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article imageStartup Dandelion uses geothermal energy to heat and cool homes

By Karen Graham     Jul 7, 2017 in Environment
Dandelion, a company that makes geothermal cooling and heating systems for homes, was incubated for two years inside Alphabet's innovative Moonshot lab. Now, after raising $2.0 million, the company has taken root and is set to launch.
After spending two years in Alphabet's X, researching ways to make geothermal systems more affordable and available to homeowners, the fledgling company-to-be was able to raise $2.0 million in seed money through Collaborative Fund, a New York City-based source of capital for entrepreneurs.
Dandelion CEO Kathy Hannun and her team knew that buildings account for 39 percent of carbon emissions, and most of our energy goes to heating and cooling them. The Dandelion team wanted to find a way to reduce the cost of heating and cooling of homes and buildings going forward.
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With their innovative geothermal systems, Dandelion says the cost of heating and cooling will reduce the cost by half of what current systems cost. "We started this project because we realized millions of homeowners are using expensive, truck-delivered fuels because they don’t have access to better options today," Hannun said, reports Venture Beat.
The Dandelion geothermal system and how it works.
The Dandelion geothermal system and how it works.
“We knew if installing a geothermal heat pump was a simpler and more affordable process, these homeowners would have access to a better product that’s also better for the climate.”
In a blog post, Dandelion explains how the company developed its geothermal heating and cooling system: We began prototyping and testing all sorts of ideas, like modifying a jackhammer that could burrow itself into the ground; freezing the ground with liquid nitrogen and chipping the soil away with a hammer, and even using a high-pressure water jet to obliterate the ground at rocket speeds. After months of testing, we hit upon a design for a fast, slender drill that hit our objectives. It could drill just one or two deep holes just a few inches wide, and compared to typical installation rigs, it produced less waste and took up much less space as it operated.
Dandelion is currently signing up customers in New York and is also arranging partnerships with local heating and cooling companies to install their systems.
Alphabet's X lab is a really neat place to hatch new ideas, or even some not so new ideas. The technicians at X thrive on big problems, radical solutions and always, the way breakthroughs in technology can win the day. Perhaps that is why the lab is called a moonshot factory.
More about Alphabet, X lab, Dandelion, geothernal energy, New york
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