flexiblefullpage
billboard
interstitial1
catfish1
Currently Reading

Turning lost heat to energy is what sets this HVAC boiler apart

HVAC

Turning lost heat to energy is what sets this HVAC boiler apart

Enviro Power’s SmartWatt has been installed in residential and commercial buildings.


February 27, 2023
The SmartWatt replacement boiler also turns escaping heat into electricity. Images: Courtesy of Enviro Power
Enviro Power's SmartWatt replacement boiler efficiently converts lost heat into electricity. It is suitable for both new and existing buildings. Images: Courtesy of Enviro Power Technologies

Who says HVAC is staid?

Heat pumps, whose unit sales surpassed gas furnaces for the first time last year, are steadily gaining mainstream acceptance in the U.S. as environmentally friendlier all-in-one heating and cooling alternatives that run on electricity.

Another kind of heating system is trying to make inroads, too.  Last year, Connecticut-based Enviro Power Technologies, in partnership with the national manufacturer Burnham Holdings, began production on SmartWatt, a first-of-its kind replacement boiler with a mini power plant that converts lost heat into electricity.

SmartWatt in December achieved Intertek ETL certification, which indicates compliance with North American safety standards. Dan Nadav, Enviro Power’s CEO, expects his company will sell between 100 and 200 units in 2023, and at least 500 units in 2024.

Among the AEC companies that have endorsed SmartWatt is the engineering firm Syska Hennessy. “We see growing pressure on our customers’ end to lower [their] carbon footprint and cost of energy,” says Robert Ioanna, PE, LEED AP, Executive Principal at Syska Hennessy Group. “SmartWatt provides a decarbonizing and energy saving solution designed as a drop-in replacement that can be implemented today and has a two- to three-year ROI before incentives are applied.”

Installation that fits the infrastructure

Nadav has two decades of experience working with what he calls distributed generation technologies. His partner, Michael Cocuzza, who is Enviro Power’s’ Chief Technology Officer and President, has 10-plus years’ experience in mechanical design and the patenting of energy solutions.

Enviro Power estimates that 10 million boilers are replaced each year in Europe and North America. But many existing buildings are still operating on antiquated heating systems. “We needed to act now,” says Nadav, to standardize its product around a building’s existing infrastructure and the replacement market.

Enviro Power developed SmartWatt’s mini power plant with Windings, Inc., a Minnesota-based maker of motors and generators. The company currently offers two boilers: a 5-kilowatt 150,000 BTUh unit that’s suitable for single-family homes; and a 6-kW 300,000 BTUh unit for multifamily and commercial buildings. The larger unit’s price starts at around $20,000 to install, and would begin returning that investment in the boiler’s first year of operation, says Nadav, figuring the cost of a kilowatt hour at 25 cents and the building operating between 4,000 and 7,000 hours per year.

Nadav calculates that in a sophisticated energy grid market like New England, the installation of 1,000 SmartWatt boilers would have the potential for saving 30,000 tons of CO2, or the equivalent of the carbon footprint of 1,700 homes.

 

Dan Nadav, CEO, Enviro Power Technologies
Dan Nadav, Enviro Power's CEO, has been involved in distributed generation for two decades.
 

Focusing growth on the Northeast first

Freedom Property is a real estate property manager based in Southington, Conn., that specializes small-to-midsize multifamily redevelopments. It currently manages 160 apartment units, a number that is on track to increase to between 200 and 225 by the end of this year, says Luke Florian, who started the company in 2014.

Last October, Freedom Property installed its first SmartWatt boiler, the 6-kW model, at a cost of $24,000. The building was installed in the former Iron Horse Inn that Florian had converted into 25 boutique apartments. The boiler is providing domestic hot water, and the mini plant is powering the lights for the building’s corridor and parking lot.

(Enviro Power estimates that a 6-kW unit has the capacity to provide domestic hot water, with the appropriate storage tank, for up to 50 apartments before a second unit would be needed. If the SmartWatt unit is also providing space heating, it could handle up to eight apartments.)

Florian—who went to high school with Cocuzza and had stayed in touch—told BD+C early this month that he was planning to replace an existing boiler with a SmartWatt unit in another building in East Hartford, Conn., with 21 apartments. “It’s a great technology.” And while he won’t know the savings definitively until four or five billing cycles, “it’s trending positively.”

Last fall, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., installed a SmartWatt boiler in its Butterfield student dormitory complex. The system was initially tested at the 56,000-sf Butterfield C dorm, and now provides hot water and “free” electricity to the three-story, 197-student residence and dining hall.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) recently praised the SmartWatt technology, and named Enviro Power a 2022 Innovator. “Working with Enviro Power checks every box—engaging with a high-quality local manufacturer, advancing new technology, improving energy efficiency in University buildings, and reducing our energy costs.”

Ioanna of Syska Hennessy says now that SmartWatt is certified and under production, his firm can start introducing the boiler to its customers.

Nadav says that his company’s growth strategy would focus initially on the Northeast market, and then it would start bringing out larger units: a 400,000-BTUIh model this year, and a 20-kW, 1 million BTUh model in 2024 for hotels and hospitals.

Ultimately, Nadav says that Enviro Power wants to offer a cogeneration system that provides backup power.

Tags

Related Stories

Industrial Facilities | Jun 8, 2024

8 ways to cool a factory

Whichever way you look at it—from a workplace wellness point of view or from a competing for talent angle—there are good reasons to explore options for climate control in the factory workplace.

HVAC | May 28, 2024

Department of Energy unveils resources for deploying heat pumps in commercial buildings

To accelerate adoption of heat pump technology in commercial buildings, the U.S. Department of Energy is offering resources and guidance for stakeholders. DOE aims to help commercial building owners and operators reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs by increasing the adoption of existing and emerging heat pump technologies. 

Codes and Standards | May 10, 2024

Guide on electrifying space heating for large commercial buildings with boilers released

The U.S. Department of Energy has released a guide on electrifying space heating for large commercial buildings with boilers. The guide summarizes key considerations for people seeking to retrofit existing large commercial and multifamily buildings, particularly those that currently heat spaces using fossil fuel-fired boilers.

ProConnect Events | Apr 23, 2024

5 more ProConnect events scheduled for 2024, including all-new 'AEC Giants'

SGC Horizon present 7 ProConnect events in 2024.

75 Top Building Products | Apr 22, 2024

Enter today! BD+C's 75 Top Building Products for 2024

BD+C editors are now accepting submissions for the annual 75 Top Building Products awards. The winners will be featured in the November/December 2024 issue of Building Design+Construction. 

MFPRO+ News | Feb 15, 2024

Nine states pledge to transition to heat pumps for residential HVAC and water heating

Nine states have signed a joint agreement to accelerate the transition to residential building electrification by significantly expanding heat pump sales to meet heating, cooling, and water heating demand. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by directors of environmental agencies from California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island. 

Sustainability | Feb 7, 2024

9 states pledge to accelerate transition to clean residential buildings

States from coast to coast have signed a joint agreement to accelerate the transition to pollution-free residential buildings by significantly expanding heat pump sales to meet heating, cooling, and water heating demand in coming years.

75 Top Building Products | Dec 13, 2023

75 top building products for 2023

From a bladeless rooftop wind energy system, to a troffer light fixture with built-in continuous visible light disinfection, innovation is plentiful in Building Design+Construction's annual 75 Top Products report. 

Products and Materials | Nov 30, 2023

Top building products for November 2023

BD+C Editors break down 15 of the top building products this month, from horizontal sliding windows to discreet indoor air infusers.

Data Centers | Nov 22, 2023

How is artificial intelligence impacting data center design?

As AI is reshaping how we interact with machines and the world around us, the design of data centers needs to adapt to this fast-changing landscape. So, Page pairs expert thinking with high-performing solutions to meet the needs of rapidly advancing technologies.

boombox1
boombox2
native1

More In Category

Industrial Facilities

8 ways to cool a factory

Whichever way you look at it—from a workplace wellness point of view or from a competing for talent angle—there are good reasons to explore options for climate control in the factory workplace.




halfpage1

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021