Tech Tuesday is an on-going series profiling the Forum’s Technology Pioneers. The Tech Pioneers are companies that have been recognized by the Forum for ground-breaking and innovative approaches in tackling some of the world’s most wicked problems. Each week we will be showcasing one of the 2013 Tech Pioneers. You can learn more about the Technology Pioneer Programme on the Forum’s website.
PassivSystems: Maximize your home’s energy efficiency from a smartphone
Trying to achieve a zero carbon footprint requires mastering multiple technologies, which, in most cases, are likely to be incompatible with each other. PassivSystems not only simplifies the coordination of different sources of energy, but also it can be controlled by a smart phone app while away from home. More than just turning on and off heating and electric lights, the system employs indoor and outdoor sensors to monitor current conditions. It also memorizes a house’s normal routine to calculate the optimum energy usage with price information and other relevant data obtained from external servers. At least 20,000 systems have been sold in the Great Britain where heating, which accounts for about 80% of household energy use, depends primarily on imported gas.
If you return home from work at roughly the same time every day, the system will calculate the precise moment to begin heating the house to its optimum temperature. The company estimates that its system reduces energy costs by 23% or more. Colin Calder, who designed the system, came up with the idea when he tried to build a house with a zero carbon footprint in Tuscany. Calder found it almost impossible to make the available green technologies work together, and he saw the chaos as a business opportunity. “Sometimes you stumble across something that is so big that you have to act,” he says. Although the system has primarily been sold in England so far, Calder sees a large potential market in the Middle East where air-conditioning can be an important expense item.
Colin Calder, Chief Executive Officer
Location:Newbury, United Kingdom
Number of Employees: 65
Year Founded: 2008
Medway House, Newbury Business Park
Newbury, West Berkshire RG14 2PZ