Problem Addressed

This solution was sourced in response to UKGBC’s Innovation Challenge: “How can existing buildings be made more resilient to climate change, with as little disruption to their occupants as possible, by 2030?”

Achieving major reductions in building energy usage is a significant challenge – and doing so without causing significant disruption to the users is even more difficult. There are three main effects of climate change that HydroMX seeks to address:

  • Colder weather, requiring more effective heating.
  • Hotter weather, requiring improved cooling.
  • Increased cost and scarcity of heating fuel.

Solution Overview

HydroMX is a nanoparticle based heat transfer fluid which replaces the water or water/glycol mixes used in heating, cooling and heat recovery applications. It is currently in use in the NHS, hotels, commercial buildings, data centres, educational institutions and domestic properties and is approved under LEED and under the NYC building code in the USA.

Energy usage reduction is typically between 20% and 35%, and can be initiated very quickly. HydroMX’s LCA & EPD show that it’s application in heating, cooling and HVAC systems reduces CO2 emissions by 25% when compared to use of water and 37% when compared to use of a water-glycol solution.

Verification & Case Study

The simplest way to verify a heating system is to record usage data and external temperature for a suitable period of time prior to installation of HydroMX, and then repeat the recording for a similar period and compare the usage during the two periods and then adjust for differences in the external temperatures. This may be done using degree days or, more accurately, by recording the external temperatures and using these records for comparison.

Case study

HydroMX was installed in a children’s ward in a Birmingham hospital without any disturbance to the staff or patients, with the whole process taking less than half a day. The gas meter for the building provided data of energy usage, the thermostat in the ward ensured a consistent comfort temperature inside the ward and Degree Days were obtained from a local weather station, enabling an analysis to be carried out quite simply. The results were:

  1. 33% saving in energy and carbon reduction.
  2. Payback less than one year.