Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

British Gas is an energy and home services provider in the United Kingdom. It is the trading name of British Gas Services Limited and British Gas New Heating Limited, both subsidiaries of Centrica.Serving around twelve million homes in the UK, British Gas is the biggest UK energy supplier and is considered one of the Big Six dominating the gas and electricity market in the United Kingdom.The brand British Gas remains from the demerger of the British Gas Corporation in 1997, which formed Centrica, BG Group and Transco. The British Gas Corporation was a result of the restructuring of the UK gas industry following the Gas Act 1972. The act merged all of the area boards and created the British Gas Corporation.The British Gas Corporation was privatised as British Gas plc by the Thatcher government and on 8 December 1986 its shares were floated on the London stock marketScottish Gas is the trading name of Centrica in Scotland. Wikipedia.

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Patent
British Gas Plc | Date: 2017-01-18

A mobile communications device for controlling a thermal appliance. The device comprises a first communications interface configured to communicate over a wireless local area network and a second communications interface configured to communicate over a wide area network. The device also comprises a processor coupled to the communications interfaces and configured to send, via the local area network, commands to control operation of the thermal appliance, and to receive, via the local area network, information relating to operation of the thermal appliance. Additionally, the device comprises a user interface for obtaining user input to control the thermal appliance and for providing a user with information relating to operation of the thermal appliance; wherein the processor is further configured to: monitor connection of the first communication interface with the wireless local area network, determine whether to trigger an alert in response to loss of connection of the first communication interface to the wireless local area network, and to send a command, based on user input provided in response to a triggered alert, to the thermal appliance via the second communications interface.


Patent
British Gas Plc | Date: 2017-02-22

A controller for a thermal appliance configured to heat or cool an area of a premises. The controller comprises: a communications interface, configured to communicate over a communications network; a data store comprising information regarding a transport infrastructure; and a processor coupled to the data store and to the first communications interface. The processor is configured to obtain an estimate of the time for a user carrying a mobile device to return to the premises via the transport infrastructure.


Patent
British Gas Plc | Date: 2015-03-11

Determination of a state of operation of a domestic appliance In one embodiment it is provided a method for determining a state of operation of a domestic appliance (2) in a plurality of domestic appliances (2), having: receiving (S10), from the domestic appliance (2), a time series (51, 52, 53, 54) of data (5) relating to the operation of the domestic appliance (2) over a cycle (4, 7) of operation; and determining (S20) the state of operation of the domestic appliance (2) based on comparing the received time series (51, 52, 53, 54) with a model of time series (151, 152, 153, 154; 251, 252, 253, 254, 255; 351, 352, 353, 354, 355) of data (50) corresponding to the operation of the plurality of domestic appliances (2) over a cycle (4, 7) of operation.


Patent
British Gas Plc | Date: 2015-03-13

A mobile communications device for controlling a thermal appliance. The device comprises a first communications interface configured to communicate over a wireless local area network and a second communications interface configured to communicate over a wide area network. The device also comprises a processor coupled to the communications interfaces and configured to send, via the local area network, commands to control operation of the thermal appliance, and to receive, via the local area network, information relating to operation of the thermal appliance. Additionally, the device comprises a user interface for obtaining user input to control the thermal appliance and for providing a user with information relating to operation of the thermal appliance; wherein the processor is further configured to: monitor connection of the first communication interface with the wireless local area network, determine whether to trigger an alert in response to loss of connection of the first communication interface to the wireless local area network, and to send a command, based on user input provided in response to a triggered alert, to the thermal appliance via the second communications interface.


Patent
British Gas Plc | Date: 2015-04-14

A controller for a thermal appliance configured to heat or cool an area of a premises. The controller comprises: a communications interface, configured to communicate over a communications network; a data store comprising information regarding a transport infrastructure; and a processor coupled to the data store and to the first communications interface. The processor is configured to obtain an estimate of the time for a user carrying a mobile device to return to the premises via the transport infrastructure.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-IA | Phase: FCH-02.9-2014 | Award Amount: 3.64M | Year: 2015

The current Design to service project aims at simplifying both, residential and commercial fuel cell systems for easy, fast and save system service and maintenance. In order to make best use of lessons learned and available resources, this project jointly works on two distinguished technologies (PEFC&SOFC) in two different markets (residential & extended UPS). Both SME manufacturers are committed to establish lean after-sales structures, a significant step towards mass manufacturing and deployment. Maintenance is one significant part of Total Cost of Ownership of FC systems. Pooling the operational experience of field test programs, such as ene.field and Callux, critical analysis will lead to a priority list of required technical changes. For cold Balance of Plant Components, joint efforts will focus on the desulphuriser and the water treatment system. Actions are taken for both, simplified maintenance and extended durability for prolonged service intervals. Logistics for replacement component supply will be considered. For the hot component parts, the manufacturers work on their individual hot topics to adapt and simplify the design of the current units, e.g. to allow replacement of individual components instead of sub-units. A large decrease of costs impact is expected once individual stacks can be changed in a simple maintenance operation instead of complete sub-units. It is important that such operations can be performed by a significant pool of qualified installers. This is addressed by the elaboration of simple technical manuals that will be exposed to real-life practical technicians in training programs. These actions aim at decreasing the technical barrier to service systems. Finally, the improved BoP units will be validated by testing single and multiple units. Beyond the classical features of high efficiency and silent operation, this will also add values like flexibility and modularity of FC technologies with respect to individual customer requests.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.56M | Year: 2016

Today we use many objects not normally associated with computers or the internet. These include gas meters and lights in our homes, healthcare devices, water distribution systems and cars. Increasingly, such objects are digitally connected and some are transitioning from cellular network connections (M2M) to using the internet: e.g. smart meters and cars - ultimately self-driving cars may revolutionise transport. This trend is driven by numerous forces. The connection of objects and use of their data can cut costs (e.g. allowing remote control of processes) creates new business opportunities (e.g. tailored consumer offerings), and can lead to new services (e.g. keeping older people safe in their homes). This vision of interconnected physical objects is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things. The examples above not only illustrate the vast potential of such technology for economic and societal benefit, they also hint that such a vision comes with serious challenges and threats. For example, information from a smart meter can be used to infer when people are at home, and an autonomous car must make quick decisions of moral dimensions when faced with a child running across on a busy road. This means the Internet of Things needs to evolve in a trustworthy manner that individuals can understand and be comfortable with. It also suggests that the Internet of Things needs to be resilient against active attacks from organised crime, terror organisations or state-sponsored aggressors. Therefore, this project creates a Hub for research, development, and translation for the Internet of Things, focussing on privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security/safety: PETRAS, (also suggesting rock-solid foundations) for the Internet of Things. The Hub will be designed and run as a social and technological platform. It will bring together UK academic institutions that are recognised international research leaders in this area, with users and partners from various industrial sectors, government agencies, and NGOs such as charities, to get a thorough understanding of these issues in terms of the potentially conflicting interests of private individuals, companies, and political institutions; and to become a world-leading centre for research, development, and innovation in this problem space. Central to the Hub approach is the flexibility during the research programme to create projects that explore issues through impactful co-design with technical and social science experts and stakeholders, and to engage more widely with centres of excellence in the UK and overseas. Research themes will cut across all projects: Privacy and Trust; Safety and Security; Adoption and Acceptability; Standards, Governance, and Policy; and Harnessing Economic Value. Properly understanding the interaction of these themes is vital, and a great social, moral, and economic responsibility of the Hub in influencing tomorrows Internet of Things. For example, a secure system that does not adequately respect privacy, or where there is the mere hint of such inadequacy, is unlikely to prove acceptable. Demonstrators, like wearable sensors in health care, will be used to explore and evaluate these research themes and their tension. New solutions are expected to come out of the majority of projects and demonstrators, many solutions will be generalisable to problems in other sectors, and all projects will produce valuable insights. A robust governance and management structure will ensure good management of the research portfolio, excellent user engagement and focussed coordination of impact from deliverables. The Hub will further draw on the expertise, networks, and on-going projects of its members to create a cross-disciplinary language for sharing problems and solutions across research domains, industrial sectors, and government departments. This common language will enhance the outreach, development, and training activities of the Hub.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Training Grant | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2014

This century is set to be the century of the city. Ever-increasing urbanisation is proceeding against a backdrop of advances in digital technologies and data availability and analysis, which are having profound effects on the ways that the future of cities is unfolding. Emerging from this intersection of urban growth and big data is the discipline of urban science which can assist governments, industry and citizens to move beyond imperfect understanding and use data to undertake tasks such as optimising operations (e.g. service delivery, traffic flow), monitoring the condition of infrastructure (e.g. bridge conditions, water leaks), planning new, more efficient, infrastructure (e.g. public transport, utilities provision), responding to abnormal conditions (e.g. hazard detection, emergency management), developing new and effective policies (e.g. road pricing, energy efficient buildings), enhancing economic performance and, informing and communicating with citizens to improve quality of life. This Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) is designed to play a leading role in the emergence and development of urban science. It will establish urban science as a field of study and focus of scientific inquiry. This new field needs trained cross-disciplinary researchers, who have the skills to integrate diverse branches of knowledge to address a range of important current and future policy drivers. It will build capacity within the UK HE sector to deliver novel solutions in the urban science domain, both nationally and internationally. Importantly, it will do so in an interdisciplinary environment, e.g. by exploiting synergies between computer science, engineering, mathematics and social science. Solutions to urban issues require a tri-partied relationship between academia, public bodies and the private sector. This CDT will work alongside government agencies and industry partners in the UK and abroad. The importance of urban science and appropriate cross-disciplinary research is central to our CDT approach. The potential benefits and impact are listed by the leader of Birmingham City Council as including mak[ing] a real difference to tens of thousands of Birmingham residents, saving £Ms in operating costs, and deliver[ing] a legacy of change through the training of individuals who have real expertise in their area. The deputy mayor of New York states that the centre can develop scientific solutions that will have direct impact on billions of the worlds population. This CDT provides a UK training environment that is part of a wider international programme, which offers training alongside international city experts, and benefits from the support of leading industry practitioners. No one in the world is tackling urban challenges at this scale. By leading the research agenda on the science of cities, educating the next generation of experts in how to apply that research, bringing innovative ideas to a world market, and creating new, fast-growing industry solutions and the many jobs that go with them, this UK-led CDT will be at the centre of the global stage in this field. The CDT will adopt a 1+3 (MSc+PhD) training model that is high-quality and rigourous, to produce multiple cohorts of successful, highly-employable graduates. It promotes an international student experience; students will work alongside a larger student cohort from NYU, CUNY, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Toronto and IIT Mumbai; it allows our students unprecedented access, in the UK and overseas, to existing city operations, to utilize existing and newly emerging data streams, and to explore and deploy novel urban sensors; it enables students to work alongside industry luminaries, leaders in public service and citizens, to understand, measure and improve urban systems; and it provides value for money to the UK through 50+ PhDs who will receive discipline-defining training from world-class institutions.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 439.79K | Year: 2015

Energy theft is a major problem and contributes a nontrivial addition to everyone’s energy bill. Using the data that smart meters will generate in near real-time of consumption data alongside logging information on the meters behaviour will enable us to more accurately identify possible cases of theft as well as more nuanced meter failure conditions. Utilising a streaming service methodology will also mean that we do not host any personal data within the service thereby ensuring customer privacy. The project builds on significant academic experience from the group at Oxford supporting those already engaged in smart meter rollouts in British Gas, G4S and EDMI.


Patent
British Gas Plc | Date: 2015-07-13

A method of configuring a control schedule for an environmental control system using a control device is disclosed. The control device has a display and a directional input element such as a rotary dial. The method involves performing a time period configuration process for a sequence of time periods. A time period is added to the control schedule and a representation of the added time period is displayed. In response to directional activation of the directional input element, a duration of the added time period is adjusted, with the representation being updated to indicate the adjusted duration. The adjusted duration is stored in response to a confirmation input signal. The time period configuration process is repeated until it is determined that no more time periods are to be added to the control schedule.

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