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Meet The Cozy
That's a great question - I've looked very hard to try and find an answer.
This doesn't get us to an answer, but it's a start: My understanding is that pretty much the majority of buildings over 7 stories are 2-pipe (because the pipe-sizing required for ~8 floor steam is too big to be human-tightened). There are obviously 2-pipe systems in shorter buildings - but I just don't know how prevalent they are. The US Housing Survey states that about 20% of the buildings in NYC are greater than 7 floors. So we're a tiny bit closer to an answer, for what it's worth. If anyone has a better idea I would really love to know!
Agreed that there might be some effects of the Cozy on two-pipe with broken valves that we'll have to watch out for. This is definitely something that we'll pay very close attention to in our two-pipe full-building pilot. I really do appreciate you pointing out the potential for system conflict there!
In terms of pulling out more heat than otherwise - in our current prototype as well as the system we're going to build for the Kickstarter (the commercial Cozy), our system is not designed to extract more energy from the radiator than usual. That being said, we plan on integrating an augmentation down the road that will allow this - but there's a limit to how far you can take it (limited by the thermal coupling between the thermal mass and the radiator). It's possible to really grab a lot more heat out - so I think that you're right - there is potential for abuse here.
But - when you get down to it, depending on who 'owns' the system (landlord versus tenant) we can enable limitations in setpoint, and there will always be a limit to how far you can go in augmented heating and cooling.
I completely agree - there is a lot that can happen when you start recording information like this. As long as the information is handled responsible I think we can do some very exciting things.
Really intriguing thoughts!
Thanks much for the responses. I would think with the millions of tenants out there you will find a lot of interest in your product.
As we just observed, there is the potential here to alter the dynamics of the tenant-landlord relationship. I doubt anyone could accurately predict all of the fallout once this was set in motion. I do think I would have the lawyers take a look at what kinds of outcomes you might possibly get accused of being responsible for. Or at least they could write a bunch of stuff for you to put on the label that says you aren't. But then I am guessing you have all that covered already.
Good luck with it all. It looks to me like it could be quite a ride.
Peter1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control0
Absolutely - it's certainly going to be interesting! Thanks again for the great insights!
Why not include ODR
into your onboard controls? Once they're 'net connected, they could easily be configured to query a nearby station or PWS in order to anticipate demand.0
ODR & PWS
Absolutely - great suggestion! As we develop our whole-building system we'll be integrating more advanced controls and interfaces/inputs like ODR and PWS. We'll be able to learn how buildings cool down and heat up, and can integrate weather forecasting exactly like you mention to anticipate demand. Right now we're working on a good basic system, and these kind of improvements will be added as we get comfortable with our core product.
You've been asking such great questions about the system - thanks for that!
I'm also happy to answer any other kinds of questions that you have as well- they don't have to be technical.
So please keep them coming!
Could you incorporate a thermoelectric generator to power the fans?
Absolutely! We do have a design written up that incorporates a Thermoelectric generator, but it doesn't use fans (Thermoelectric generators don't have a sufficient power budget for fans). What we CAN run off of a thermoelectric generator, however, is a louver system that opens and closes based on heating need. That, coupled with some of the newer lower powered communications systems, would result in a system very similar to the existing Cozy, but without having to plug in!
One issue for this route for us, at this point, is that it's a very significant development process. Not only do we need to make sure that all of our electronics are behaving and that the louver system works as intended, but we need to make sure that the cold side if the thermoelectric element is properly heat synced (or the system will rapidly lose efficiency). But this is definitely overcome-able. Great point!
Nice progress at Kickstarter
It's fun to watch. I hope the project gets funded. Such great potential here.Retired and loving it.0
Cozy: Next Steps
I just wanted to update you on the status of our development with the Cozy.
Our Kickstarter campaign has ended - without meeting our goals, unfortunately, but this certainly doesn't mean the end of the Cozy! We've raised the requisite funding on our own for development, so we'll still be producing a next-generation system by the fall. We've learned a ton through the campaign, both through trying to reach a broader audience through the kickstarter, and in large part because of this forum! I'm really amazed by all the great questions that came out of this discussion.
So, going forward, we're going to be working on a pretty tight deadline to make sure to deliver systems by this fall (pre-orders are available on our website www.radiatorlabs.com for those interested), but I wanted to extend the invitation to anyone here that's interested to check out what we have and PLEASE feel free to let us know what you think of the new design.
We would love to hear what you think we're doing right, and CRITICALLY interested in hearing what you think we're doing wrong. We want to make the best product we can, and input from this community is one of the best quality checks that I can think of.
So thanks again, I hope to keep the conversation going, and please let me know what you think!
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