Hybrid Gas Furnace That Generates Electricity Under Development
Canada's Natural Gas Innovation Fund (NGIF) announced an investment of $162,900 in iGEN Technologies to support the testing and demonstration of a self-powered natural gas furnace called the i2 Hybrid Smart Furnace.
The i2 furnace has a unique system that uses natural gas to generate electricity and heat for use in the home. Built in Canada for the North American market, the self-powered i2 Hybrid Smart Furnace is a retrofit and new install ready replacement for existing residential natural gas furnaces.
The production of both heat and electricity gives the unit a price advantage over conventional high efficiency furnaces, the unit provides critical power supply during a power outage, and the unit boasts an overall efficiency that is greater than existing high-efficiency furnaces. As well, the unit fits into a traditional furnace location, provides heat through standard ductwork, requires no extra connections, and is installed and serviced by traditional technicians.
With solar and battery integration, the i2 furnace provides flexible applications in micro-grids, sustainable community developments and remote areas. Based on average Canadian electricity costs, typical savings for a household using an i2 are up to $400 annually, all with a unit priced comparably to top of the line conventional furnaces, while delivering GHG reductions.
NGIF funding is being contributed by Canadian Gas Association (CGA) members ATCO, FortisBC, Gaz Metro, Pacific Northern Gas Inc. and SaskEnergy. CGA member, Enbridge Gas Distribution is also contributing to the project through Utilization Technology Development NFP, a research funding organization partnership with other gas utilities.
iGEN Technologies Inc. has also received funding to support development of the i2's technology from the Ontario Centres of Excellence, BLOOM, and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).
Natural gas has a central place in Canada's energy mix meeting over 36 per cent of the country's energy needs. Today almost 6.8 million customers representing well over 20 million Canadians rely on natural gas for heat and power in homes, apartments, buildings, businesses, hospitals and schools.
"The home furnace has not seen a breakthrough industry change that can keep up with the fast pace of Canada's changing energy needs – until now. The i2 Hybrid Smart Furnace delivers performance, savings, and security through its patented technology while generating, storing and using its own electricity. iGEN believes the i2 will truly disrupt the existing home heating platform with enhanced resiliency, emission reduction and lower heating bills," said Mike Chatzigrigoriou, iGEN Co-Founder.