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Meet The Cozy

Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
I'm helping these guys out as an adviser with the launch of this new product:



https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/radiatorlabs/the-cozy-smartphone-controlled-cover-for-your-radi



I was skeptical at first but then met with them and was massively impressed by the brain power. I believe this is the answer to those buildings where fixing the whole system never seems to get done because of the investment. I think The Cozy is going to be a huge success.
Site Administrator

dan@heatinghelp.com



























Hug your kids.
·
«13

Comments

  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,664Member ✭✭✭
    TRV

    Hi Dan,

    Why is this a better solution than a simple TRV?
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    ·
  • EzzyTEzzyT Posts: 63Member
    Beet me to the punch

    Chris I was thinking the exact same thing.
    ·
  • vaporvacvaporvac Posts: 1,042Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2014
    Tenant owns it...cost?

    It's a good thing Dan is on the board to help promote it!

    ChrisJ, The Cozy's website says this about TRVs:

    " Unfortunately, these systems don’t work very well for steam heat, and are also known to fail relatively quickly. It’s very hard to control steam!"



    I think the main reason these would work is because most management isn't interested in getting their system to run properly or don't think it's possible. With the Cozy, the tenant buys them and can take them to their next apartment. I don't know the price point they're considering, but it may be cheaper than a TRV. Plus, no tenant is going to want to pay to install one. For these reasons, it's probably a winner.



    However, I take issue with their presentation of steam which continues to promote the stereo type that it is impossible to control EVER! and is the worst possible heat EVER! Some owners probably think this is the case and so will never even attempt to fix their systems.

    I can't comment on how well one-pipe systems run, but two are the bomb. It's just a shame that the steam system gets the blame rather than the humans maintaing it. Still, if I were in this situation and had no control over fixing things, I wouldn't care. I'd just want to be comfortable. So yeah, I'd be interested.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
    ·
  • RadiatorLabsRadiatorLabs Posts: 26Member
    Cozy vs TRV

    Thanks Dan for posting the link!



    Hi Chris and Ezzy,



    I'm the founder of Radiator Labs - it's a great question that you've asked - let me see if I can put the Cozy in perspective with TRVs:



    The biggest (and most obvious) difference between the Cozy and TRVs is that the Cozy doesn't require plumbing, and doesn't come into contact with steam. It's designed to be extremely easy to install, and is the same Cozy whether you're installing on single pipe or two pipe steam, or even hot water systems (where TRVs do a great job as well).



    But for steam systems, the Cozy has a much easier time controlling room temperatures. For example, a single-pipe system might completely override a TRV for entire boiler cycles (where the TRV doesn't sense a "warm" room until all the air has escaped from the radiator), the Cozy continuously adapts to the room environment with a low-power (and very quiet) fan.



    The critical thing to realize about how the Cozy works: when a room has warmed up to a user-determined set-point, the fans turn off and the inside of the Cozy starts to heat up. When, in a steam system, the inside warms to 212F, additional steam that enters into the radiator thermodynamically cannot condense, and thus continues down the line to another radiator, almost as if we had installed a valve and it had closed. As an added bonus, if the room then cools down after this, even if the boiler's switched off, we have about 30 minutes of heat stored right in the enclosure that we can draw from to keep the room comfortable.



    Please chime in Dan if I missed anything! I'm also very open to any questions the community might have - the level of engagement here is fantastic!



    Thanks,

    -Marshall
    ·
  • BanBan Posts: 76Member
    edited February 2014
    Could it make a well-balanced and in tune system off-balance?

    I feel like this system is a great idea for the tenant who lives in a building with a steam system that is poorly managed and over pressure. I wouldn't feel comfortable about this if one of my residents put one of these on the radiators. I suppose in a well managed steam system you wouldn't necessarily have the desire to purchase this in the first place so the point may be moot, however there are individuals who desire absurdly high temperature settings. Currently and in the past we have met these demands as best we can by use of adjustable orifice valves like Maid-o-Mist, allowing the spaces with the larger orifice to be warmer while still making sure that the system as a whole is tune and in balance. I would be concerned this device (especially many of them) would allow spaces with device fitted radiators to become more comfortable while at the same time causing other units without the jacket to become less comfortable. Radiation and convection would no longer be happening naturally with the fitted covers. I suppose it would be fine if all of the radiators in the building had it--possibly.
    Richard Ban





    Detroit, Michigan (Dunham 2-pipe vacuum)
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    That was my first thought.

    But then I spent some time with Marshall Cox (posting below), who is one of the smartest people I have ever met. I spent a couple of days with him. One of those days was at the Columbia University Lab, where he did his PhD work (electrical engineering). He showed me things that had my head spinning. The Cozy is a minor part of what Marshall has already accomplished in his young life.



    I smile a lot and am not easily impressed. Marshall won me over with his thoughts and ideas on where this product could go. I suggested at one point that The Cozy might be able to run on an app. He told me that he had already written the app. This guy is ridiculously smart. Spend a day with him, or just talk to him here on The Wall. Keep your mind open and just listen to what he has to say. He's doing something very unusual here. It addresses a situation we all know well, and it solves a problem that is years and years old. 



    I wrote this today for the Kickstarter site. It sums up what I'm thinking.I was skeptical at first but I now believe this product is going to be huge. It should be in your bag of tricks.



    The Sociology of Steam









    I went to college

    when I was all grown up and had already been working in the New York heating

    industry for a decade. I chose Sociology as my major because that’s what steam

    heat is all about. Sure there’s some engineering in there as well and Mother

    Nature’s physics, but it’s mostly about people because we live together in

    these old buildings where your floor is my ceiling and those steel pipes run like

    rusty capillaries throughout the whole place.






    And then there are

    the radiators. They looked so innocent during the summer when you moved in.

    They sat there like old people waiting for a bus. You smiled at them. How

    quaint. How old-timey. They looked back at you and they waited.






    Then that first

    frost arrived and the boiler in the bowels of the basement roared and vomited steam

    surging upward and outward and you rushed to control it but the control valve

    has arthritis and the radiator is now pounding while the heat is making you

    gag. So you open the windows and within days, you’re living on NyQuil and

    DayQuil because of that psychotic radiator and that frigid wind rattling your cracked-open

    windows. Roast or freeze? That’s your choice. And for this you’re paying how

    much per month?






    So sociology: You

    call the landlord, the management company, or a meeting of the coop board and

    they take a survey of the building’s community because that’s what this is – a

    community made up of people who are too hot, people who are too cold, and people

    who are just right. None of these people want their rent or common charges to

    increase. You feel like Goldilocks and if you complain enough, someone in

    charge may hire a consultant to look at the problems and the consultant will

    explain that the solution is going to cost money. So the folks in charge ponder

    this for the rest of the winter and wait for spring to arrive because that will

    stop your complaints. In this way, steam heat is a lot like childbirth. Time makes

    you forget the pain.






    But winter is as

    dependable as dawn and before you know it, the same problems are back and that

    calls for more meetings. The consultant reissues the same report he wrote last

    year and, once again, nothing gets done.






    I’ve been watching

    this happen since I came into the business in 1970. We share these systems but

    can never agree on this thing we call comfort, so we put it off until next

    year. And next year is always coming.







    In 1992, I wrote and

    self-published a book I called, The Lost Art of Steam Heating, which I

    thought would be popular in the town of my birth, NYC. The first printing run

    was for 5,000 copies and we sold all of those within six months. What

    astonished me, though, was that we sold that book in every state

    (including Hawaii). Where there are old buildings, there is steam heat. And

    sociology. That book continues to sell and sell because the problems with steam

    heat are as perennial as winter.














    Which brings me to

    the Cozy from Radiator Labs. Marshall Cox, the brilliant mind behind this

    product, doesn’t know that the proper New York (and every other old city) way

    to get things done is to have annual meetings where nothing is decided, interspersed

    by trips to CVS for the Nyquil and Dayquil. Oh, and lots of stress. Nope,

    Marshall Cox just came up with a product that solves the problem of overheating

    and frigid wind roaring through the open windows in the individual apartment.

    He has empowered us all by giving us the ability to control our own temperature

    in our own spaces, without needing to get permission, without needing to scream

    at meetings, and to fix this problem with just a tiny investment. Sure, the

    community living in your building still shares the big system of steam heat,

    but your Cozy-encased, radiators just got a lot friendlier, and you just got a

    lot more comfortable. So skip the meetings and fix it yourself. The Cozy beats

    Sociology every time. 





    This thing works.

    Get it.

    --------------------



    So that's what I'm thinking. I want to spend my old-man years with people like Marshall. Keeps the blood pumping.







     
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    I think

    the tenants will talk to each other and follow the success of the ones who are more comfortable and not opening the windows. People are like that. 
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    You're seeing what I'm seeing.

    And you know that I love these systems and understand fully how to make them efficient when the folks in the building want to ante up the money, but that often doesn't happen and The Cozy fits into that gap.



    I have no problem with the words they're using to describe Steam as the enemy. They are marketing to people who feel that way and I understand marketing very well. That approach is one of the things that had me sitting up straighter in my chair. These guys are coming at this from a different perspective than the one most of us have. They are acknowledging the reality that most apartment dwellers are confused by, frustrated with, and desperate for a solution. They're selling the solution, and that's why this think is going to be huge.
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • BanBan Posts: 76Member
    Will it throw off the balance or not?

    The buildings are in balance. The buildings are insulated, with insulated windows, and insulation in the attic. Solid masonry walls with a studded air-gap on every exterior wall for more comfort. All of this was thought through very well. The system has all of the proper piping, both near boiler and otherwise with amazing venting and all of it controlled by a tekmar 279 with full use of all temp sensors. We know the building is balanced at a very comfortable and balmy 72 degrees, we worked very hard to get it that way. We want comfort for our residents, we want to reduce our energy use to--no windows are ever open. Tell me this will jacket will keep the system in balance in a functioning system.
    Richard Ban





    Detroit, Michigan (Dunham 2-pipe vacuum)
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    If everything is working that well

    then you have achieved success! Well done. The Cozy is for tenants that want comfort in apartments where management won't do the extensive work that you've done for the whole building. What I like about the product is that it gives individual tenants power in those situations. It also saves fuel and for the reasons Marshall listed below so everyone wins.
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • BanBan Posts: 76Member
    I am still thinking this through.

    It is hard to digest new things. We work so hard to make everyone happy. I suppose this device in a sense is doing that. I suppose in a well functioning steam system it wouldn't necessarily affect the efficiency, perhaps just some minor balancing.
    Richard Ban





    Detroit, Michigan (Dunham 2-pipe vacuum)
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    Exactly.

    No matter how much we do, people will each perceive comfort as something unique to themselves. This offers a targeted solution to that. It's simple, yet so tuned into what people are interested in right now. I mean who else offers an app that can control a steam radiator?



    These guys don't know what can't be done, so they just go ahead and do it.
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 5,048Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2014
    Perception of comfort

    is not all about comfort, either.  A good bit of it is psychology, as we learned on a recent hotel project.  Despite a near-perfect ODR curve delivering stable room temps (within 2ºF) there is a certain percentage of customers who simply can't handle the the lack of a thermostat they can adjust.  We're getting the controls finished up and are printing up an info sheet explaining the nature and benefits of radiant heat in order to better manage customer expectations.
    ·
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 650Member ✭✭✭
    I think it will sell

    It is a generational thing, look at all the faces on the site, even Dan looks younger than me now!! lol. They all like things connected to the web/wireless/smart phones etc.  This gives someone control over that part of their lives.  But for instance... "the hissing noise will be muffled"...that steam leak (not proper) used to just raise the humidity level and maybe comfort level but now will condense under the cozy and who knows what may grow??  There is a word for it that escapes me being on the wrong side of 60,,,is "bling". Don't know.
    ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,664Member ✭✭✭
    Moisture

    Moisture escapes steam vents constantly under normal operation even long before the steam gets to the vent.



    Not sure if that is a problem for something like this or not.
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    Not a problem,

    They thought that out.
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    It's not a hermetic seal around the radiator

    It's reflective on the inside and it's killing the convection until it's needed. I wish you could all see this in real life. I'm not easily convinced, and I blew this off when I first heard about it, but then I went to see it and I shut up for a while and let them talk. These guys are very, very smart. 
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • RadiatorLabsRadiatorLabs Posts: 26Member
    Balance in full buildings

    Wow - lots of questions and lots of answers from Dan - thanks!



    I think one of the main questions here is how the Cozy affects other spaces in a building. Since the system limits overheating, that excess energy has to go somewhere - usually to near apartments, but the effects would be very similar to those of a well-functioning TRV.



    If installed in a building that is already well balanced, the Cozy shouldn't have much of an effect at all - if the apartment is already comfortable, the Cozy should pull the same amount of energy out of the radiator, so nothing should change. One thing that our system can do that might offset this balance, however, is allow tenants to set different temperatures for different parts of the day - like a night set-back, for example. Again, this will push a bit more energy elsewhere in the building.



    In the extreme of this case, where a significant portion of the building installs Cozy's, a different situation will arise. We're currently running two full-building pilots at Columbia University, and when you get to this level of deployment you really need to tie the system into the building controls so that the boiler doesn't go crazy (short-cycle and/or fight our system).



    In these full building situations, there are some interesting things that we can begin to do. For instance, we now know the temperature in every room and at every radiator. In addition to being able to control where heat goes in the building, we know exactly when and for how long we're going to want the boiler to run. Additionally, we can take into account weather forecasts, and we can even let some people who want there apartments to be hot, stay hot, while still reducing the majority of the temperatures in the building to comfortable levels.



    One of the aspects that I'm particularly excited about is the ability to diagnose building issues. If we find that a few apartments in the building are cooling down faster than others, we can diagnose that they have issues - perhaps bad window casing or other similar problems. Since we have so much data on how the building runs and consumes heat, we can project how much energy/money can be saved by upgrading the envelopes of specific rooms. While we're still in the early days here, it's pretty exciting stuff.



    Looking forward to more questions!

    -Marshall
    ·
  • JStarJStar Posts: 2,612Member ✭✭✭
    Cozy

    As a businessman, it's a cool concept. It probably will sell quite well.



    As a technician, and steam purist, I see this as a plug-in band aid. Why not spend our focus and funding on the root of the problem: poor management, and lack of resources. This is like an old cartoon joke, where a city is being overrun by rodents, so they import a massive population of snakes to eat the rodents. Pretty soon, they are overrun by snakes. So, in come the hawks! So on and so forth.



    I guess I'm a bit of a leddite to some extent. I don't like cars that can park themselves, or cameras that can recognize faces. Don't get me wrong, I completely embrace technology (typing this from my company's iPad). It's just upsetting that every answer to our problems seems to be geared towards implementing more complexity and less personal accountability.



    What's that saying? No individual snowflake believes that it's a part of the blizzard? And nobody seems to look outside of their own apartment to solve a problem.



    Sorry for ranting completely against your product. I'm sure you've heard all of the negative comments before. I'm looking forward to being convinced otherwise.
    - Joe Starosielec
    732-494-4357 ext. 2
    jstar.HVAC@gmail.com
    ·
  • EastmanEastman Posts: 618Member ✭✭
    I also think it will sell well.

    Probably will have a bigger impact than the Nest.
    ·
  • RadiatorLabsRadiatorLabs Posts: 26Member
    Cozy

    Hi Joe,



    No need to apologize! We welcome skepticism - it helps us check our own beliefs and come up with not only compelling evidence but better products.



    In the worst case, the Cozy is just what you describe it as, a plug-in band aid - useful for just those people that you describe, who live in buildings that are poorly run and/or under-resourced.



    But on the flip-side, I think the Cozy can be used to great affect in helping balance buildings while giving flexibility and control to individual tenants. Consider that all the data we collect - such as minute-resolution temperatures on radiators as they warm up and how hot they get - can be used to diagnose faulty air vents both on main risers and individual radiators - data that can be used to help more quickly balance buildings.



    A properly running building is certainly a glorious thing - Dan has certainly instilled that belief in me. But the amount of control that a Cozy can grant even on top of a perfectly running building - temperature control adjustment for day versus night, real-time feedback on system health from room temperature and radiator temperature analytics, alarms that could warn an owner (or landlord!) if temperatures become too high or low, and the ability to adjust heat flow in all kinds of weather. We even have some more advanced research coming out of our lab where we're able to store hours of heat in each Cozy, allowing room temperatures to stay constant (flat line!) while allowing normal boiler operation. I would argue that the Cozy could make steam heat - even in a perfectly run building - even better.



    When you get down to it, we're trying to address a root problem; radiator-level heat control and the lack of "control" that a tenant has. The Cozy provides these functions, all while bringing that critical operational information back out of the apartment to be used for the betterment of the building.



    Thanks, and, as always, please feel free to express any doubts or concerns that you have about the system. The most important people to convince of the Cozy's worth are right here in this community!

    -Marshall
    ·
  • RadiatorLabsRadiatorLabs Posts: 26Member
    Nest

    Tell that to Google!
    ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,664Member ✭✭✭
    Nest

    I used a Nest V2 for a few hours.



    I have no idea what Google was after, but it wasn't that thermostat.
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    ·
  • EastmanEastman Posts: 618Member ✭✭
    edited February 2014
    Tony Fadell

    I think they really wanted Fadell and his team. He headed the iPod team while at Apple. The success of Nest establishes their track record in the electronic product consumer design sphere. Google hasn't had much luck with real hardware.
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    Joe, you're making me smile.

    I went at Marshall the same way you just did. My first thought was that he was reinventing the wheel because we have TRVs that will do the same job. He listened to everything I had to say and he never argued with me. Then he asked if I ould come into the city and visit with him. That's when things started to change. You have to meet the man to understand. He doesn't argue. He shows all sorts of respect. He listens like mad and he thinks like a scientist. If someone tells him he's wrong he considers that he might be and then sets out to find out if he is indeed wrong. I don't meet too many people like that.



    So here's what happens next: You visit and he shows you what they're doing and all the science behind it. You make a suggestion and he comes back to you a couple of days later with that suggestion implemented, only with a few other things you hadn't considered. He then asks if that's okay?



    Marshall is talking about future features for the Cozy that make my jaw drop. I'll let him tell about all of that when he's ready, but please believe him when he says the stuff he's saying below.



    Thanks for engaging him. The more you do that, the better Marshall gets.
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • Patrick_NorthPatrick_North Posts: 249Member ✭✭
    A bad taste.

    Frankly, I'm put off by the claims they've made about TRV's. Perhaps this product fills a special niche the TRV can't serve, but let's be honest about it. I emailed them a while back in regard to some of their more laughable assertions ("there's no r.o.i. with TRV's because you need to replace them every year") but never heard back. They seem to have refined their marketing message without changing the product.

    Now they say a TRV on steam radiators requires "plumbing?"

    Only in America.



    Patrick
    ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,664Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2014
    Same

    Is this the same company that did that? I thought it looked familiar but wasn't sure.



    My silent zero energy consuming TRVs have been in use for 3 years now.
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    ·
  • Patrick_NorthPatrick_North Posts: 249Member ✭✭
    Yep.

    The same.

    Patrick
    ·
  • Joe VJoe V Posts: 230Member
    The band aid issue aside,

    What kind of aesthetic changes are you going to make to make it appealing to the eye (sorry, I have a wife of 25 years and I know without asking what she would say-she would love to lower the temps in a couple rooms with oversized radiators but not at the expense of decor.  Form over function, you know.)

    And, what do you anticipate selling these for?  
    ·
  • RadiatorLabsRadiatorLabs Posts: 26Member
    Cozy

    Hi Patrick,



    We don't mean to insult TRVs! They're great! All that we're saying is that there are, as you point out, instances where TRVs can't fix the whole problem, and that's where the Cozy comes in.



    I just searched my email and found that you did, indeed, email me a couple of years ago. I didn't respond, and I sincerely apologize for that. I try to respond to every email that I get. Your email was full of really useful information - amazingly informative, and almost certainly was part of the puzzle that lead us to connect with Dan. Thank you for that, and again apologies for the lack of a response.



    Our research has come up with evidence that TRVs actually don't have a compelling payback period in some installations - via a combination of installation error, *user error*, and, yes, reliability issues (steam, or rather, demineralized condensate is just too caustic to interface with reliably for long). There are certainly professional installations where this is not the case!



    We're also targeting those individuals for which a TRV installation is outside of their ability set - where any kind of modification on a plumbing system would constitute "plumbing". The idea that the Cozy can be user installed (or professionally installed in minutes), while still bringing value to a building-wide optimization, is a very important to us.



    We're always trying to make our product better and better - we've gone through dozens of iterations on cover materials, fans systems and electronics, enclosure dimensions and configurations - all to try and make it work better and be easier to control and install. And we're still trying to make it better! We're not trying to denigrate TRVs - but we are trying to get the word out that in some cases the Cozy might be competitive and, sometimes, better.



    Thanks,

    -Marshall
    ·
  • RadiatorLabsRadiatorLabs Posts: 26Member
    Cozy aesthetics and pricing

    Hi Joe,



    Thanks for the message - we know that aesthetics are super important. For that reason, we've brought on a pretty amazing designer who's going to make it look great.



    Here's a rendering of what we're envisioning:

    http://radiatorlabs.com/?page_id=9



    You can see our early thoughts at pricing on our Kickstarter page (~$299 - this is the price of the unit as we get started. Down the road, hopefully, we'll make enough so that the price comes down).

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/radiatorlabs/the-cozy-smartphone-controlled-cover-for-your-radi



    Kickstarter is a site that allows companies to ask people if they want to buy into an idea. In our case, that idea is the Cozy.



    I hope that answered your questions!



    Thanks,

    -Marshall
    ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,664Member ✭✭✭
    size

    Is there a size limitation?

    For example, would it work with a 20 section radiator rated for upwards of 12,000 btu/h?
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    ·
  • Patrick_NorthPatrick_North Posts: 249Member ✭✭
    Never mind.

    A valuable skill of the modern age: know when to abandon an

    online argument.





     Good luck with the Cozy.





     Patrick
    ·
  • GreybeardGreybeard Posts: 6Member
    Rube Goldberg

    Assuming this Rube Goldberg device is not part of an engineering school satire, I have some questions and concerns.



    When there is a call for heat and the fans are running full speed, to what extent is the amount of heat transferred to the room affected by the Cozy?  In steam terms, does a 20 EDR radiator act like a 10, or what? This question is related to the balance issued raised by another poster.   Conversely, how much heat is transferred when the room is hot and the fans are off?  



    You say the fans are very quiet.  How many decibels at one meter?  Right now I'm being driven crazy by a computer fan that used to be nearly silent, and for which no exact replacement can be found. (Thanks Dell.)



    Dan assures us that the moisture released by  air vent is not a problem.  I wouldn't be so sanguine.  Since the Cozy was designed for poorly maintained systems I would want the design to be able to deal with sputtering air vents as well as dripping shut-off valves.   I have holes clear through the hardwood floors under shut-off valves that dripped for decades.
    ·
  • BoBoBoBBoBoBoB Posts: 17Member
    More elegant than RG

    It's not really a Rube Goldberg device. It's a radiator cover with a thermostat instead of a cover that you have to manually open. Dan talks about using radiator covers to adjust the effective EDR in his books. This just takes that idea to its logical conclusion.



    Regarding EDR, it will obviously depend on the setpoint. I'd love to see Marshall show some data on the extreme case: what happens if you have the fan always on or always off? In the always-on case, does the fan cause more convection than would occur naturally, allowing you to hit a setpoint higher than in the absence of the cover completely?



    I still don't get why TRVs are technically inferior, at least in terms of preventing overheating. Yeah, I guess you need need to adjust the setpoint when the outside temperature changes a lot, but otherwise don't they get the job done? Is the lifetime of 2-4 years that you're throwing out really accurate? What is the failure mode? I can see the user interface here being an improvement, but similar interfaces are available for European TRVs.



    This is a clever solution to trying to solve a problem that comes from the tangled incentives present in a landlord-tenant relationship. Tenants are the ones that want temp control, but they don't want to coordinate with the landlord to get equipment installed. TRVs are probably cheaper than the $300 Cozy (even including labor), but the tenant needs to coordinate with landlords, supers, plumbers, etc. Not to mention most tenants probably have no idea that TRVs even exist.



    The Cozy solves this problem. You have have to convince the tenant that spending $300 for a radiator cover to fix a problem that's not even their problem to begin with is worth their time/money.
    ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,664Member ✭✭✭
    Digital TRV

    I've also seen the digital operator Danfoss sells for their TRVs. It's even programmable.

    I assume we don't have it here because no one will pay for it.
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    Patrick, I felt the same.

    When he first got in touch I told him he was nuts, but then he asked me how he could get to be not nuts, so we had a couple of days of talks and I told him a lot of stories about the real world and still wasn't convinced. The turning point for me was the Columbia Lab. Seeing what he has already done that goes WAY beyond the Cozy, his willingness to listen, his ability to take advice and learn quickly, his ideas for where the product will go, and his level of enthusiasm (this guy is ridiculously positive) made me see the Cozy in a new way.



    I'm enjoying listening to all the comments, especially the skeptical ones, because they remind me of where I came in on this. Keep 'em coming!
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • Dan HolohanDan Holohan Posts: 11,944Moderator mod
    TRVs

    Love them and have been working with them since my old boss took on Danfoss in 1972. The challenge, though, is many landlords don't want to install TRVs because of the piping involved and the possibility of breaking pipes. I've head that soooo many times. And we've all seen TRVs installed improperly, with sensors sitting on hot pipes, or heads getting broken off the valves. What I like about the Cozy is the ease of it. I thihk that's what's going to make this thing big.
    Site Administrator

    dan@heatinghelp.com



























    Hug your kids.
    ·
  • BoBoBoBBoBoBoB Posts: 17Member
    Digital TRV

    Well the wireless Danfoss ZWave-compatible actuators are about 50GBP. That doesn't include the valve itself, and it's hot water only (natch), but it's only a small premium over the dumb dial/sensors sold here.
    ·
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 3,664Member ✭✭✭
    Fair enough

    One last question before Dan smacks me. :)



    If I'm a tenant in a fairly pricey building why would I want to spend $300 to fix something the landlord should pay to fix in the first place?
    Weil-McLain EG-40 connected to 392sqft of radiation via two 2" risers into a 3" drop header and 2" equalizer. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment Typical operating pressure 0.5 - 1.0 inch wc.

    Steam system pictures updated 1/25/15.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/thetube0a3/Boiler?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUxIqv9436MQ#

    Don't push the envelope, eliminate it.
    ·
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