The Idea...Cooling in its various forms accounts for 2% of global energy usage – in monetary terms this equates to around £400 billion (2011) per annum . If we assume that DeHeat’s technology can save an average user 10% (low estimate) on their energy bills, then the potential savings to end users could be as much as £40 billion. Therefore it is envisaged that the size of the likely market is significant and we believe that it is plausible to assume that this could be a multi-million pound commercial opportunity.
By their very nature, our products repay their initial cost through energy savings to end-users. Even a 5% reduction in energy demand for cooling would represent significant savings to customers alongside the additional spill over environmental benefits. Since the products will have a positive net ROI, their uptake within all market sectors should be significant. The technology represents a truly global market potential – worldwide data centre numbers are expected to reach 8 million by 2017 . By concentrating on the largest 1% (80,000 centres) by energy usage and then successfully obtaining contracts from 0.05% (40 centres) of the remaining at an average installation cost of £40K we can predict generating revenues of approximately £1.6M by Year 2 (after Proof of Prototype), rising to £5M by Year 4 (0.3% uptake) with the potential to reach £20M (1% uptake) by Year 6.
As our technology is completely scalable, there are many other potential market opportunities within the cooling sector: Thermal management of computer chips is another growth area - as performances improve, the heat generated by the device also increases, a big problem for chip manufacturers. Other markets include domestic cooling solutions which would complement traditional air-conditioning. There is also a preference for ‘still air’ cooling in some sectors such as hospitals, indoor sports halls, clean rooms etc., and our future business plan includes development of customised solutions for niche markets such as these.
The nature of the opportunity will also be beneficial for UK businesses, as cheaper methods of cooling could make them much more competitive as well as being more environmentally friendly, by using a much more sustainable method of cooling. Social housing, new-builds and commercial construction would all benefit from the technology which would complement other strategies to obtain carbon neutral (or negative) sustainable development.
This research may open up opportunities for other UK industries outside the scope of this grant, due to positive ripple effects – if financial benefits are obtained through greater efficiency there is scope for further green improvements, saving even more money, creating a virtuous, sustainable circle.
Routes to market will be collaborations with suitable companies who are already involved in our target sectors and through symbiotic relationships with UK universities and Catapult centres. Other traditional routes including licensing, direct and indirect sales will also be employed. Through these methods we hope to swiftly gain traction in this emerging marketplace.