Enterprise Ireland presented Industrial Technologies Commercialisation Awards to nineteen researchers from Higher Education Institutions in November 2011
Among the award winners were three researchers who have set up new companies to commercialise their technologies - Pilot Photonics emerged from DCU, InfiniLED from the Tyndall Institute and Aeriaq Filtration Ltd from Trinity College Dublin.
Spotlight on Aeriaq Filtration Ltd. – delivering cleaner, greener air.
The technology at the centre of Aeriaq Filtration Ltd. is a new, energy-efficient air-filter technology, which by virtue of its design filters fine dust passively and effectively. A cleantech, it can reduce the energy consumption of air handling compared to conventional filtration systems.
It is designed for use in ventilation systems in buildings and cars use fans as part of the process to filter or trap dust and provide clean air to the interior. This new, passive system reduces the pressure drop in ventilation systems and can so reduce energy and maintenance costs.
Invented by Dr Aonghus McNabola and Dr Laurence Gill, both based in Trinity College Dublin, the intellectual property involved has been licensed to Trinity campus company AERIAQ Filtration.
Trials indicate a three-year payback on the device, according to Elmarie van Breda, CEO of AERIAQ Filtration, who came to the project as business partner last year.
“Savings look to be in the order of about 15 per cent of the life-cycle costs of an air-handling unit over 20 years and that is mainly because of lower energy consumption and also reduced maintenance.”
The estimated global annual market for the technology in buildings is around USD 26 million, says van Breda, and AERIAQ can be deployed anywhere in the world on a range of scales.
“The product can be used in any ventilation systems at any locations,” she says.
AERIAQ now intends to move the technology beyond prototype. The company will first seek to implement the system in office buildings in Ireland and has tendered for Irish manufacturing companies to develop the product. For exports the initial target is the UK and thereafter Saudi Arabia, and there are plans to develop the system further for more complex air handling systems such as cleanrooms and smaller installations for vehicles.
“It’s the right product at the right time,” says van Breda. “If we can save electricity, there’s a fantastic opportunity to reduce energy costs.”