Today, the green energy technology company International Wastewater Systems Inc. (CSE: IWS) (OTCQB:INTWF) has announced a major agreement with Beijing Ruibaoli Thermal Technology Co. Ltd. ("BRTT") from Beijing, China.
IWS will provide BRTT with a non-exclusive license to market and sell IWS' proprietary thermal heat recovery equipment in China under the SHARC and PIRANHA brands.This agreement is structured as a licensing fee that BRTT will pay to IWS for each unit sold in China.
BRTT estimates sales of 1,000 PIRANHA units in the first year of the agreement. Prior to launching the IWS products in China, BRTT and IWS will work jointly to install SHARC and PIRANHA demonstration projects for BRTT's clients. The agreement requires BRTT to guarantee the quality of all IWS products manufactured, marketed and sold in China, conforming to IWS' global quality control standards.
Mr. Qu Yuxiu, President of BRTT, said in today's press-release:
"BRTT is experiencing dramatic growth in the demand for thermal heat recovery projects in China. IWS technology, particularly the PIRANHA, provides a turn-key thermal heat recovery solution that can serve most small and medium sized buildings, significantly expanding the market for these systems."
Mr. Lynn Mueller, CEO of IWS, commented today:
"We are excited to enter the Chinese market with Beijing Ruibaoli Thermal Technology Co., an industry-leader in the region. Our agreement allows IWS to rely on BRTT's expertise for the deployment of our technology in China while maintaining control of the standards and quality of our products and earning revenues from all IWS products sold in China".
SHARC (pictured above) is a large, custom-designed water heating and space conditioning system with a capacity of 440-880 kW, which can be scaled to serve large district heating networks by adding multiple SHARCs. SHARC installations are individually designed and engineered for industrial, commercial and >200 unit residential applications. Thus, the price for a single SHARC system is much higher than a PIRANHA (also due to customized engineering on site), whereas the PIRANHA module can be shipped in a container to be installed easily on site with less engineering.
PIRANHA (pictured below) is a small, self-contained water heating system with a capacity of up to 100 kW, designed to be an easy to install "plug and play" system for commercial and 50-200 unit residential applications.
The thermal heat recovery systems developed by IWS have been deployed in numerous international locations. The systems intercept wastewater from sewers and uses heat pump technology to amplify the natural warmth of waste water. This generates an energy-saving, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly system for heating, cooling and hot water production in commercial, residential and industrial buildings.
Over the last years, IWS has commercially proven with more than a dozen projects worldwide that its technology can reduce energy costs by up to 80%, a highly significant number which arguably puts IWS at the forefront of the global carbon reduction trend. While governments worldwide are increasingly stepping in and forcing by law, or by subsidy, not only corporations but also households to cut carbon emissions, IWS owns an established technology that could change the world much for the better.
Today's announced agreement to install an estimated 1,000 PIRANHA systems in China in the first year marks the fourth major contract for IWS. In August, IWS announced to install 1,000 PIRANHA systems in California over 5 years. In October, IWS announced a potential pipeline of up to 750 SHARC systems in Scotland, as well as a Joint Venture in Australia and New Zealand.1,000 PIRANHA Systems for California over 5 Years
In August 2016, IWS announced a $80 million CAD joint venture with RENEW Energy Partners LLC, a US-based clean energy developer and funding company committed to finance capital expenditures for 1,000 PIRANHA systems from IWS to be installed in California. Therefore, a single PIRANHA system installation averages about $80,000 CAD. The proposed schedule for the deployment of 1,000 PIRANHA systems in California in the next 5 years is estimated as follows:
Year 1: ~50 systems = $4 million CAD
Year 2: ~120 systems = $9.6 million CAD
Year 3: ~240 systems = $19.2 million CAD
Year 4: ~300 systems = $24 million CAD
Year 5: ~300 systems = $24 million CAD
BRTT estimates sales of 1,000 PIRANHA units in the first year of the agreement, with IWS earning a license fee on each unit sold in China. Final terms of the license fee will be determined in a definitive agreement between BRTT and IWS.
BRTT is a leader in the manufacturing and installation of wastewater heat exchange systems in China with a track record of successful projects including the Beijing South Train Station (140,000 m2), Beijing Kunlun Hall (100,000 m2) and the Shenyang District Energy System (325,000 m2).
BRTT has installed thermal heat recovery projects in 17 Chinese provinces and 20 cities, serving over 325,000 m2 of new and retro-fit real estate projects. BRTT has developed its own intellectual property for thermal recovery technology, and in addition to the China Licensing Agreement, both companies will collaborate on the advancement of next generation thermal recovery technology. License fees for other products developed by IWS will be agreed by the companies an individual product basis.Up to 750 SHARC Systems for Scotland
In October, IWS announced to form a strategic alliance with Scottish Water Horizons Ltd., the commercial subsidiary of Scottish Water, a public water utility owned 100% by the Scottish Government. This alliance will support the Scottish Government's ambitious renewable heat and carbon reduction targets for 2020. Scottish Water Horizons has estimated that up to 750 SHARC systems would need to be installed by 2020 to enable Scotland to achieve its carbon savings targets.
One SHARC system has already been installed successfully at the Borders College in Scotland, at costs estimated at $1.7 million CAD. If 750 such systems are to be installed in Scotland, the market potential for IWS in Scotland alone translates into a massive $1.3 billion CAD opportunity. This figure excludes any potential revenue sharing and cash distributions between IWS and Scottish Water from the heat and energy sales agreements that can be generated from such projects, which typically run for >20 years. The Borders College project has a revenue sharing agreement in place whereby IWS earns its share of revenue from heat sales to Borders College over the life of the project."Breakthrough as US and China Agree to Ratify Paris Climate Deal"
Recently in September, both the United States and China - the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases - have announced the ratification of the Paris climate change agreement.
China's President Xi Jinping said:
"Our response to climate change bears on the future of our people and the well-being of mankind."
US President Barack Obama said:
"Just as I believe the Paris agreement will ultimately prove to be a turning point for our planet, I believe that history will judge today's efforts as pivotal... Despite our differences on other issues we hope that our willingness to work together on this issue will inspire greater ambition and greater action around the world."Investments in Energy Efficiency
Forbes contributor Richard Brubaker highlighted the importance of the buildings sector to reduce carbon emissions:
"In fact, in the US-China agreement it was pledged that 50% of new building would be green by 2030. With a large portion of energy consumption coming through energy efficient buildings and cities, the opportunity to mitigate (or even reduce) the energy load required will come through better urban planning, better building standards, and continued retrofitting of existing buildings. This is also likely an area where technology sales/ transfers to China can happen!"Why the building sector?
Buildings consume nearly half of all the energy produced in the US.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (NYSEMKT:EIA), 75% of all the electricity produced in the US is used just to operate buildings.
Buildings are responsible for nearly half (44.6%) of all CO2 emissions in the US in 2010
By comparison, transportation accounted for 34.3% of CO2 emissions and industry just 21.1%.
Globally, these percentages are even greater.IWS Setting a Global Trend
Keywords like green energy or green tech lets most people think instantly of solar or wind power. IWS adds another, similar energy source that is also available in sheer endless quantities: The power of everybody's wastewater.
The calculation is simple and highly convincing: The fresh water entering buildings has an average temperature of 7-9°C (45-48°F) and leaves the building at 20-25°C (68-77°F). If this difference in temperature is used with IWS' patented heat pumps, 40-50% of the heat consumption of a building can be recovered. This reduces the consumption of primary energy and as such major costs.
IWS' founder and CEO, Lynn Mueller explains:
"We're operating at 600% efficiency so every dollar we spend to recover the heat out of the sewer we get 6 dollars worth of heat out."
Clearly, China currently represents one of the largest markets for IWS, and as such a large revenue potential. However, today's announced licencing agreement for the Chinese market, the joint venture announced in August for the California market, and the strategic alliance announced in October for the Scottish market, as well as for the markets in Australia and New Zealand, are increasingly becoming the blueprint for other renewable energy companies, funds, organizations and governments to follow the same path to reduce energy costs up to 80% for residential and industrial buildings worldwide.
The growth potential for publicly listed IWS is immense as it owns an established technology which could change the world much for the better as no other known technology exists capable of recycling that much energy on a global scale.
The US Department of Energy raised its concerns by saying "350 billion kW-hrs worth of hot water are discarded annually through drains in North America." What's the value of all that energy lost in wastewater? The approximate natural gas equivalent of 350 billion kWh is 1.4 billion MCF. At a natural gas residential price of $10.53/MCF (California, 05/2016), about $15 billion USD are wasted alone in the US, each year!
Let's Get HVAC Out of the Sewer: Wastewater thermal extraction technology has come of age
By Jay Egg on November 14, 2016, for ACHRNews.com
Lynn Mueller, founder and CEO of International Wastewater Systems Inc. , has been involved in wastewater thermal extraction for some time now. Maybe no one else would tackle the effort, but it's a technology that has come of age. Mueller's company went public last year, and it continues to expand and garner attention. So much so that IWS's newly released PIRANHAheat recovery system won the AHR 2016 Green Building Product of the Year Award.
Thanks to a joint venture between International Wastewater Systems Inc. and Renew Energy Partners LLC, California will receive 1,000 PIRANHA thermal heat recovery systems. The PIRANHA is designed to provide the domestic hot water (DHW) needs in 50-100 multifamily housing units.
Exhaust recovery ventilators (ERVs) are designed to save energy in businesses and homes. With an ERV, air exhausted from the building exchanges energy with the makeup air coming back into the building, which helps precool or preheat the makeup air depending on the seasonal conditions. Essentially, the PIRANHA does the same thing with exhaust water, or wastewater, recovering unused energy for other purposes such as DHW, heating, or cooling.
The potential for energy recovery with wastewater is staggering. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 350 billion kWh of usable energy goes down the drain each year. This is enough energy to heat 5 billion average-sized homes in the dead of winter for an entire day (24 hours) or heat 69 billion DHW tanks from room temperature to 130°F. This is a remarkably large quantity of energy that is not being recovered.
Even if the temperature is subzero outside, the average temperature of the waste water leaving homes and buildings is around 70°. Our sewer discharge is a combination of drainage from our showers, washing machines, dishwashers, sinks, and toilets.
Many of these sources are warm as they are discharged into the sanitary sewer. Even those not heated, such as the toilet tank, assume room temperature after a few hours inside the conditioned space, carrying valuable Btu down the drain. In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the city built a wastewater energy plant to displace natural gas (NYSEMKT:NG) heating, and city leaders are convinced that through the use of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) and some smart strategies, they can meet their goals. A July 26 article on Vox.com examined this large wastewater heat recovery system, and a video interview with Brian Crowe, director of water, sewers, and district energy for the city of Vancouver, also examines the plant (goo.gl/xruUOA). Incidentally, Vancouver is Mueller's hometown.
The PIRANHA thermal heat recovery systems that are going into California represent the entry-level portion of this technology as the units will be primarily used for recovering energy for DHW needs. Another IWS product introduced some years ago is the SHARC, which is compatible with more applications, such as residential, commercial, and district cooling and heating applications. This is the junction at which wastewater heat recovery and air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration professionals become fully engaged. There will soon be buildings and designs crossing our collective desks with these waste energy recovery systems in the design, and they'll be part of the central HVAC systems.
Primarily, waste energy recovery systems are viewed as, or treated as a source of, energy, like a boiler, and, alternatively, will operate as a heat sink, like a cooling tower. Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) are the central component of the thermal extraction/rejection portion of energy recovery. GHPs use available energy in liquids between 25° and 110° and are able to absorb and reject heat to and from them. GHPs are thermal energy pumps that concentrate heat energy through the Carnot Cycle and deliver final temperatures from well-below freezing to 140° above for uses such as space conditioning, refrigeration, or domestic hot water.
Of course, these applications are well-suited to be a hybrid of waste energy - as the primary source/sink - and earth-coupled systems. The earth-coupled portion of projects is reduced in both scope and cost by taking advantage of the wastewater thermal energy heat source and sink.
Hydronic systems are amazing because they effectively channel Btu within a pipeline, unlike air-source systems. GHPs make the magic happen by simply managing Btu entrained in liquids to whatever temperature is needed at the time. GHPs are the center of the energy universe for renewable and sustainable energy systems.
In an interview, Mueller shared that this California venture is an example of how his company is able to fast-track market penetration with emissions-reducing technologies and make the installation free to owners. In Mueller's eyes, this allows owners to sit back and save energy and money.
A recent Green Tech Media headline read, "Vancouver Leapfrogs Energy Efficiency, Adopts Zero-Emissions Building Plan." Technologies that reduce greenhouse gas (NYSE:GHG) emissions are in high demand; and wastewater energy recovery has greater potential to reduce on-site GHG emissions and save energy than perhaps any other building technology. Just as ERVs have entered into building codes, wastewater energy recovery is right behind. This is a technology that's ready to emerge.
Wastewater: harnessing a forgotten energy powerhouse
By intouch on June 1, 2016, at Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia
A neglected source of energy is flowing beneath our cities and towns, with the potential to deliver sustainable heating and cooling while slashing energy and water use.
Wastewater is a reliable source of thermal energy, which, unlike energy sources like solar or wind power, is largely independent of external forces. In Melbourne there is enough thermal energy in the wastewater to provide heating/cooling for up to 2000 commercial buildings. Using this resource could help the city take a big step towards its goal of being carbon neutral by 2020.
However, outdated regulations, a siloed industry and the perception of risk have stymied the large-scale rollout of projects.
The case for utilising the untapped potential of wastewater will be presented in August at IPWEA's Sustainability in Public Works 2016 Conference in Melbourne.
Presenter Nick Meeten, who is a Sustainability Consultant from New Zealand-based Smart Alliances, has more than 20 years' experience in urban infrastructure, project management and energy recovery solutions. He formerly worked for German-based HUBER as Green Buildings Team Leader.
Around the world, there are close to 500 established systems that recycle the energy from wastewater for heating and/or air conditioning. Meeten says the science is already in on how efficient such systems are.
"Even though that idea may seem to be new and innovative and by association seem quite risky, technically it's actually very simple," he explains. "The oldest ones were done back in Switzerland more than 20 years ago."
"It's using robust equipment and very sound basic engineering concepts - the risk associated with these projects is very low."Research
To support the claims on how efficient the systems are, Meeten points to an American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) study, which looked at the benefits of using a geothermal-heat pump (GHP), compared to a variable-refrigerant flow (VRF). While the water source differs, Meeten says the research is still applicable.
"Wastewater is just another source of water, which has all the same basic characteristics - it's a bit dirtier, but in terms of its ability to provide heating or cooling, it's exactly the same," he says.
The two-year study compared GHP and VRF systems installed on different floors of the ASHRAE headquarters buildings. With all variables accounted for, the study found that energy use by the GHP averaged 44% less than the VRF system.How it works
One of the most common misconceptions about utilising wastewater is that sewerage will be pumped around the building - a myth Meeten assures is unfounded.
"All we're talking about is it comes out of the wastewater pipe, it goes through a heat exchanger, and then it goes back into the wastewater pipe," he says.
Meeten says the engineering behind using the thermal capacity of wastewater for heating and aircondition is "remarkably simple".
"What most commercial buildings do at the moment is have some form of heat exchanger on the outside of the building that sits up on the roof," he says. "It is often something like a cooling tower, or it can be an aircooled type of condenser.
"Whatever form it takes, all it is is a heat exchanger to either transfer heat out of or into the atmosphere. You've got lots of pipes which pump clean water around the building, which makes your air conditioning system work.
"The only difference between this model and using wastewater is it's a different type of heat exchanger. Instead of one sitting up on the roof, this one will sit down somewhere perhaps buried under the ground, or housed on the ground. Instead of pumping lots of air through it to provide or remove heat, you pump wastewater through it so the heat goes into or come out of the wastewater."
Wastewater is particularly suited to this task; with a stable and neutral temperature range (typically around 10°C to 15°C year round), it is often warmer than air in the winter (in colder climates) and cooler than air in the summer. Water is also an excellent conductor of energy, moving over four thousand times as much energy as air (for the same volume and temperature change). Water is a great conductor of heat, this is why it's been used in central heating systems for centuries. Air is such a poor conductor of heat, we use it to our advantage as an insulator in things like double glazing and building insulation products.
A purpose-built heat exchanger is needed - however, a large portion of the infrastructure needed for the system is already exists.
"By far the biggest advantage I see is that the expensive below ground infrastructure is already there," Meeten enthuses.
"The wastewater pipes are already in the ground. When you start looking at ways that cities can be more efficient, one of the things that often gets mentioned is district heating or district cooling. There's no doubt that those sorts of systems are great and they're very efficient, but to install one of those systems into your city means you have to dig up all the roads to put in the pipes, which can be very expensive.
"A wastewater system is making use of pipes that are already there."
The 'flow profile' of wastewater is also well-suited to the purpose of heating and cooling buildings.
"If you look at the 24 hour profile of when wastewater flows, the amount of wastewater flowing at 2am when we're sleeping is a lot less than 8am when we're all up and working," Meeten explains. "The flow profile matches very well to when buildings need their air conditioning systems working. I liken it to breathing - they both breathe in and out at the same time."
Meeten describes wastewater as a resource no-one cares about - which is one of its strengths.
"If you want to use river water for this purpose, there's all sorts of environmental issues you have to take into account," he says. "Is it going to kill the fish eggs? Is it going to suck in insects? Those issues aren't there with wastewater - nobody cares about it, it's already contaminated, so there's a whole load of things that you don't have to worry about."
Computer modelling can be used to show on an energy map which parts of the city have a lot of energy available through the wastewater, and some examples of these will be shown in his presentation
Meeten says municipalities rolling out wastewater energy recycling projects are finding various models that allow them to make - at times substantial - new income streams.
"In one case from Canada, when applied to Melbourne it would mean an income every year of about $2 million; another model from Scotland could potentially raise $15 or 16 million a year when applied to Melbourne," Meeten says.Barriers
Meeten says red tape often has a chilling effect on wastewater energy recovery projects.
"The regulations for wastewater in some places were written back in the 1950s," Meeten says. "Of course, back then we didn't have the same understanding of climate change, growth of cities or urbanisation, and energy was really cheap.
"It was a different world when those rules and regulations were written. The main guts of those regulations - from a health perspective - are that buildings are allowed to put wastewater into a pipe, but you're not allowed to take it back out again."
Meeten says he has come across this problem in many parts of the world, including Australia, the US, Europe and Chile.
Communication between the building and wastewater industries - or rather, the lack of it - is also a problem.
"There's a funny gap between people who work with buildings and people who work with wastewater, and normally these two never meet," Meeten says. "I know that because I've spent 20 years designing buildings and now eight years working with wastewater. I've got a foot in each camp, but there's very few people globally who work in this grey area in between."
There is also a demarcation between the public and private sectors, with the buildings typically owned by the private sector, and wastewater infrastructure the remit of councils.
Although the rollout of projects in Australia has been almost non-existent, there has been some movement recently - the first wastewater project used for heating and cooling is currently being installed at the Australian Wool Testing Authority in Melbourne.
To hear Nick Meeten speak about harnessing wastewater energy, register for IPWEA's Sustainability Conference, running 24-26 August in Melbourne.
The conference program is available - download it now.
Images: Courtesy of Nick Meeten
1. An apartment building in Canada heated with energy from wastewater.
2. A wastewater energy map
Previous Media Coverage
Herald Scotland, Scottish Water, Plumbing Engineer, CNN, National Geographic, BBC News, The Globe & Mail, The Vancouver Sun, BusinessVancouver, EnergyManagerToday, Valve Magazine, Canadian Property Management Magazine, GeoOutlook, ResourcesQuarterly, Plumbing & HVAC, North American Clean Energy, Fast Company, HPAC Engineering, WaterCanada, CleanTechnica, Tri-CityNews, Altenergymag, Environmental Leader,Earth911, GreenLodgingNews, REMI Network, EarthFix, Living on Earth, TPO Magazine, Construction Business Magazine, The Georgia Straight, Clean Energy Pipeline, Burnaby Now, Journal of Commerce
• IWS has successfully designed, developed and deployed a patented method for extracting heat from raw sewage flows.
• IWS' technology provides simple and direct heat exchange from untreated wastewater.
• Tailored to building specifications for new and retrofit applications.
• IWS offers the most energy-saving, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions for a building's heating, cooling and hot water.Benefits
• Energy savings and primary energy cost reduction of 30-85%.
• Reduced fossil fuel consumption, as well as reduced CO2 and GHG emissions.
• Easy install into new or existing infrastructure.
• Trouble free operation and maintenance with a long product life-cycle.
• LEED® points towards sustainable design.
• Pay back periods typically only a few years (geothermal applications have potential for immediate payback).
• The UK's first sewage heat recovery system, developed by SHARC Energy at Borders College in Galashiels, Scotland (approximately 5,500 students) aims to displace 1.8 GWhs of natural gas and save 150 t of carbon emissions per year. The monetary savings by the college per year sums up to around £10,000 per year on their bills for heating by using SHARC system in comparison to use of gas boilers for heating of the buildings.
The already installed IWS systems in commercial buildings in British Columbia impressively demonstrate the global potential of the SHARC technology. For example, the Gateway Theatre in Richmond has installed the IWS system in April 2013 and reports on cost savings of $15,000 annually. The payback period is 6 years, whereas 75% in energy savings are realized every year (reduction of greenhouse gases: 70 tonnes per year). Most interestingly, the federal and provincial governments have granted an incentive worth $85,300 - a trend which should increase dramatically in the foreseeable future as governments globally are creating more and more incentives to reduce emissions. IWS should profit from this trend in a unique and massive fashion.
The IWS system has been installed in numerous residential buildings around Vancouver, which have reported on energy savings between 75-80% along with GHG reductions of 100-150 tonnes annually. Other already installed IWS system in residential buildings, as well as planned installations, can be viewed and followed here, whereas installations in industrial and public buildings can be followed here.
IWS Applications (some of the places IWS is currently working on): Commercial & Retail Buildings, Schools & Sport Facilities, Condominiums & Apartments, Industrial Processes, District Energy Systems, Aquatic Centers / Natatoriums, Hospitals & Long-term Care, University/College Campuses, Public Facilities, Geothermal Systems
Energy Recovery From Sewage Water on BusinessTV (click here to watch the video):
The SHARC system is described by IWS in a 2-minute video:
2016 corporate video:
PIRANHA wins the 2016 AHR Innovation Awards:
Tour of Gateway Theatre (Richmond, BC) & SAIL Condo Development (Vancouver, BC):
Tour of Sechelt Water Resource Centre (Sechelt, BC):
Tour of Canyon Springs Condominiums (North Vancover, BC):
Sewage Heat Recovery video:
Message from Lynn Mueller:
Previous Rockstone Coverage
Report #3: "IWS in Scotland: A Billion Dollar Opportunity; Update: Expanding on Details" (October 17, 2016)
Report #2: "Strategic Government Alliance to install up to 750 IWS systems enabling Scotland to achieve its carbon savings targets by 2020" (October 14, 2016)
Report #1: "Major Breakthrough and Turnaround in the Making for IWS" (August 25, 2016)
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 89,802,211
Canadian Symbol (CSE): IWS
Current Price: $0.375 CAD (11/18/2016)
Market Capitalization: $34 million CAD
German Symbol / WKN (XETRA): IWI / A14233
Current Price: €0.258 EUR (11/18/2016)
Market Capitalization: €23 million EUR
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Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in INTWF over the next 72 hours.