iGEN Technologies and the Centre for Community Housing Technology
Twin Homes Facility at the Centre for Community Housing Technology near Ottawa, Ontario
This project was used to establish proof of technology ‘in market’ by retrofitting a residential home heating system with an innovative ‘smart’ furnace product developed by iGEN called the i2 Hybrid Smart Furnace.
The i2 furnace has machine intelligence to heat a home using natural gas, propane or electricity, and fuel switching can be automated. The electricity source can be the grid as well as solar PV and/or wind. The smart connectivity and wireless control system collects air quality, performance and usage data that can be accessed by any connected home device.
The i2 furnace was demonstrated at the Centre for Community Housing Technology (CCHT), jointly operated by the National Research Council, Natural Resources Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
CCHT has a ‘twin homes’ facility, which features a side-by-side comparison of two identical single-family homes. For this project, one home had an i2 furnace installed and the other home had a traditional furnace installed.
The performance data collected at the CCHT facility validated that the iGEN i2 furnace was able to recover the expected energy from the waste heat in the exhaust stack. Successfully demonstrating this feature of the i2 furnace demonstrated its viability as a self-powered ‘blackout proof’ high-efficiency residential furnace.
One of the highest kWh consuming components of mechanical equipment in a residential home is the electrically-powered furnace fan. The i2 eliminates this electrical load entirely, as the embedded fan is powered by the combustion of natural gas. The annual electricity cost-savings on this feature alone are estimated to range from $300 to $500 per home.
Given the large market potential for such a furnace, BLOOM estimated that the potential cumulative GHG net reductions over a 10 year period in Ontario. The impacts are significant and range from 16,900 to 141,000 tonnes, and 88,000 to 737,000 tonnes, respectively (using annual market adoption rates of 10, 25 and 50 percent per year).
POSITIONING FOR MARKET ADOPTION
iGEN plans to use the outcomes of this demonstration project to engage new home builders that are embracing resiliency, sustainability and the net-zero home energy concept.
By working with new home builders to adopt the i2 furnace in conjunction with other clean energy technologies (e.g., heat pumps, solar photovoltaics), the goal of reaching net-zero will be one step closer.
Further details are provided in the case study and video below.
For more information about the demonstration project contact:
Michael Fagan, Senior Vice President
iGEN Technologies Inc.
Michael Chatzigrigoriou, Principal