The Comfort Suites Hotel of Southgate was recently the recipient of the “Greening Downriver” award. This award was presented by the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber to the hotel for its extensive efforts in incorporating energy efficiency and on-site renewable technology.

The hotel had all the basic efficiency measures already in place for several years, such as low flow toilets and shower heads, CFL lighting and waste recycling. The hotel’s owner, Raj Patel, knew he could do much more. Patel hired the Starpak Group, an Ann Arbor provider solar thermal panels, heat recovery systems, thermal storage systems, thermal electricity production and more.

Starpak installed an 18-panel solar thermal system for the hotel’s domestic hot water and a four-panel solar thermal system to heat the indoor pool.

In addition, Starpak designed and installed a heat recovery system on the hotel’s swimming pool dehumidification system. Prior to the new system, the unit would use fresh city water for the coolant loop, then dump the water down the drain once it reached 100 degrees. This process used a lot of city water as well as the heat energy stored in it. The solution was to close this loop and dump the heat into a Starpak Atmo Tank. This tank transfers the heat energy into incoming city water to pre-heat water for domestic water use.

The results have been astonishing — a 70 percent reduction in natural gas use and a 50 percent reduction in water consumption. The ROI was a very attractive 16 months including a 30 percent federal tax credit and utility rebates.

Patel said he realized that these types of savings are what all businesses need to significantly reduce operating expenses. As a result, he is now a part owner of Starpak and is putting his engineering background to use.

Starpak has designed an innovative Solar Thermal System consisting of many patent-pending products such as solar thermal panels, mounting systems, thermal storage, heat recovery products, thermo-electric products and more. Starpak has energy systems for residential, commercial, and industrial applications and is planning to manufacture its products in the Detroit area this year.

For more information on Starpak’s innovative energy solutions email Raj Patel at

Comments (3)
  1. jeremy eckhous says:

    Goethermal Ground Source Heat would be an excellent compliment to this approach – netting a 30-40% increase in the total saings

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Detroit

Best Cooking Classes In DetroitLearn how to whip up some wonderful dishes while having fun!
5 Bucket List Items To Cross Off In DetroitThe “must-do” items for anyone making a trip to Detroit.

Watch & Listen LIVE