Published in The Silicon Review
Sridhar Deivasigamani, Founder and CEO of Intellihot, Speaks to The Silicon Review: ‘We Offer Full-Service Capabilities where we Become the Easy Button for all of Our Customers’ Hot Water Needs, from Design to Installation to Lifetime Operation’
“We aren’t afraid to venture out of the core to learn and invent new things in white spaces in the market.”
As energy conservation continues to grow in importance, more businesses are opting for tankless water heaters over conventional tank-style water heaters. These tankless water heaters heat water only when it’s needed. Besides, they last longer, use less energy, offer endless hot water, save space, and reduce utility bills.
Intellihot is one such company that designs and manufactures next-generation tankless water heaters. It serves companies in all industries, from hospitality, retail, education to manufacturing and restaurants. The company’s products are saving space, cutting costs, reducing health risks, and diminishing carbon footprints. It currently has over 72 awarded and pending patents.
Intellihot was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Galesburg, IL.
Interview Excerpt: Sridhar Deivasigamani
Q. As a company, how do you break the ‘sucking sound of the core’? And what strategies are in place to encourage innovation in your company?
Intellihot is extremely adept at this and is the hallmark of our success. We evaluate numerous ideas, decide on all the things we do not want to work on, and focus only on the very few that will matter most to our customers and their experience. Also, internally the mantra is ‘If you stop innovating, you die’. We expect Intellihot to be a billion dollar company in that sense. Finally, we aren’t afraid to venture out of the core to learn and invent new things in white spaces in the market.
Q. Given that Intellihot designs, manufactures, and assembles high-quality tankless water heaters for commercial and industrial applications, how uniquely do you address your clients’ pain points?
We offer a compelling economic value proposition both in terms of 40 percent capital expenditures (CapEx) and 30-70 percent operating expenses (OpEx) reductions. We significantly lower business and operational risk through our advanced controls, predictive analytics, and modular approach. Finally, we produce hot water that is devoid of pathogens like Legionella. We also offer full-service capabilities where we become the ‘easy button’ for all of our customers’ hot water needs, from design to installation to lifetime operation.
Q. Intellihot-manufactured products are saving space, cutting costs, reducing health risks, and diminishing carbon footprints. How do you interpret this further?
Ninety-nine percent of the market today uses some gigantic (a few hundred to a few thousand gallons) stored hot water systems. These systems have stagnant water that promotes the growth of harmful bacteria like Legionella, as cited above. Intellihot systems don’t store water and eliminate this implicit but dangerous issue.
That said, heat on demand cuts energy use 40 to 70 percent and a direct impact on lowering CO2 emissions. Intellihot units have clocked over 450 million hours of operations and cut over 3.2 billion pounds of CO2 so far.
Client Testimonials: 49ers Stadium and 340 On The Park
49ers Stadium, now Levi’s Stadium, is the renowned professional football stadium that has served as the home of 49ers since 2014, needed a high output water heater for the scrubbers in the stadium. The catch? The water heating unit needed to be installed in the already packed Mezzanine. No one was better suited to the task than Intellihot.
“We needed a high output water heater with a small footprint to supply hot water for the scrubbers in the stadium, and the Intellihot IQ1001’s small footprint was great to install in the Mezzanine.” – Jeff Koch, ACCO Design Engineer, Levi’s Stadium.
Today the stadium is praised for its environmental sustainability and is one of the largest buildings registered with the U.S. Green Building Council.
340 On The Park is the second tallest luxury residential building in Chicago. The previous water heating system consisted of two commercial 2 million BTU tank-type heaters with over 2,000 gallons of storage. The units were located on the building’s penthouse floor and were in various stages of failure within seven years. The labor and helicopter service necessary to replace the two boilers were not covered by their warranty.
Intellihot to the rescue: Intellihot Solution Four iQ 1001 units were installed and cascaded together to create a combined capacity of 4 million BTUs. This ingenious method of masterless cascading ensured high reliability along with limited downtime. The company’s plug-and-play setup brought a rapid change without a need to re-balance the entire building.
As a result, 340 On The Park today eliminates over 2,000 gallons of storage and saves 27 percent gas cost annually without sacrificing comfort for its residents. Besides, it is the first residential tower in the Midwest to achieve Silver LEED Certification for its ‘green’ design. It also boasts a large winter garden for its residents.
“We have been very pleased with the installation and performance of the system and proud to be at the forefront of demonstrating an energy-efficient breakthrough in the building community. Any building that has a domestic hot water boiler capital project in the future should be considering Intellihot.” – Amy Eickhoff, Building Manager, 340 On The Park.
Q.What new endeavors is your company currently undertaking?
Intellihot is focused on helping our customers achieve their de-carbonization/2030 CO2 targets. We are also focused on developing technology to achieve Net-Zero emissions. All while ensuring that our customers will improve profitability and eliminate business risks. We see a future of more electrification and smart grid, and IoT.
Q. Certainly, Intellihot is recognized for its innovative design and currently has over 72 awarded and pending patents. Please share an overview of the accolades Intellihot has been granted?
Global excellence award Most Innovative Water Heaters Manufacturer 2021 – USA
Globee® Business Awards 2021
Intellihot Top Building Automation Company of 2020
20 Chicago Startups to Watch in 2020
Building Tech 50 List 2018
10 Illinois Green Tech Startups to Watch
NASA Awards Commercial License to Intellihot Inc. 2018
Plumbing & Mechanical’s 20 Top Products of 2017
Chicago’s Top Ten Founders Over 40 Award (2016)
Top Chicago Clean-tech Startup company (2014)
Top 20 High Growth Company in Illinois (2011)
Top 24 Companies Outside Silicon Valley (2010)
Top 6 Most Innovative Companies in Illinois (2009)
Q. How do you plan to transform your company into a future that is unfolding before you?
It’s quite simple. We create the future rather that drive towards it.
The Passionate Leader Upfront
Sridhar Deivasigamani, Founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Intellihot. Growing up, Sridhar could be found tinkering with ham radios, amplifiers, model airplanes, and electrical wiring. His boyish curiosity for how things work and inventing new gizmos eventually grew into a passion for innovation. It led him to earn a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, India, and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, USA. He worked for many years in the fields of robotics and marine engines. Today, Sridhar’s continued dedication to innovation has led Intellihot to become industry thought leader and develop over 60 awarded and pending patents—all aiming to build a waste-free future in the USA.
“Intellihot units have clocked over 450 million hours of operations and cut over 3.2 billion pounds of CO2 so far.”