Heat and Power Produced by Natural Gas or Propane The “freewatt” home-heating system combines a Honda generator with a high-tech control module and highefficiency furnace or boiler to produce heat and power for homes. Thenatural-gas or propane-fi red generator produces 1.2 kWh of electric power, and almost all heat produced by the engine is captured, including that from the cooling system, exhaust and oil sump.
The system was developed by Climate Energy LLC, a joint venture of ECR International Inc., Utica, N.Y., and Yankee Scientifi c Inc., Mefi eld, Mass., with assistance from Honda. It can supply two-thirds of the heat and one-half of the power required by the home, the balance of electricity coming from the grid and heat from the furnace or boiler. “Unlike a traditional home-heating system, freewatt can produce nearly 5,000 kW of electricity each year, which reduces your carbon footprint by up to 6,000 lb,” says ECR President Michael Paparone. The company has installed 200 units in the Northeast as part of a pilot program and will be taking the system across the U.S. and part of Canada this year.
The Honda engine in the generator set has a lifespan 20 times greater than a standard engine, with an expected life of 60,000 operating hours before major service. Running an average of 4,000 hours a year, this translates into about 15 years, say company offi cials. Prefailure internet notifi cation also is available. The company also is working on a cogeneration cooling system for warmer climates. ECR International Inc.; www.ecrinternational.com; 315-797-1310