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USA: Two local finalists win MIT Clean Energy Prize

From the left, David Danielson, assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; Radiator Labs team members Ioannis Kymissis and Marshall Cox; and Joe Nolan, senior vice president of corporate relations, Northeast Utilities.

A Columbia University startup took the top prize and two Boston-area companies were finalists, in the MIT Clean Energy Prize, the college announced Wednesday.

The MIT Clean Energy Prize is a national competition founded in 2008 by MIT, the U.S. Department of Energy and NSTAR to accelerate the pace of clean energy entrepreneurship.

Radiator Labs was named the top winner for a radiator retrofit design that increases the energy efficiency of steam heating systems. The company received $200,000 for the win.

“Adopting this cost-effective technology in the millions of existing U.S. housing units with steam radiator systems has the potential to save hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs per year and reduce carbon emissions by over 6 million tons – equivalent to taking 1.25 million automobiles off the road,” said Marshall Cox of Radiator Labs. “Winning this competition enables us to help bring this technology to the marketplace so these benefits can be realized.”

The two local finalists received $20,000 each. One, Beejli Technologies, is targeting the 100 million households in India that have no access to the electricity grid and rely on kerosene lanterns for light. The company has a patent-pending technology that enables a small solar panel to connect to the existing wireless telecommunications infrastructure in India, allowing them to distribute the systems at low upfront cost, meter the power output,
and bill for the electricity usage. The company plans to sell the panels to rural shop owners.


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