Press Releases

Updates and current events in our industry.

In the Press

Harvest Systems and Pizza Pizza Establish Commercial Relationship

HAMILTON, ON (June 10, 2024) – Harvest Systems Inc. is proud to announce that they have secured an initial order commitment from Pizza Pizza Limited for its POWER (Pizza Oven Waste Energy Recovery) system following a successful demonstration of the product within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Harvest’s clean technology system, installed and commissioned at three Pizza Pizza locations, enables the restaurants to efficiently manage their energy usage, cut down on operating costs, and reduce emissions. “We are thrilled as a company to be moving from innovation to commercialization,” said Jim Cotton, CEO of Harvest Systems. “We spent the last ten years and $1.7M developing the technology, in collaboration with McMaster University, and we are now in a position to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions across the restaurant industry.” Pizza Pizza has committed to 340 units over the next three years, with an initial order of 20 units

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Restaurants are having their biggest year ever

By Jennifer A. Kingson, author of Axios What’s Next (Adapted from original post) (June 5, 2024) – 2024 will be the U.S. restaurant industry’s biggest year ever in sales — $1.1 trillion by the end of December, per National Restaurant Association estimates. Why it matters: The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the restaurant industry, but sales are now far higher than before it started — and climbing. Driving the news: Total spending at U.S. food service establishments is expected to rise 5.4% this year, to $1.106 trillion, per the National Restaurant Association’s annual “State of the Restaurant Industry” report. To grow their businesses in an increasingly competitive environment, restaurants are looking to technology, social media, and increased catering and delivery options. State of play: There were more than a million unfilled jobs in restaurants and accommodations at the end of March, Korsmo said, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. What they’re saying: “There’s

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NGIF ACCELERATOR’S GLOBAL CLEANTECH CHALLENGE FINALISTS ANNOUNCED AT IGRC2024 IN BANFF, CANADA

May 21, 2024 Adapted from original post BANFF, AB (May 21, 2024): The finalists of the NGIF Accelerator (NGIF) Global Cleantech Challenge (Challenge) have officially been announced at the International Gas Research Conference (IGRC) 2024 in Banff. The Challenge, operated by the NGIF Accelerator and supported by its Industry Grants member companies, was a funding call to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups with clean technology solutions from around the world to lower emissions for natural gas. The finalists of the Challenge were awarded a grant of ~ $6.3MM (CAD) in funding to support the development of their pre-commercial clean technology solution and an opportunity for its validation through a demonstration at one of our member companies to evaluate product market fit. The clean technology categories include Methane Emissions Reduction, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS), Heat and Power Generation, Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), Hydrogen, and Digital Solutions. The funding

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A Second Life for Leftover Heat

By Jeff Cowan, President and CEOHamilton Community Enterprises Everyone, everywhere likes to reduce waste. It’s how we conserve resources, save money and prepare for a rainy day. Affordability concerns, uncertainty in energy markets and the growing threat of climate change are all driving us to reduce the amount of energy we consume. This is especially true for the energy used to heat our homes and workplaces. We believe a key solution lies in energy harvesting — the process of capturing and repurposing waste heat. Why are we so interested in energy harvesting? It starts by knowing that in Ontario we waste more than 60 percent of the energy we consume. If we wasted less, we would require less. Efforts to achieve this goal are sparking innovations in heat recovery. These developments are having a positive impact on our economy, society and the environment. Complementary to energy harvesting is the field

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WARMINGTON: New carbon fee on restaurant bill may be ‘legal’ but it’s tough to swallow

The 2% fee is invested in carbon capture to help offset the eatery’s carbon footprint – so I guess we’re just expected shut up and pay it Joe Warmington Published Mar 02, 2024 These friends didn’t realize that not only were they enjoying a great meal in the city’s west end, they were also helping grow back a forest destroyed by fire. Everything served went down well, except for one charge on the bill that no one had seen before. The Lasagna Bolognese at $24 was as first class as the Scaloppine di Vitello at $34. The service at the Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza on Old Mill Dr. was outstanding – hence the $34.96 tip. Joe Cristiano said the experience with two pals last month was terrific and the bill for $209.76, including tax and tip, was reasonable since also they had wine and dessert. No complaints. But at the

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Thermal networks: The missing infrastructure we need to help enable carbon-free heating

James (Jim) S. Cotton Published: February 29, 2024 4:22pm EST Most of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere have a fundamental problem: we want to reduce our carbon emissions, but we also need to heat our homes. The good news is there is a way to do both by creating thermal networks. A thermal network is a system of insulated, underground pipes that directly distribute heat to homes and other buildings using heat generated from clean sources — including nuclear reactors. Rather than using their own furnaces, boilers, fireplaces or electric baseboard heaters to heat buildings, consumers would receive heat directly from a utility. It’s an opportunity that is set to grow as Canada expands its nuclear energy supply and creates more heat in the process, especially with small modular reactors expected to start coming on-stream in the next decade. Scaling up Our research collaboration has produced — with the help

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Inside Innovation: Capturing, storing and reusing lost heat becomes a global phenomenon

John Bleasby February 7, 2024 Across Canada, the number of days that buildings of all sorts require heating far outnumbers those that require cooling. According to data gathered by James Cotton, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University and associate director of the McMaster Institute of Energy Studies, the ratio in Toronto, for example, is about seven to one. Heating requires energy, which in turns creates carbons. A number of projects and initiatives are seeking alternatives that capture, store and reuse what is called “waste heat.” Cotton and fellow researchers from McMaster and Ottawa universities have developed what they call the Integrated Community Energy and Harvesting System, or ICE-Harvest, “a grid modernization solution for cold climates that incites a paradigm shift in virtual power plant design and operation.” The ICE-Harvest strategy results in as much as 50 per cent of all building heating loads being met by energy

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Three innovative McMaster startups awarded seed funding

AUGUST 24, 2023 Three McMaster startup companies – HARvEST, A.I. VALI Inc. and Esphera SynBio – have each received $256,000 in the third round of McMaster Seed Fund investments. Co-founded by mechanical engineering professor, James Cotton, and research lab manager at the McMaster Institute for Energy Studies, Jeffrey Girard, HARvEST aims to support decarbonization of the restaurant industry with their fuel-less, carbon-free hot water heating system. The HARvEST platform – developed in collaboration with Pizza Pizza Limited and Thermal Electronics Corporation – was successfully demonstrated in three Ontario Pizza Pizza restaurants this year. The system captures waste heat from cooking appliances, including ovens and fryers, to offset energy consumption in other parts of the restaurant, such as water heating. Cotton and Girard say the Seed Fund investment will support further development and commercialization of HARvEST’s technology in Canada and the US. “Restaurants are energy-intense spaces – they use a considerable

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HARvEST Systems demos waste heat recovery from Pizza Pizza ovens

By Canadian Pizza  August 14, 2023 Hamilton, Ont. – HARvEST Systems has successfully demonstrated its innovative waste heat recovery systems within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The company’s clean technology system, installed and commissioned at three Pizza Pizza locations, enables the restaurants to efficiently manage their energy usage, cut down on operating costs and reduce emissions. Developed through a five-year research program at McMaster University, in partnership with Pizza Pizza Limited, the POWER (Pizza Oven Waste Energy Recovery) system is designed to repurpose waste heat from pizza ovens to offset heating needs within a restaurant and provide autonomous operations and resilience with the ability to generate electricity. The POWER system repurposes waste heat from Pizza ovens to offset heating needs within a restaurant. In parallel, the integrated performance measurement and data analytics provides insight into the subtle energy interactions within a commercial kitchen, thus allowing the ability to monitor system

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Why we need to reuse waste energy to achieve net-zero heating systems

James (Jim) S. Cotton Published: July 31, 2023 1:08pm EDT As we move toward a cleaner energy future, there is a growing push to electrify everything, from cars to home heating. While that sounds ideal, it is also much more than a matter of simply plugging in. The grid is nowhere near ready to satisfy our carbon-free energy needs, especially as more and more Canadians switch to electric vehicles and we wait for more carbon-free sources of electricity to supply the growing demand. We’re already pushing the system on the hottest days of the year to keep our electric air conditioning running, mainly by supplementing with inefficient carbon-producing natural gas or coal power plants during peak demand periods. If we were all relying on electrical forms of heating, electricity demand would be substantially higher on the coldest days of the year and overwhelm the grid. The solution to this problem, however, lies

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