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Challenge Seeks Independent Acutator for Radiator Thermostat

Old radiator (Geert Schneider/Flickr)A challenge at InnoCentive seeks a design of an independently powered actuator and power harvesting system for standard hot-water radiator thermostat valves. The competition, with a prize of $20,000, requires a written proposal. The due date for proposals is 22 September 2011.

InnoCentive in Waltham, Massachusetts is a company the conducts open-innovation crowd-sourcing competitions for corporate and organization sponsors. The sponsor of this challenge is not identified.

For this challenge, the sponsor is looking for an actuator and energy harvesting system that can automatically control radiator thermostat valves without the need for grid or battery power. The system, or at least the actuator, should be capable of retrofitting on currently installed standard (EN 215) radiator valves.

The system, or at least the actuator, should be able to move the radiator valve pin in order to change and maintain room temperatures according to a schedule set directly at the radiator, or as an option, set remotely. Electrical power is not required, but a power harvesting module should capture enough energy to power the actuator and, optionally, a wireless communication module.

Proposals submitted to InnoCentive will be reviewed by the sponsor. Winning entries will be required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights for the solution to the sponsor. However, a licensing agreement can be considered if a full rights transfer is not possible.

Photo: Geert Schneider/Flickr

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