Company Promising Electricity from Heat (and Vice Versa) Gets $2.7 Million

By Michael Kanellos in GreenTech Media, March 1 2010

Tempronics, which wants to make electricity out of hot air and vice versa, has landed $2.7 million in a Series A round of funding, the company said today. Nth Power led the round.

The company specializes in thermoelectric materials, which can convert waste heat into electricity. Potentially, the material could be wrapped around pipes in a factory to take advantage of waste heat. Conversely, you can insert electricity (from solar panels or other sources) into the material and produce heat, which can be used to cook with or run chiller-style air conditioners.

"Thermoelectric devices have the potential to be lower cost, more reliable, lighter, smaller and more environmentally friendly than many of today's rotating machines used for cooling and power generation, including: compressors, gas turbines, steam turbines and electrical generators," said Tarek Makansi, CEO of Tempronics in a prepared statement.

Waste heat and thermoelectrics could become a big business someday. The U.S. consumes 100 quads of energy a year, and approximately 55 to 60 percent of the total gets dissipated as waste heat. Companies such as Recycled Energy Development have created industrial, mechanical systems for harvesting waste heat for factories. In West Virginia, the company is working on a project to generate 45 megawatts of power from waste heat in a factory setting.

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