart meters. British Gas have installed 400k smart meters to end 2011. BG see intelligent heating systems as a longer term, strategic area of interest, enabling customers to reduce bills, live more comfortably, while building their own business around better cheaper technologies.

Remote heating controls were discussed, which the user controls from a smart device or a laptop. Such a control “resonated” with customers, a great majority of which said that saving money, increasing control and comfort were important to them.

Finally, BG said that there had been propositions taken up by customers on time-of-use pricing (3 levels); heat pumps with larger thermal stores; and routing excess PV to hot water rather than into the smart grid.

Please call 01223 303500 if  you wish to get involved in future CIR events, in cleantech or high value manufacturing.