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Inventor claims energy cladding can cut bills by two thirds

Materials

A RADICAL new heating system to be launched this autumn could bring massive savings on energy bills in homes and offices, according to its inventor.

Alan Ridett said: 'The system can be run at a third of the cost of a conventional gas boiler.'

The Ambient EndothermicEnergy System, effectively working as a refrigerator in reverse, comprises a liquid-filled roof or wall cladding in thermal contact with the atmosphere. A water/ glycol mixture contained in the aluminium cladding stores heat energy. The mixture is pumped through the building to provide heating and feed heat energy to the hot water supply.

The system does not need direct sunlight to function and can also be used to cool buildings in hot weather. Mr Ridett claims it will pay for itself in terms of reduced heating bills in less than five years.

'The system is initially more expensive to install than, say, roof tiles, but it can be done in a day for a few hundred pounds,' he said.

Mr Ridett, with engineer Alistair Hunter, has set up a company, Isle of Wight-based AmbientEnergy Systems, to market the product. They estimate that running central heating and hot water via ambient energy would cost about £130 a year for a typical family home.

Mr Ridett added: 'Environmentally, the system is totally benign, but up to seven tonnes of carbon dioxide a year are pumped out by the average domestic boiler.'

Ambient Energy Systems has developed and tested the product over the past five years, with results monitored by specialists at the University of Portsmouth.