Radiator Labs Wins $200,000 MIT Clean Energy Prize
May 1, 2012
Radiator Labs was named the top winner of the MIT Clean Energy Prize for a radiator retrofit design that increases the energy efficiency of steam heating systems. The MIT Clean Energy Prize is a national competition founded in 2008 by MIT, the U.S. Department of Energy and NSTAR to accelerate the pace of clean energy entrepreneurship.
“This is an exciting and innovative design that when commercialized will noticeably reduce the cost of heating apartments, offices and other types of buildings in New England and other cold weather regions,” said Tom May, President and CEO of Northeast Utilities, the parent company of NSTAR, a major sponsor of the competition. “This competition has shown once again that the road to clean energy is being paved by young entrepreneurs.”
Radiator Labs was founded by Columbia University students to increase the energy efficiency of steam-fed radiator heating systems that can waste up to 30 percent of energy due to overheating. This is accomplished by installing low-cost, drop-in radiator enclosures that control the amount of heat transferred in a room.
Radiator Labs’ design also incorporates wireless capabilities, enabling better control of boiler systems to equalize temperatures across building spaces to burn fuel only when necessary and to increase thermal comfort.
“Adopting this cost-effective technology in the millions of existing U.S. housing units with steam radiator systems has the potential to save hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs per year and reduce carbon emissions by over 6 million tons – equivalent to taking 1.25 million automobiles off the road,” said Marshall Cox of Radiator Labs. “Winning this competition enables us to help bring this technology to the marketplace so these benefits can be realized.”
Now in its fifth year, the MIT Clean Energy Prize has launched about thirty new companies that have raised almost $90 million in venture capital and government funding to develop clean energy products, technologies and services. Open to university students, the competition aims to promote the most commercially viable solutions to reduce fossil fuel dependence, lower carbon emissions and spur economic growth.