Alex Green (left) explained a Watts Radiant solar pump station to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon during his visit to the company’s manufacturing and office facility.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri governor, Jay Nixon, visited the 143,000-square-foot manufacturing and office facility of Watts Radiant in Springfield, Mo., to support his program of promoting sustainable, Missouri-based manufacturing.

Gov. Nixon’s tour was guided by John Kolson, Watts Radiant’s new vice president and general manager, who gave him insights into parent company Watts Water Technology’s deep involvement with green building systems that include zero-waste reverse osmosis, lead-free stainless steel backflow prevention, and salt-free anti-scale water treatment requiring no backwash.

The Democratic governor was elected on a platform that consisted of, among other things, job creation, support for higher education, and development of renewable energy resources. Accompanying him was the new director of the Department of Natural Resources, Mark Templeton, who has close connections to the Obama administration, and is a strong supporter of renewable manufacturing jobs.

Gov. Nixon learned about Watts Radiant’s pursuit of zero waste, a program that has resulted in a 90 percent reduction in waste removal, due chiefly to improved designs, increased reuse of materials, and internal and external recycling. An example of this is the firm’s manufacturing of bright orange pallet corners from PEX waste, generated when the extrusion line is started. All cardboard, office paper, shrink-wrap, pallets, and metal are also reused or recycled.

There was also interest in Watts Radiant’s new line of solar thermal pumping stations, and the new solar control for OEM suppliers that monitors and records the actual Btu produced by a solar thermal system. Gov. Nixon learned that, from a utility’s perspective, the ability to accurately measure and record solar power produced was essential to the proposed new carbon cap and trade programs.

The tour concluded in the training facility where a wide range of radiant heat and cooling technologies were on display. Of particular interest were Watts Radiant’s HydroNex panels that enable contractors to rapidly install pre-engineered and tested control panels that can combine solar, geothermal, and biomass sources with radiant delivery systems.

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Publication date:12/07/2009