2 Oct 2012

Heat-saving cover in running for awards

7:01 am on 2 October 2012

A Christchurch inventor's energy-saving downlight cover is up for two awards this month.

Paul Hill first came up with the concept for Cosy Dome three years ago after getting into the roof space of his home and finding that heat was escaping.

Now the product is in the running for a Plastics New Zealand industry award, which will be decided on Friday at Auckland, and is a finalist for a national innovation award.

The cover Mr Hill invented and produced along with Plastech Industries stops heat escaping up until a specific temperature is reached - then a valve is released to allow a little of the hot air through.

Mr Hill says the idea would not have become reality without a grant from the Ministry of Science and Innovation as support from other Canterbury groups.

"It's designed to simply retro-fit," he says.

There had been a lot of house fires in Australia after subsidised insulation programmes resulting in some installers wrongly covering downlights and causing them to overheat.

In New Zealand, a building standard has been published which means manufacturers can show that products such as downlight covers had been tested for safety.

Properly installed, the covers could prevent a normal 10 square metre room's insulation efficiency being eroded by as much as 46% when four downlights were installed, says Mr Hill.