In recent years, smart radiators have flourished on the market. Capable of memorizing the living habits of the occupants of a dwelling, they only work when it is necessary. All to help consumers better control their energy expenditure, while maintaining a high degree of comfort. With Lancey, Raphaël Meyer and Gilles Moreau go even further! For the first time, a smart radiator has an embedded battery. In short, the device is able to store electricity during off-peak hours to restore it during peak consumption. As a result, electricity consumption is optimized and heating loads reduced. In the end, heating bills could be reduced by half!
"With 70,000 euros, we’ll be able to produce and install thousands of batteries as early as 2019."
Raphaël Meyer - CEO of Lancey
And the Lancey radiator goes even further: when a house is equipped, for example, with photovoltaic panels, it can store the electricity of renewable origin that they produce. By encouraging the development of self-consumption, Lancey proves that the energy transition can take place at all levels. This did not fail to win over the Grand Jury of the 2018 EDF Pulse Awards which judged it the top winner in the “Smart Home” category. Next step: new fundraising at the end of 2019 to develop the sales team and accelerate the industrialization of this new generation radiator.
Born from the meeting of a doctor in thermal physics, a battery specialist and a serial entrepreneur, the project has gradually brought together various experts in electronics, IoT, industrialisation engineering and business. The team is due to grow, primarily to develop its business division and accelerate the industrialisation of the solution.
It started with a challenge: how can we democratise access to decentralised energy storage, the very cornerstone of renewable energy integration and the energy transition? Due to the investment and installation costs, along with the energy loss resulting from the batteries storing and releasing the energy, the profitability of storage solutions is often difficult to find. By incorporating a battery into an electrical radiator, Lancey provides a solution to these various problems: investment costs are reduced by combining the battery and radiator's electronics and connectivity; the installation cost of the battery is diluted into the radiator's; and finally, the battery's conversion losses, being thermal in nature, are recycled by the radiator, which then allows us to take advantage of the differences between peak and off-peak hours, yielding savings which would normally be negated by the battery's losses.
Any recent good news?
It is difficult to choose because 2018 brought its fair share of good news! Among the most noteworthy events were: receiving the prestigious Best of Innovation Award in the home appliances category from CES 2018, which recognised the introduction of our product's first commercial version and boosted our visibility; our win at the 10,000 Startups to Change the World competition organised by La Tribune; the installation of our first 500 commercial units; and of course, being a Pulse finalist! In addition, in May we finished EDF Energy's Blue Lab Challenge acceleration program in the UK, demonstrating our ambitions with respect to the EDF group.
What is the most unexpected thing that your startup has made you do?
True to its reputation, the Las Vegas CES always brings its fair share of unexpected situations. This year, a delegation of around twenty Japanese businessmen stopped by our stand, and they seemed very interested in our product. I spent a good 10 minutes presenting our solution before realising that I was in fact speaking to the CEO of Panasonic! On another note, developing an industrial product the size of a radiator has its constraints: since the product is relatively difficult to carry by hand, you have to be resourceful. Unable to find a trolley to move our radiator in time for the closing of an event, I ended up placing it in a recycling bin to cover Porte de Versaille's many kilometres. Who said batteries were not recyclable! Jokes aside, Lancey is already working on using second-life batteries in its products.
In what way does your project revolutionise your category?
By incorporating a battery into an intelligent electrical radiator, Lancey completely updates the image of the old, inefficient and costly "toaster", transforming it into an efficient energy transition tool that adapts to your needs, never consumes energy during peak hours and facilitates the incorporation of renewable energies in your home (through self-consumption) or on the power network (thanks to the battery's network services). On the Smart Home front, Lancey is also innovating by offering a product that is innately connected, obviating the need for additional boxes. Thanks to an innovative SIM card-based connectivity, it does not operate through WiFi either (no parameters to set, no overloading the WiFi). In addition, it is simple and intuitive to use, thereby avoiding the main pitfall of connected objects.