Bonded Energy Solutions
Steam Heat Comes of Age – the Digital Age
When you think about emerging applications of clean energy technologies, steam heating is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Neither does an image of those massive cast iron radiators so common to older brownstones and apartment buildings throughout the United States. Yet, millions of those steam systems are still in use today. Worldwide, steam accounts for approximately 15% of all heated buildings! Given the less-than-energy-conscious design of many of the structures heated with steam, improving system efficiency and performance can pay large dividends for building owners, tenants, and the environment as a whole. Realizing these benefits is precisely what Bonded Energy Solutions has set out to achieve.
Energy economics meets creature comforts
SteamTech™ is a comprehensive, Internet-connected solution for optimizing all aspects of a steam heating system. Dedicated, U.S.-manufactured hardware delivers automated control and energy savings. The SteamTech software suite provides property owners with the ability to remotely monitor and analyze the data from each building, run performance diagnostics, and track equipment failures. Tenants control the temperature and comfort of their individual apartment, even down to a specific room, via a web interface or an easy-to-use smartphone app.
For the most part, earlier attempts at steam-heating control focused primarily on fuel consumption and energy management, with little or no attention given to tenant comfort. Nothing has come close to the full set of features developed by Bonded Energy Solutions, and initial testing of their system at an apartment building in the Bronx has demonstrated positive ecological and economic results.
Promising beta-test results
With SteamTech installed, greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions have been reduced by 20%. Based on EPA calculation models, over a five-year period this will equate to taking approximately 32,000 cars off the road. Savings in fuel cost are also projected to be approximately 20% annually, with the potential for the system to pay for itself in only a year or two, depending on oil prices and utility incentive programs. This is for only one building out of the millions that could benefit from the addition of a SteamTech system.
Bonded Energy Solutions has been a CEBIP client since 2013. The move proved to be essential to the development of SteamTech by giving them direct access to the resources of both Stony Brook University and the Long Island High Technology Incubator. According to Bonded Energy Solutions founder and CEO Jerritt Gluck, “The Incubator, in particular, was invaluable in the development of our technology. The laboratory space made available for electronic testing and the creation of system prototypes substantially accelerated our process. And the guidance and assistance provided by CEBIP management has been an absolute asset to our growth as a company.”
An equally promising future
The opportunity for growth, of course, is a primary concern for any fledgling enterprise. In terms of both economic savings and environmental compliance, the benefits apparent from the beta test results indicate that the market potential for SteamTech should be substantial. In New York City alone, there are 10,000 buildings larger than 50,000 sq. ft. currently being heated with steam. That represents a market potential of more than $250 million. In the United States the number of buildings grows to 2.5 million, and more than 330 million worldwide.
So, if you thought of steam heating as out-of-date and an unlikely subject for clean energy research and development, consider this: windmills were once believed to be a passé technology, too. Any advance that improves the efficient generation or transmission of energy, with reduced environmental impact, can be an important part of our overall clean energy strategy, and it’s CEBIP’s mission to partner with these types of companies.