Users of process heating equipment may soon be able to buy energy as a commodity instead of owning the equipment, thanks to an agreement between BTU Source, Atlanta, and Motorola, Telematics Div., Chicago. BTU plans to use Motorola's advanced wireless data communications technology for BTU Source's Thermal Energy Billing System to be released this summer.

Jackson Ball, president of BTU Source, says that the Thermal Energy Real-time Monitor (THERM) offers the ability to remotely sense, view, manage and sell the real-time thermal energy production of a device or entire process heating or cooling system as a viable alternative to buying or leasing the equipment.

Manufacturers of larger process cooling systems such as Freeze-Co Systems, Toronto, Ont., have expressed interest in participating with customers in jointly exploring the use of this new technology. According to Ball, the demand for this technology is being driven by customer desires to move away from an asset base with fixed costs, amortization accounting and noncore competencies to a more agile, variable-expensed, service-oriented base that tracks with demand, production, product life cycles and seasons.

"Customers no longer want the cow, just the milk. Wrapping wireless services and secure web-based applications around physical devices in a process cooling system enables these to become reality," says Ball.

For more information, contact Ball at (404) 231-0720 or visit