AERCO has long served as a developer and manufacturer of energy-efficient hot water systems. Launched in 1949 as Angelery Engineering and Research Co. by Henry Angelery, the business jumpstarted its reputation with a revolutionary design for an on-demand hot water heater that provided a continuous flow of hot water at a controlled temperature without storage. The business has grown over the years to include space heating solutions and most recently energy recovery solutions.
The business targets a broad range of commercial and industrial applications. AERCO products are used in education, healthcare, lodging, multifamily housing, government, office buildings, sports and recreation, entertainment and light industrial settings. From a single location in Blauvelt, New York, the team designs, manufactures, tests and markets its line of high-performance products to customers within the U.S. and abroad.
“We provide heat and hot water solutions for a wide variety of commercial buildings,” says Bree McQuillan, vice president of marketing and solution strategies for AERCO. “On both sides of the business, there has been a continuing trend for the last 20 years toward high-efficiency equipment. As the world and the nation continue to become more and more concerned about the environment, saving energy and creating a sustainable world for us to live in, it’s extremely important for AERCO to ensure the equipment we manufacture is increasingly energy efficient and sustainable.”
Introducing the OriGen
McQuillan and her colleagues consider AERCO to be an enabler for LEED certification. The manufacturer has been involved with nearly 100 LEED-certified projects, including many Platinum certifications. The company’s integrated systems provide critical energy data and feedback to monitor use and efficiency.
These projects involve exclusively boiler and water heater products, though AERCO is making another major contribution to green building, expanding into energy recovery.
“We’ve just launched a new product, the OriGen, that takes waste heat and turns it into usable power,” says McQuillan. “The OriGen utilizes the Organic Rankine Cycle to turn low- to medium-temperature waste heat into clean, renewable, electrical power. It can be installed anywhere you see a smokestack – anywhere a process is putting exhaust waste into the atmosphere, we can capture it and convert it into usable power.”
AERCO is embracing the technology they are promoting by using its 165,000-square-foot manufacturing facility as an example application. “The OriGen provides the air conditioning and electricity for our office, based on waste heat we expel from our testing lab,” notes McQuillan.
Building a strong network
AERCO maintains a strong relationship with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and continued participation in the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo has served the company well. “Energy efficiency is at the core of what we do in terms of solutions and products,” says McQuillan. “It makes sense to partner with companies that promote green practices. Many of the engineers we have strong relationships with design buildings with green materials and energy efficiency in mind. It’s helpful to us to see what’s being done from the USGBC perspective and other energy promotions and green and sustainability initiatives because it’s at the heart of how we design our products and why they have an advantage.”
With more and more customers concerned with energy efficiency and building performance, particularly in commercial and government facilities, McQuillan estimates that conferences like Greenbuild will continue to play an important role and even take on a larger one in years to come.
“There are consumers that are concerned about sustainability and consumers concerned about return on investment,” she says. “We continue to educate the customers on the value of energy-efficient equipment. It makes a lot of sense that people will continue that buying practice as long as they can justify the cost.”
McQuillan and her colleagues recognize the importance of helping people achieve their sustainability goals. “It translates back to creating better solutions that use less energy,” she says. “All the products we sell use the minimum amount of necessary energy to produce the heat and hot water required. We’re burning the minimum amount of fuel to generate the necessary amount of heat with the least amount of emissions – all of which promotes a more sustainable planet.”
AERCO operates as a solutions-based model, something else that sets the company apart from other boiler and water heater manufacturers. “We provide heat and hot water solutions to our customers,” McQuillan adds. “When we go to market, we look beyond the sale of a product – we look at the particular application and find out what’s important to the end user and what they need beyond a piece of equipment. What matters to a director of engineering in a hotel is very different from what matters to someone in a hospital or a school.”
McQuillan takes great pride in the manner in which AERCO has evolved. As the business has grown from a small company to a midsize company and changed ownership, innovation remains the mainstay. Through further growth, AERCO will continue to be a leader in high-efficiency heat, hot water and energy recovery solutions.
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