Innovator Support: Ventive

Introduction

Using technology to provide heating and hot water in a more intelligent, efficient way will be crucial for reaching a net-zero carbon energy system. The Catapult has invited a selection of SMEs focused on finding innovative solutions to this challenge to join the Innovator Support Platform, giving them the opportunity to benefit from our assets, capabilities and expertise.

Following a rigorous application process, Ventive was chosen for the potential of its natural ventilation technology to transform the way we heat buildings, delivering greater comfort without the carbon.

The Innovation

Ventive has developed an intelligent ventilation system to deliver fresh air in buildings at minimal energy cost – called Passive Ventilation with Heat Recovery (PVHR). It uses natural ventilation, which is a way of supplying fresh air to a room using passive forces, like wind speed and buoyancy. It is carbon neutral, cheap to operate and easy to install and maintain.

Based on this patented technology, the Middlesex-based company has developed Ventive Home – a smart, whole house ventilation, heating, cooling and hot water system for use in new build homes. Ventive Home combines PVHR and heat pump technologies to provide outstanding energy performance at a manageable cost.

The system has potential to reduce energy costs by up to 50% within domestic environments and up to 30% within public buildings (providing the heat lost via air leakage is minimised).

The Challenge and Opportunity

Early versions of the Ventive Home system have been retrofitted in homes and schools, where building regulations specify natural ventilation requirements. It is estimated that the per annum spend of this market is £30 million.

The commercial potential is thought to be optimal in new build environments, particularly in residential modular housing where air leakage can be designed out and where economies of scale, and hence returns-on-investment, can be realised.

A key goal for Ventive’s development is gaining greater understanding of Ventive Home’s product performance, along with consumer acceptance of this new approach and the value proposition it would create.

Our Approach

Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Innovator Support Platform (ISP) that draws on our capabilities and assets, along with those of our partners. The ISP provides innovators with tailored incubation and acceleration support to help address systemic barriers, de-risk innovation, help businesses scale and secure investment.

Incubation Support

Our Innovator Support Platform (ISP) is providing tailored incubator support for selected SMEs utilising ESC capabilities, assets and delivery partner offerings.

 

The desired outcome and impact for Ventive would be a comfort-as-a-service business model, IP strategy and customer segmentation to support the commercialisation of Ventive Home in 2020. To support this goal, the Catapult will deliver the following:

  • Market Landscaping – develop understanding of the residential market and opportunity for natural ventilation heating and cooling solutions.
  • Home Energy Dynamics (HED) modelling – model the Ventive Home product in various building archetype profiles to understand its performance benefits and ability to support a comfort as a service business model.
  • Business Model Innovation – identify and prioritise the key assumptions of the commercial model that need to be true for the concept to work and develop a series of tests and experiments to help prove the business hypothesis.
    • The results and data collected from these experiments will be applied to the business model canvas to help identify how best to generate and capture value from the product. It is possible that there are multiple business models that could be appropriate to pursue, including energy-as-a-service, new build and retrofit.
  • IP strategy – understand how to develop the Ventive IP and secure this within an outsourced supply model.