Engineering a low-cost solution for wasteful radiator-based heating systems

Marshall Cox – Founder mpc2139@columbia.edu

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Team
Marshall Cox, PhD Candidate
• First non-founding employee of QD Vision • Holds 6 US patents

John Sarik, PhD Candidate
• Established NYC hardware hacker • Expert in DIY electronics for education, rapid prototyping, and energy harvesting

Prof. John Kymissis
• • Professor of Electrical Engineering, PI of CLUE Consultant for founding of QD Vision, a MITbased startup
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• Radiator-heated apartments are notorious for poor temperature control • Apartment heating efficiencies vary dramatically • Regulations in NYC require that apartments be kept at 68° minimum at all times These three conditions combine to result in

uncomfortable tenants and unnecessarily high energy bills

My Apartment before RadLab

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12 hours

24 hours

36 hours
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Can radiator heating systems become more like modern systems? RadLab radiator retrofit:
• Radiator is enveloped by an insulating media • Heat is distributed to room by fans • Temperature is monitored and logged wirelessly

My Apartment after RadLab

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2 Days

4 Days

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Smart Heating System

Apt. A

Apt. B

Apt. C

Boiler Room
• More efficient heat transfer past “hot” apartments to “cold” apartments • No unnecessary boiler firing • “Problem” apartment diagnosis with data analytics 5

The RadLab system saves energy by keeping the temperature of apartments at comfortable levels and communicating temperature data to the central boiler. As a result, windows stay closed and the boiler only has to fire when apartments call for heat. System intelligence can optimize the heat distribution throughout a building for efficiency and comfort.
Example apartment overheated to 80F • 0.02 BTU/hr x 1 ft3 = 1 degree F / hour • 10 degrees F / hour = .2 BTU / hour x 1ft3 • Average apartment size 700ft2 * 9ft ceilings ~= 6000ft3  3000BTUs / hour saved

Savings
• $1600/year to heat a 700ft2 apartment (NYSERDA) • 15% of that energy is wasted because of overheating (GreeningABlock.org) • 2 million apartments in NYC in building of 5 or more units (target demographic) • Conserving this energy would save NYC residents $480 million every year • Conserving this energy is equivalent to taking 500,000 cars off the road • Conserving this energy saves $240 per apartment every year

Using preliminary cost estimates, payback period less than 1 year
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Emissions
• 2 million apartments in NYC in building of 5 or more units (target demographic) • Conserving 15% of this energy is equivalent to saving 34 million BTU / year

• Conserving this energy would remove 3,250 metric tons of SO2 from the air / year
• Conserving this energy would remove 375 metric tons of PM2.5 from the air / year • Conserving this energy would remove 2.5 million metric tons of CO2 from the air / year Emissions Savings per 700ft2 Apt • BTU’s 17m • SO2 3lbs • PM2.5 0.4lbs • CO2 3000lbs

15% reduction / square foot apartment space
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Achievements

• Provisional patent filed through CU • Proof of concept in my apartment

Apartment-installed system: installation takes minutes and conforms to existing enclosures

Next Steps
• Pilot Study:

• Cluster of apartments that share 1 heating line
• Funding to cover hardware, installation, and maintenance
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