Water going down the drain should hardly be wasted. Or at least that's the way Doug Guldan and Steve Mackenzie see it.
The partners are using that idea as the core of their new start-up – Waste Water Heat Transfer Systems. The West Bloomfield-based firm has developed technology that will use the hot draining water to heat water that is about to be used, saving energy costs.
"We saw an opportunity to recapture the energy we create when we heat water," says Guldan, president of Waste Water Heat Transfer Systems. "Otherwise we're just pouring it down the drain."
The system puts a copper tube for the potable water through a bigger pipe that is taking away the waste water. The pipes are properly separated so the potable water doesn't have a chance of becoming contaminated but can still be warmed by the outgoing waste water. Guldan sees this as a way for certain businesses and institutions who are big water users - like restaurants, drycleaners, and fitness centers – to save a lot of money.
"There are millions and millions of gallons of hot water used in these facilities annually," Guldan says.
The partners are using a Michigan Microloan Fund Program loan they received earlier this year to perfect the firm's prototype and prepare to manufacture and sell the units later this year. Guldan's son Matthew is also working on the project as an intern. The company, which is utilizing the Macomb-OU INCubator's services in Sterling Heights, expects to hire 6-8 people by the end of the year to help with sales and production.
Source: Doug Guldan, president of Waste Water Heat Transfer Systems
Writer: Jon Zemke
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