You can easily install the lightweight unit and control it via iPhone or Android

After
partnering with Indiegogo to
empower tech entrepreneurs, Arrow Electronics has been on a mission to flash
fund Arrow-Certified campaigns to bring makers’ projects to life. One such recipient
is Don Pancoe, director of connected devices at Noria Technologies. His startup
company is responsible for creating Noria, the portable, lightweight air
conditioner that syncs to your phone and installs into existing windows.

Noria

Designed
to address the hassle of current window air conditioners, the idea for Noria
came from chief engineer at Noria Technologies, Kurt Swanson. Along with
Pancoe, they founded a design and engineering firm called Likuma Labs, and
after being part of successful client projects, they became interested in
developing products on their own. Noria was a natural product for the two to
develop, what with Swanson’s interest in air flow and thermodynamics combined
with Pancoe’s interest in designed connected devices. Lead designer Devin
Sidell also got involved, and is credited with making the air conditioner look
modern and sleek.

From
its beautiful design to easy installation, remote connectivity, and schedule
creation, Noria makes living with a window air conditioner a pain-free
experience. The fresh air mode can bring in outside air on cool nights, which
is a luxury not even central air can offer, and with a sound rating of 50 dBA
at full fan speed, it’s very quiet. Thanks to its smart features, you can
control Noria via Bluetooth and make energy saving schedules from your iPhone
or Android device. 

Noria_in_Action

According
to Pancoe, he and his team wanted to keep the front-panel control as simple as
possible, since they believe many “smart” designs over-complicate the user
experience. With that in mind, they looked at the interface of the smartphone
as a way to offer advanced features such as the ability to create a schedule.
For example, your air conditioner could turn on 30 minutes before you normally
return home from work. The app also
duplicates the front-panel controls so it can serve as a simple remote control
as well.

Noria_Apps

At
5.8-inches, Noria weighs about 30 pounds, and is recommended to cool areas up
to 160-square-feet. Although it may be a bit on the heavy side for some, the
5,000 BTU unit comes with a built-in carrying handle and a window-frame
adapter.

“The 5,000 BTU unit is the only
one presently available for pre-order, which we are planning to deliver next
year, “said Pancoe. “We plan to follow that with larger window units up to about
8,000 BTU. Based on feedback from our crowd-funding backers, we are also
investigating variants of our first unit, such as one that could mount
vertically in a sliding window.”

To switch the compressor on and
off, the team looked at a bevy of power relay options, and determined TE
Connectivity offered the best solution — with 24 VDC, a contact current rating
of 10 A, and through-hole technology, it was the component for the job, as less
energy was lost in comparison to using a thyristor.

“We considered
solid-state thyristor switching for the compressor to avoid the audible click
as well as some potential failure modes of relays in general, but we found that
there is greater energy lost in keeping the thyristor on versus keeping the
relay on due to the voltage drop across the diode junction,” said Pancoe. “To
meet US DOE EER standards, we are squeezing out every watt that we can, but if
we have some margin left over, we may revisit the thyristor switching in the
future.”

Pancoe credits Indiegogo for its
“two-fold benefit.” With the platform’s support, the Noria team quickly reached
its goal, saying it not only provided the funds needed to pursue full-time
development, but it also provided market validation by showing that customers
are willing to pay a premium price for a window air conditioner made to improve
upon the pain points associated with the product category.

“The
interaction with backers through updates and comments also provided valuable
feedback that has influenced both our current and future designs,” said Pancoe.
“After our initial, time-limited campaign on Kickstarter, the seamless
transition to Indiegogo’s In Demand campaign allowed us to continue to take
pre-orders through the heat of the summer.”

Beyond a simple front-panel
interface and more advanced controls available through the app while within
your home, Pancoe and team are hoping to provide cloud services that will allow
use of the app while outside the home, eventually uniting a whole line of
products. Having a cloud interface will also allow Noria’s products to work
with third-party products and services such as Amazon Echo, Nest, and Google
Home.

Arrow
is flash funding innovative products now –
sign up here for your shot at game-changing funds, engineering resources and tools,
discounts, and personal guidance from experts. 

Electronic
Products is owned by AspenCore, a subsidiary of Arrow Electronics.