Plumbing and Draining Systems R&D Case Study

A heating company consisting of several specialised divisions to serve Domestic and Commercial customers in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Central Belt of Scotland approached ZLX to look at a potential R&D project tax credit claim. The company specialises in providing a one stop solution for all plumbing, drainage, and heating systems. They also have their own design department that provides specialist design of all commercial and industrial heating systems, including the use of the latest technology to ensure maximum performance and minimum energy useage.

The global energy situation is characterised by limited natural gas and oil reserves at a time of increasing consumption. In addition, CO2 emissions are warming our atmosphere and leading to climate change. These factors are forcing the world to be sparing in our use of fossil fuels and demand improved efficiency in heating, cooling, ventilation and power generation, as well as greater use of renewable energy.

The company has now embarked on the design and development of their own heating system. This design and development project will centre around the manufacture of a new heating technology providing simultaneous heating and hot water using advanced fuel cell technology to convert hydrogen into energy. The system combines heat and power generation on a very small footprint and offers considerably higher electrical efficiency than available through current combined heat and power ( CHP) solutions; making it the ideal future thinking energy centre.

An environmentally friendly energy source for fuel cells, hydrogen is in use in vehicles and ships already in operation, among other things. Fuel cell heating systems have been used in living spaces in Japan, for example, since 2009. Over 200,000 such systems are now in use there. Fuel cell heating unit incorporates a tried and tested fuel cell module from Panasonic. It has been specially adapted to the other components and guarantees a long service life, with a useful lifespan of more than 80,000 operating hours. A hydrogen Fuel cell Boiler is a home unit that utilizes this waste heat for hot water and heating, while also generating electricity for the home or industrial unit. CHP, however, more commonly uses combustion engines rather than Fuel Cell technology.

With the company leading the way in heating system technology, ZLX were proud to be their representative and the claim has now successfully been paid with the company owners delighted at the payment received. ZLX are now providing further expertise to maximise the companies claims in several other areas within the group.