Nottingham houses test graphene-infused infrared wallpaper

A trial is underway in 45 social housing groups across the UK that could revolutionize the way we heat our homes, especially those that have long battled with issues like heat leakage and inefficient insulation. A graphene-enhanced infrared wallpaper, developed by NexGen Heating, is being tested in a project targeting social housing and older properties that are notoriously hard to insulate.

By infusing wallpaper with graphene, NexGen Heating has created a product that emits infrared heat, warming objects and people directly in a manner reminiscent of sunlight. This direct form of heating is not only efficient but also customizable to fit the aesthetics of any room, promising an unobtrusive addition to homes. Furthermore, the potential for integration with solar panels and batteries could make this a cornerstone of sustainable living, significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels. NexGen Heating says infrared can provide greener, cheaper heating when paired with solar panels and batteries. 


The aim of this trial is to offer a lifeline to those who have been affected by the rising costs of heating and the challenges of insulating older properties. Ian Sanderson, CEO of NexGen Heating, emphasizes the dual goal of aiding those in fuel poverty while advancing environmental goals. 

At the forefront of this trial is Nottingham, a city that has become a beacon of innovation thanks to the collaborative efforts of NexGen Heating, Nottingham Trent University, and the Nottingham Community Housing Association. Researchers, led by Dr. Mike Siebert, are keenly exploring the viability of infrared heating in older properties, which typically require costly retrofitting to transition away from traditional oil and gas heating systems. The infrared wallpaper, with its ability to act as a 'thermal battery' by retaining heat in fabrics and releasing it slowly, offers a promising solution that could make green electric heating accessible to more homes.

Dr. Siebert says that "Everything we've looked at so far is a positive". "Health benefits, cost benefits, carbon benefits. It's very hard to find a negative."

The graphene material in the wallpaper emits infrared when powered by the electricity conducted through two copper strips, one on each side of the wallpaper strip. Provided the copper stays intact, the paper can be cut to fit around light fittings and painted to match any room décor.

Chris Pryke-Hendy, head of sustainability for Nottingham Community Housing Association (NCHA), says electric wallpaper has potential to allow older homes to ditch fossil fuels and switch to green electric heating. "What appeals to us [about infrared wallpaper] is that the heat is almost instant. It can be really responsive when people feel they need their heating," he said.

In May 2022, a social housing development in Wales also ran a similar test when it was heated by graphene-enhanced wallpaper by NexGen Heating, as part of a trial exploring affordable alternatives to radiators and heat pumps to keep residents warm.

Posted: Feb 27,2024 by Roni Peleg
Robert Mason (not verified)

Useful if the electric power is "free", e.g. solar cells (capital, maitenance and depreciation cost only... but not zero!) However, a bad idea if power is from the utility supply. Space heating is the worst use of electicity, i.e. the "highest grade" of energy being used to produce the lowest grade of energy (low grade heat.)

Tue, 02/27/2024 - 19:11 Permalink