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$25,156 pledged of $75,000 goal
backers
By Sunnovations
$25,156 pledged of $75,000 goal
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About this project

The campaign has ended, but go to www.sunnovations.com and leave us your information to stay up to date about Aquanta.

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Introducing Aquanta, the first easily installed, networked water heater controller.

Installing right on your existing water heater, Aquanta will learn your hot water usage patterns and, if enabled by you, control your water heater to match those patterns and save energy.  Aquanta will give you unprecedented insight into your water heating energy and hot water use, alert you to maintenance issues, and enable its control – right from your smart device or home networking platform.

Have you ever:

  • Been mad at your teenagers for those 30 minute showers? 
  • Forgotten to turn off your water heater when leaving for vacation?
  • Been stuck with a cold shower while the relatives are in town?
  • Had your floor ruined when your water heater leaked?
  • Been unhappily surprised by your energy bill?
  • Wondered why the water heater hasn’t been included in the smart home???
Enter Aquanta.

People Are Talking About Aquanta!

Very cool! A Nest for my water heater. Count me in.” – Randall, Charlotte, NC

I am VERY excited for this. I can't wait :)” - Kristen, Indianapolis, IN

Looks great!!!!” - Robert

Love the idea!” – Matt, Circle Pines, MN

If you’re already getting connected into the internet of things and the smart home, then you can see where Aquanta fits right into your life along with your Nest, your smart home controller, your VUE lights and more.”

Sunnovations…has a better idea.” 

[Sunnovations] is trying to show the way towards smart water heaters that could help reduce energy consumption.”

Sunnovations wants to get in on the smart home game and lower your utility bill all at once.

Why We Need Your Support

Sunnovations’ history is in the solar water heating sector – so we are all about energy efficiency and CO2 reduction!  We’re developing Aquanta for the same reason we got into solar water heating: water heating energy use is almost completely overlooked by Americans, despite its role as the 2nd largest consumer of energy in their homes.  It’s also the source of over 171 million metric tons of CO2 emissions every year!

We are adapting our successful Ohm solar hot water monitoring technology for Aquanta, and being a Backer will help us navigate this transition including getting our hardware production to scale and funding the various certifications that are required.  Also, we want to hear from you about how you use and interact with hot water in your home, so that we can develop features and controls that enhance your life and save you money.

How Does Aquanta Work?

Aquanta’s special sauce is its “enthalpy sensor," which can highly accurately measure both energy going into your tank as well the energy being used when you wash dishes, take a shower, warm baby's milk, do laundry...you get the picture!  Water heating and usage are related of course, but importantly (from a data standpoint) don’t happen at the same time.  Aquanta’s software translates the sensor data to create a usage chart to enable smart cycling of your heating element and quantify the heating energy and hot water used.

Aquanta Enthalpy Sensor - What Makes the Magic Happen!
Aquanta Enthalpy Sensor - What Makes the Magic Happen!

The control box communicates via your Wi-Fi network to a cloud-based user dashboard, where you can see the data and control your water heater.  Aquanta has a tank leak sensor built into it, and planned, future software releases will enable the addition of a networked valve to shut off the water main in the event of a major water leak in your home.

Can I – Should I – Self-Install?

Aquanta can be installed by a “handy DIYer,” meaning that if you are comfortable replacing a faucet, putting in Aquanta should be a snap.  No specialized plumbing knowledge, certification or equipment is needed or pipe cutting of your water lines, although in some cases you may need to de-solder the drain pipe on the T&P valve.  If you’d prefer to have a professional install it, you can use a your local plumber or let us know when we survey our Backers as we are working on partnerships to enable local installation (US only, please).   

The installation process looks like this:

Will Aquanta Work in My Home?

Aquanta is designed for use in tank storage-style water heaters – like those found everywhere in the US and in many parts of the world.

It is designed for tanks holding 120 gallons and less, and will not work with tankless (also called “on-demand”) water heaters or "combi" systems.  Important: our launch versions will control electric water heaters as well as those gas water heaters with electronic gas control valve (which represent the vast majority of the gas water heater installed base).  If your gas tank has an old-style, mechanical control valve (like below), Aquanta will be able to measure the energy and provide most of its reporting features, but cannot control the heating element.  If you have a boiler-heated water tank, please get on our reservation list (by backing us for $1 or more) for a future version that will control those types of tanks.

Aquanta Does Not Control Old-Style Gas Water Heater Controls
Aquanta Does Not Control Old-Style Gas Water Heater Controls

Your tank needs to have a T&P valve fitted in a ¾" port (which is near-universal in US tanks; see below picture), into which Aquanta’s sensor gets installed.  The T&P valve port can either be on the top or the side of the tank.

Example T&P Port and Valve - Where the Enthalpy Sensor Is Inserted
Example T&P Port and Valve - Where the Enthalpy Sensor Is Inserted

Aquanta is controlled via Wi-Fi, so you need a home Wi-Fi router for it to connect to its cloud-based control system and user interface.  While you don’t need to have a home networking hub for Aquanta to work, we plan to integrate into all of the major platforms including Nest, iControl’s OpenHome (the platform for Best Buy’s Pēq system and that of many North American cable providers), Apple’s HomeKit, SmartThings and Staples Connect, among others.  We are going to prioritize integrations into the platforms that our Backers use the most, so we will be asking you!

Where We Are in Development

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Aquanta’s proprietary enthalpy sensing technology is the basis of our leading Ohm solar hot water monitoring system, so we are confident about its ease of installation, physical robustness and analytic capabilities.  Our main tasks are to further develop, and manufacture at scale, the device controller and networking capability.  We’ve been through several rounds of prototyping, including some of these early versions.

Prototype Junction Box
Prototype Junction Box
Aquanta Prototype Board
Aquanta Prototype Board
Evan with Early Sensor; Early Test Setup
Evan with Early Sensor; Early Test Setup
Prototype Dashboard
Prototype Dashboard

Major milestones in the development process include more extensive field trials and UL certification.

Risks and challenges

Our technical team includes engineers with extensive experience in wireless networking and hardware. Also, our company history in solar water heating has given us deep experience in the plumbing sector, with a focus on water heaters more specifically – we know hot water! However, as the saying goes, “hardware is hard," so we are aware of the technical challenges in front of us to create a robust, networked controller. That’s why we are engaging with a leading electronics contract manufacturer to partner with us in the development, prototyping and manufacture of Aquanta.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    RESERVATION LIST FOR BOILER VERSION

    Get on our reservation list for boiler water heater versions. Your contribution will be credited if you buy one when available.

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    AWESOME AQUANTA T-SHIRT (UPDATED)

    Want to back us, but not ready to take the Aquanta plunge? Thanks – and get an awesome, organic cotton Aquanta T-shirt!

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    AQUANTA BETA CUSTOMER

    We love techno-trailblazers! You’ll provide input on the installation process, user experience and potential cool new features. We expect to ship beta units early next year, and we’ll also send you an updated, production version upon commercial launch. We'll also throw in an Aquanta t-shirt to boot! Note: US-only, and you will be required to sign a waiver.

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    Get 10 Aquanta units; custom dashboard and data analysis; and we’ll visit you for a strategy session and on-site installation training. We’ll be doing business with you...

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Funding period

- (30 days)