October 26, 2013. Originally broadcast on Sky Tyne and Wear.
Two North Tyneside inventors have created a room-warming device to help cut fuel bills and solve an age-old domestic dispute.
Former Newcastle Univeristy students Roland Glancy and Simon Barker have developed an invention first conceived by Roland to stop his wife asking him to turn the heating up.
Called Radfan, it is an electric-powered, eco-friendly, plastic device which sits on top of a radiator and blows heat back into the room at 'sofa level' rather than allowing it to rise to the ceiling.
The duo say their tests show running the Radfan for 8 hours a day for 6 months, will cost £2 per year, but could save £60 to £100 on fuel bills.
Roland, a 31-year-old former architect and renewable energy advocate, said: "I always used to sit on the sofa with my wife Jaemi, and she would always complain about being cold.
"Obviously I didn't feel cold, and didn't want to turn the heating up, so I started playing around with bits of cardboard to see if I could make the warm air blow directly onto Jaemi and stop her complaining."
Roland entered an early version of his device into a Newcastle University competition, during which he met business partner Simon Barber, and the pair teamed up to create the Radfan.
Simon, a 26-year-old former electronics student, said: "We're both perfectionists so there have been eight versions of the Radfan to get it to the point it is now, and we're both pretty happy with it."
The Radfan has won a worldwide environmental design competition, beating 900 carbon emission-reducing inventions from across 85 countries.
Called EarthHack, the competition is run by Scandinavian furniture superstore IKEA, and was held at Climate Week in New York in October 2013.
Roland said: "It was brilliant to have our product chosen over hundreds of others, and it was an amazing opportunity to meet people and show them the Radfan.
"It just shows that it can have a global appeal and it was fantastic to have that confirmed by people who are experts in the industry."
The pair have sold more than 2000 Radfans by November 2013, and hope their device will help people struggling with winter fuel bills.
Simon added: "At a time when more and more people are choosing between eating and heating, I think there needs to be more focus on inventions which can help those who are struggling."
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