“Time-of-day rates requires consumers to think not only about how much energy they use, but when they use it. Electricity costs less overnight and on weekends, if you have a system with a storage capability, like Neothermal ETS, you can take advantage of the cheaper cost of electricity.” - Jill Johnson
The science behind the Neothermal ETS evolved from the same crystallization process as a reusable hand warmer.
CRTO, Louis Desgrosseilliers, and CEO, Jill Johnson, working on a story board for an upcoming video to promote the Neothermal ETS.
More and more, people want to understand and better control energy usage in their homes. As the price of electricity rises, they want to know how they can save money on monthly bills.
Inspired by the changing energy market, Louis Desgrosseilliers and Jill Johnson, co-owners of Neothermal Energy Storage, a clean tech startup; came up with Neothermal Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) – an electric space heater that stores heat and takes advantage of time-of-day rates. Louis first thought of the idea eight years ago and began development at Dalhousie University in 2014.
Three years ago, Louis and Jill moved their testing site into the Applied Energy Research Lab at the Ivany Campus where they began to develop their first prototype.
Collaborating with Applied Energy Research
“It kind of looked like a mad scientist set-up,” says Dr. Alain Joseph, Director of Applied Research, reflecting on the early days of product development. “It’s been impressive watching them smooth out their idea into a functioning prototype.”
The first prototype of the Neothermal ETS is now setup, functioning, and being tested in the NSCC energy-efficient home, Pilikan House. NSCC staff and students are collecting data on the power consumption of the unit and multiple temperature sensors. The results will determine how Neothermal ETS works in energy-efficient homes and inform strategies for storing renewable energy.
“Being part of a tight-knit energy community is what has enabled us to succeed,” says Jill. “Organizations like NSCC, Evergreen Electric, Innovacorp, and many others have supported us throughout our journey; we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Gearing up for full market launch
A second prototype unit installed in a residential home is also collecting data. With help from the NSCC Applied Energy Research team, Neothermal Energy Storage will compare results from the two prototypes to evaluate performance and improve its design prior to pilot testing this fall and full market launch in 2020.
The final steps are refining the size of the appliance and reducing the cost to build it.
“When you combine electronics, chemistry, and mechanics, you’re bound to encounter some unexpected challenges along the way,” says Louis.
“After years of hard work, and a few setbacks, it’s pretty rewarding to know Neothermal ETS is this close to being market ready.”