Scottish tech firm CircoSense pilots Heathrow energy savings


Along with original sponsors Royal Bank of Scotland, Carillion, Heathrow Airport are part of the Innovation Gateway which helps to crowdsource solutions that can help to solve the environmental challenges they face.

The Innovation Gateway has three aims:

  1. to help large companies to reduce energy, water and waste,
  2. to nurture new, brilliant innovations and
  3. to help local inventors take their ideas to market.

Challenges & Solutions

CircoSense submitted its CircoSense3000 smart technology device after the Innovation Gateway asked innovators and small businesses to come forward with new eco-ideas for Heathrow’s commercial properties.

The appliance is attached to the hot water system and reduces the amount of energy that is currently wasted in secondary return systems, which are installed in commercial buildings. It does this by “learning” the hot water usage patterns of the building, gathering a baseline reading and using this data to predict future usage.

Its smart technology then ensures that hot water is always available on demand, whilst turning off the pump when demand is lower and a constant flow is not required. This can significantly reduce energy consumption in the systems through preventing the circulation of water at times of no demand.

CircoSense was selected to carry out a trial at Heathrow Airport, and units were installed at the Compass Centre and Genesis Car Park as part of the Innovation Gateway trial.

The units were installed in April 2017, and underwent a “Proof of Concept” trial to prove the savings which could be achieved at the sites.

Compass Centre has two direct red water heaters, and hour counters were fitted across the gas solenoid valves to measure and verify the savings. In the Genesis Car Park, the system had stored hot water with electric immersion heating elements, and therefore a 3-phase meter was fitted onto the circuits supply these elements.

Lessons & Results

After the trial period concluded, it was established that the CircoSense3000 had resulted in savings of 22% at the Compass Centre and 22% at the Genesis Car Park, with payback periods of 4.9 years and 5.04 years respectively.

In addition, the CircoSense unit reduced the annual carbon emissions at the Compass Centre by 8.869 tonnes and at the Genesis Car Park by 6.465 tonnes.

“As part of the Innovation Gateway programme, we are looking for new technologies which reduce operating costs and carbon emissions, and we are delighted with the savings achieved at these sites by CircoSense.” Kevin Denney Utilities Project Manager Heathrow Airport Limited

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