Sustainable Heating Solutions

Evoheat

CIFAU_Oct14_web_Evoheat

Evoheat is bringing Australians innovative new options for sustainable heating and cooling. “Energy efficiency is something that everybody is looking for these days,” Co-founder Travis McNeill points out.

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“With the way that power and energy prices are continually climbing, energy efficiency – which 20 years ago was probably a minor issue in the purchase of equipment – is now the major decision factor in purchasing equipment. If you can have a piece of equipment that is 10 per cent more efficient than an alternative product, that means big, big savings. It is a very important decision.”

The 100 per cent Australian owned, Queensland based business is at the forefront of ushering in groundbreaking, energy efficient products with low carbon emissions to the market. The company’s products are used in both the domestic and commercial heating sectors, from heating residential spas, pools and houses, to large industrial and commercial projects throughout the nation.

This broad equipment range is able to meet the unique needs of every situation. “There isn’t a client who we can’t save money,” Mr McNeill insists. “Every business is inefficient; every business is wasting money on energy. It’s just a matter of how to integrate those energy saving solutions into their existing building and infrastructure.”

Sharing knowledge about the subject and walking clients through the possibilities are key to maintaining sales and helping clients meet their efficiency goals. “We give our clients as much information as possible so they can make an informed decision,” Mr McNeill explains. “Everybody is out in the market trying to sell something, so it is a fairly daunting prospect for most clients. We give them accurate information about their current expenditure and we work with them to achieve an outcome that meets their needs.”

No two needs are quite the same, so this information is personalised for a client’s specific site. “Every site or project that we look at is different. You cannot apply the one-size-fits-all approach to clients, particularly with the differing energy prices around the country. In some areas, such as Victoria, you may find cogeneration to be extremely attractive, whereas up here in Brisbane, heat pumps are a much more attractive prospect. So it is all about looking at the site and at the client’s requirements and putting together a package that suits them.”

Evoheat focuses on three core areas: heat pump technology, cogeneration and trigeneration technology, and heat recovery. “Basically, a heat pump is like a reverse cycle air conditioner,” Mr McNeill explains. “It is taking heat from one area and putting it into another area. The name says it all; it pumps heat from one spot to another.” So, to heat a swimming pool or to heat water for domestic or commercial uses, a heat pump takes heat out of the atmosphere or out of a nearby body of water, such as a lake or an underground aquifer, and transfers this heat to the water that needs heating. “And there is always heat available, even at very cold temperatures,” Mr McNeill adds.

Cogeneration technology is a bit more complex, but still based on “some fairly simple fundamentals.” A cogeneration unit is essentially a generator that runs on natural gas or biogas. “And rather than just dumping the waste heat into the atmosphere, we trap that heat and put it into a water source… By trapping all that waste heat we can turn that generator into a highly efficient piece of equipment. It is 90 to 100 per cent energy efficient. That means that for every kilowatt of energy that we are putting into the generator to run it, we are getting a kilowatt of energy out.” In addition, carbon emissions are extremely low.

Heat recovery seeks to reduce wasted energy. “For example, you might have a hotel that has a big air conditioning system that is ejecting a lot of waste heat to the air. We would take that waste heat and put that into their hot water system or take that heat and put it into the pool. So basically you are getting that waste heat for free, which is obviously a big advantage in today’s world of rising energy prices.”

Popular throughout Australia, Evoheat’s innovative energy saving systems are quickly gaining widespread recognition for their sustainability. For example, the company recently won the 2014 Splash Environmental Awards in the Best Project category for a benchmark project at the Fremantle Aquatic Centre in Perth.

The City of Fremantle’s goal was to reduce the cost of running the aquatic centre while simultaneously making a significant dent in the Council’s overall carbon emissions. Evoheat had the perfect solution: an ingenious system that combines a cogeneration plant with a geothermal heat pump system. The cogeneration plant generates electricity from natural gas and the waste heat is siphoned off into the facility’s two main swimming pools. “And, the electricity that is generated by the cogeneration system offsets the electricity use from all of the filtration pumps and the heat pump which we installed as well,” Mr McNeill explains. This heat pump draws water from a geothermal bore located about 30 metres away, then reinjects the water back into the underground aquifer after its heat is transferred. “The efficiency of the heat pump is about 600 per cent, so for every kilowatt of electricity that we draw, we are generating 6 kilowatts of thermal energy for the pools. That, combined with the fact that we are running the entire system off of the cogeneration unit, means that we have extremely high efficiency and extremely low carbon emissions. It is a very successful project.”

And this is just the beginning. Evoheat already has additional aquatics projects in the pipeline that will help more local Councils reduce their energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions – and significantly lower their operating costs. For example, the cogeneration heating project at Cardinia Life Aquatic Centre in Pakenham, Victoria is expected to save a whopping $111,000 per year in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,224 tonnes.

When Noosa Blue Resort in Queensland needed to replace failing LPG Pool heating systems, the team recommended the Evoheat CS Heat Pump. The results were dramatic; it took only nine months for the resort to see a return on its investment and ongoing savings of $74,000 per year. “We are obviously offering long term savings for our clients,” Mr McNeill shares.

In addition, Evoheat has partnered with 2G Cogeneration systems, “which are the best cogeneration systems in the market,” to carry out projects that convert waste to energy. For example, one upcoming job for the food industry will generate electricity from livestock waste. “That obviously has significant advantages in energy costs because you are no longer reliant on importing electricity for all of your process,” Mr McNeill points out. “And the carbon dioxide emissions are zero, so it is a carbon neutral electricity generation structure.”

Evoheat believes that these innovative waste to energy systems have huge, unmet potential. “This is an exciting area,” Mr McNeill says. “I think we will see significant amounts of [biogas and anaerobic systems] rolled out across Australia in the future.” In fact, these systems are already the norm in many other countries. “If you go to Europe, and Germany in particular, pretty much every farm has a biogas plant, and those biogas plants are generating electricity for that local farm and for the surrounding areas. We’re certainly 10 years behind Germany in that respect. I expect to see more and more biogas generation systems around the country as we move forward.”

Certainly, Evoheat is eager to take a leading role in the effort to keep Australia moving forward. “It is onwards and upwards,” Mr McNeill insists. Founded less than a decade ago, the company has already made a name for itself in the sustainability movement – and the business continues to increase its reach. “We have plans to roll out some new products and move more aggressively into the existing market. We certainly see some big areas for growth for the company as we move forward.”

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October 24, 2017, 5:53 AM AEDT

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2017-10-23 15:59