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A real ‘GEM’: Homeowners save money with innovative new technology

(l-r) Ian Hope, iNet with Bob Morris, Compulogic Ltd.

(l-r) Ian Hope, iNet with Bob Morris, Compulogic Ltd.

An innovative, Rugby-based technology company plans to create two full-time positions and increase profits by 30% by the end of 2013, following the launch of its latest product, a Generated Energy Management System (GEM).

GEM, developed by Compulogic Ltd as part of a project assisted by the Sustainable Construction iNet (iNet), is designed to continually monitor energy generation from Solar Photovoltaics (PV), wind or hydro micro-generation installations and automatically store surplus energy as hot water, helping to reduce imported energy and the associated costs. The team at Compulogic identified that exported energy from micro-generation systems to the National Grid, often up to 80% per day, has to be purchased back by the householder at a much higher rate, should it be required. Therefore, if this energy can be retained and used for free to heat water, there are significant cost savings available.

Bob Morris, director at Compulogic, initially contacted his bank for funding to develop GEM, but was referred to iNet, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The iNet provided match-funding worth £9,935 through the ERDF to complete the development of GEM, and invited Bob to pitch his idea to a specialist panel of experts from Sustainable Building Solutions (SBS), part of the Travis Perkins Group in December 2012. Travis Perkins has since agreed to take on GEM and will showcase the system on its stand at the forthcoming Ecobuild, the world’s largest exhibition for sustainable construction and the built environment.

Bob said: “The GEM system is a cost-effective, energy saving solution and represents a significant innovation for owners of PV systems and other micro-generation technologies. By working with the iNet, we have not only been able to complete the development of a potential market-leading product but also grow the business through the appointment of two new members of staff.”

iNet advisor, Ian Hope added: “When we are presented with an idea that can feasibly save consumers money and help conserve energy, we are keen to help where we can. The GEM idea is simple but the technology to make this happen is where Bob and his team excel. We are delighted to work with such keen innovators.”

Compulogic has formed a new company, Apollo Solar Electric Ltd, to handle the marketing and sales of GEM and expects to create new positions in technical sales and production test.

The iNet is funded by the ERDF and the University of Northampton. Interested parties should contact the iNet on info@construction-inet.org.uk or telephone 01604 892870.