By Jessica Rowe
A Christchurch inventor and a local plastics firm that was nearly put out of business by the quakes have teamed up to create a special downlight cover that's a hit in new houses. It's a fireproof dome that keeps houses warm as well as safe.
Cosydome after Cosydome, they've only just gone into production, and the Christchurch factory has been inundated with orders.
“We cap that off, stop the heat loss, and that's what keeps the room warm,” says inventor Paul Hill.
“It's a fire-resistant barrier for covering downlights to stop that heat escaping, but keeping the downlight isolated from anything combustible,” says Mr Hill.
Mr Hill had the bright idea when he was climbing around in his own roof and noticed heat escaping through the downlights.
He joined forces with local manufacturer Plastech Industries, which suffered major damage to its factory in the February quake.
“[It went] from a sketch into a product,” says Plastech Industries general manager Graeme Rikard. “Watching Kiwi businesses succeed, that's the rush I get out of it.”
They've been named as a finalist in the clean tech category of the New Zealand Innovators Awards.
“At 40 degrees, that starts to expand,” says Mr Hill. “When that expands, it pushes on the springs. It pushes the valves. It then allows the dome to ventilate as normal, therefore keeping the whole unit nice and cool.”
A machine produces three Cosydomes every minute and has the capacity to produce 45,000 a month.
They've already sold 3500 at $50 a pop. The Kiwi ingenuity is also attracting interest from overseas.
“We are so proud to see two companies that we've been working with not only re-establish themselves but develop new products, pathways to export and to have some great success,” says Pip Tschudin, spokesperson at Recover Canterbury.
The winners of the New Zealand Innovators Award will be announced next week.