This project retrofitted existing night storage heaters with VCharge Dynamos in a tower block situated in the west end of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Despite the tower block being previously insulated and the windows being replaced, residents continued to note that they were unable to keep warm at a reasonable cost. The VCharge Dynamo aims to increase comfort and reduce energy use by charging the storage heaters by an amount proportionate to the households predicted preferences, taking into account the internal temperature, previous consumption patterns and external temperatures to determine how much charge is required. A total of 26 properties received VCharge Dynamos and of these 14 were monitored.
The project had the following aims:
- To determine if the VCharge Dynamo units could increase resident comfort levels, particularly at times when they wanted to be warm.
- To determine if improved comfort levels would impact the annual electricity costs.
- To examine whether residents can understand and use the VCharge system.
- To determine if retrofitting existing storage heaters is a viable option for housing associations across the UK.
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