go to top scroll for more


Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_NGN_359
Title Project Helix
Status Completed
Energy Categories Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Biological Sciences) 5%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 95%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 90%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 10%;
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Northern Gas Network (NGN) North East
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 May 2022
End Date 31 May 2023
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £100,100
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region North East
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Northern Gas Network (NGN) North East (99.995%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , Cadent Central (0.001%)
Project Contact , Cadent Eastern (0.001%)
Project Contact , Cadent North London (0.001%)
Project Contact , Cadent North West (0.001%)
Project Contact , Cadent West Midlands (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Northern Gas Networks (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_NGN_359
Objectives Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is known to be a product of incomplete combustion of natural gas. Named the silent killer by former chief medical officer Prof Sally Davies. It is reported that between 30 and 60 people die in the UK as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, with increasing numbers throughout the world. The aim of this project is to develop a wearable device (intended to be a ring) that will combine CO detection along with other vital functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and blood oxygen level.  With regards to measurement and data quality from the sensors used in the devices, these will conform to BSI, MHRA & UKCA Kitemarking with final standards and correct calibration at the time of installation. Quality assurance will be confirmed and undertaken by Semefab.  The Centre for Processing Innovation at Sedgefield chose the health sensor made by a Norwegian semiconductor for its reliability. The CPI is the Government appointed agency for medical devices approvals. The Bosch sensor was chosen as it has recommended sensors that come with CE certification. It is now more stringent as the new regulations require software to be certified too.  The Academic Health Sciences Network NE & Cumbria will make an independent assessment of the functionality. They would test the device accuracy and reliability.  It is envisaged there will be multiple stakeholders benefiting from this technology such as pregnant women (as studies indicate the increase of foetal birth defects following carbon monoxide poisoning), elderly consumers (as approximately 3.5million over the age of 65 live alone) and employers (in the prevention of worker fatigue and CO exposure). Supported by Brunel University, Affotek has conducted a preliminary design conceptualisation and initial market research. Additionally, the Centre for Process Innovation at Sedgefield has carried out a Feasibility study and a Road Map to Prototyping This would place the device currently at TRL 3 and developed to TRL 8 as part of this project.  Net benefits for consumers are:  Health and Safety – Early detection of the health risks associated with carbon monoxide Community – Improved public awareness of the health risks linked to carbon monoxide poisoning alongside enhanced detection and response to exposure and improved confidence and understanding of the issues and causes Environmental – Indirectly related with the construction of the devices maximising the use of green and recycled materials. Individual customers – individuals, carers, family will appreciate the protection such a device will deliver with measures to prevent ill health, and reassurance with use Carbon reduction – Customers may have an attitude change to activities that create CO, as education of what causes CO will be received. In Scope This project will develop a prototype device to validate the technology via the following three stage approach:  Stage 1 – Validate the device by fixing sensors and prove overall function and application in a laboratory Stage 2 – Developing an algorithm, a user interface (app) and testing its functionality with the device and refine. Collaborate with the Academic Health Sciences Network NE & Cumbria to gain an independent assessment of the technology function Stage 3 – Test the ring and the app with a range of volunteers, in collaboration with the Academic Health Sciences Network NE &Cumbria, and undertake further studies to better understand the future commercial viability.  Out of scope  This project will not extend the range of sensing capability of the technology as this is seen as potential future development to extend consumer benefit. This project will not create a market ready product This project will not substantiate the future commercial model for such a device  Stage 1 Engage stakeholders to determine if the device would be worn, with the define device type and style based on a range user cases (e.g., ring, watch, badge etc). A chosen design agreed by project steering group based on stakeholder feedback will then be developed and will aim to satisfy the broadest most application / use case. Explore and validate different sensors (CO levels in atmosphere, carboxyhaemoglobin in blood), and from this a specific model of sensor will be evaluated and chosen for development. Define device capabilities (types of activity measurement, duration and how this information is portrayed to user), with a prototype device that will measure atmospheric CO. The sensors will allow the device to measure heart rate and respiratory rate to calculate the intensity of activity and duration. A definition on how the device will display this information in a useful format for the user will also be established. Manufacture prototype devices: 2 prototype devices will be produced that detect CO & fatigue with application[s
Abstract The number of deaths reported annually due to carbon monoxide poisoning is between 30-60; with 53 reported in 2019 by the Office of National Statistics. About 4,000 people attend A&E with suspected Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and of these 200 people are admitted to hospital every year. CO related incidents constitute 10% of calls to fire services. Lower levels of less than 70 parts per million (PPM) or undiagnosed carbon monoxide poisoning produce lasting neurological damage, memory loss and difficulties in concentration.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/10/22