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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_NGGD0032
Title Intelligent CO Monitors
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 ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Cadent Gas
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 July 2014
End Date 01 June 2017
Duration 35 months
Total Grant Value £351,210
Industrial Sectors Technical Consultancy
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Cadent Gas (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , Wales and West Utilities (0.001%)
Project Contact , Northern Gas Networks (0.001%)
Web Site http://www.smarternetworks.org/project/NIA_NGGD0032
Objectives The objectives of the trial will be to: Give the Network Licensees confidence that the concept will deliver benefits in terms of reduced FCO callouts (elimination of unnecessary, i. e. false alarm, callouts due to non CO related issues with CO detectors, typically caused by low battery condition or sensor faults)Demonstrate to social housing providers that the concept is reliable, operationally efficient, economically viable and an assured way of them ensuring tenants are protected from the risks of CO (particularly the vulnerable)Understand behavioural or acceptance issues of the use of the technologyDemonstrate rapid incident notifications to Network Licensee First Call Operatives (FCOs) The success criteria of the project is to identify: Social housing providers and trial target homes followed by the successful installation of the monitoring system in 600 propertiesThe data collected from the 600 systems and analyse to establish a significant reduction in the number of false callouts for CO related issuesThe number and nature of behavioural and acceptance issues experienced with householders involved in the projectThe operational reliability of the systemA reduction in response times and Network Licensee staff notification times to any CO incidentsThe commitment of the project hosts, i. e. social housing providers, to continue to use the system at the end of the trial. The quality of the householder experience (from feedback). The reduction in CO2 emissions from reduced travel as a result of elimination of false callouts
Abstract The problems to be addressed are: The high number of false First Call Operatives (FCO) callouts relating to CO Monitor alertsThe quality of the engagement with Customers (and the speed of an FCO callout response)Lack of customer awareness of the dangers of undetected CO exposure. There are approx. 50 people in the UK who die each year due to Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning and a further 200 are seriously injured (Source: Office of National Statistics). Based on a data collection initiative by NGN in quarter 4 of 2011, in part of its license area 31% of First Call Operatives (FCO) CO alert callouts in the study were caused by reasons other than the presence of CO (e. g caused by misinterpretation of battery low warnings or faulty CO alarms). Similar data logged by WWU during 2012 and 2013 indicates that this percentage of false alerts is even higher at almost 48%. Taking the average of these two figures at 40% this equates to an estimated 20,000 unnecessary Network Licensee FCO callouts per annum. These false call outs impose additional costs on Network Licensees, tie up vital resources and incur unnecessary travel which also impacts on CO2 emissions (see section 2b on pages 5&6 for financial benefits). Also important to highlight is the social benefit associated with this project in relation to the prevention of death by CO poisoning. Additionally, one of the outcomes from a large scale CO monitoring study by Liverpool John Moore University found that significant presence of low-level CO in homes that may not trigger a CO alarm but could still potentially lead to long-term health problems. Because of the simple nature of current devices these levels are below the trigger level for alerts, so occupants are unaware of them and the health risks that they may be subjected to. Raising CO awareness is vital as the threat of CO poisoning is something that the industry takes very seriously. This was raised as a significant issue during the RIIO-ED1 price control discussions and each Network Licensee has addressed this area in their Innovation Strategies. The above issues are of particular concern to social housing providers, especially for their many vulnerable customers, and other providers such as student accommodation, as they do not have robust ways of ensuring their tenants are safeguarded from the risks of CO exposure, and are unable to assess any link between health issues and cumulative low level exposure to CO. Current CO monitor devices have operational reliability issues. They are not able to objectively assess the condition of the CO sensor device that they use, which has a finite lifetime which varies depending on the amount of CO it has been exposed to (typically around 5 years). The use of the test button does not test this aspect of the device. As a result of these flaws one of two things occurs, either CO monitors are replaced before the end of their actual useful life, OR they cease to function effectively and as such result in false CO Monitor alerts, and in many cases FCO callouts. To address the problem set out above, this Projects seeks to test a new design of battery powered CO monitor with GPRS communications and advanced self-monitoring capabilities. It is particularly suited to the social housing environment but would allow almost any environment where CO exposure is a risk to be monitored remotely and intelligently. The following are features of the system: 1)Local alarm sounder (as percurrent devices), 2) Remote communication using 3G/GPRS, 3) Communication of actual CO levels, alert conditions, battery health and sensor health, including a method for objectively assessing the health of the actual sensor element and its viability, 4) A web based system for authorised third parties (e. g. social housing providers) to monitor alerts, sensor health and battery, 5) Notification of alerts via SMS and a smart phone App to any authorised party such as social housing providers, 6) Potential for directly linking CO alerts messages through to the 0800 111 999 call centre, 7) Removal of necessity to perform local weekly tests of the unit as the remote monitoring automatically does this, 8) Central monitoring of CO exposure levels enabling data for potential future use (with controls and permissions) by health care professionals and academia, 9) 5 year battery life (comparable to best existing products), 10) Comparable hardware costs to existing CO monitors.Note : Project Documents may be available via the ENA Smarter Networks Portal using the Website link above
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 10/09/18