Accounting for close to two-thirds of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions, buildings – and heating systems in particular – play an enormous role in combating climate change.
Responding to that need, The Clean Fight, a clean energy startup accelerator backed by New York’s energy agency NYSERDA, completed its first programme last week. Over the course of five months, nine startups each applied for up to $500,000 in grants and received support on their strategy, finances, marketing and product development.
These are the innovations that came out of the Clean Fight’s first accelerator cohort:
Using an IoT building management system, 75F can predict, analyse, monitor and react to a building’s hot and cold spots before they happen by taking control of its HVAC, lighting and indoor air quality management systems. For example, 75F’s lighting technology can regulate light by knowing when to take advantage of natural light and when there might be forecast clouds that will block the sun.
The startup funds retrofits in low-income communities, leasing and managing air-source heat pumps with no upfront costs. BlocPower aims to give these areas the economic, health and environmental benefits of modern, sustainable heating and cooling. Having retrofitted more than 1,000 homes in New York City, the startup has projects underway in 24 other cities.
‘Reducing carbon, one truck at a time’, CarbonCure takes recycled CO2 from industrial emitters and injects it into concrete so it becomes permanently embedded. The injected CO2 reacts with calcium ions from cement to form calcium carbonate, effectively mineralising the carbon and making the concrete stronger while cutting emissions.
Digitising and centralising operations in commercial real estate, Enertiv provides a single platform to monitor the performance of energy management, preventative maintenance, ESG reporting, capital planning, tenant submetering and billing.
The air purifying technology cleans a building’s indoor air at a molecular level to reduce the size of HVAC systems needed. enVerid’s goal is to create a ‘win-win-win’ situation: building owners will require less costly HVAC equipment, which results in lower operating costs, lower energy and carbon intensity and better indoor air quality. The technology removes carbon dioxide, aldehydes, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter (PM2.5).
iHandal Energy Solutions
Headquartered in Malaysia, the startup offers ‘hyper-efficient’ temperature control in buildings by capturing wasted heat and recycling it for heating or cooling. iHandal carries out an energy audit for its clients, setting a guaranteed amount of savings before implementing the system. Captured heat is then compressed using its proprietary technology and channelled into other functions in the building. The startup’s goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 200m tonnes annually by 2030.
Peak Power’s software platform turns buildings into smart power plants. Using machine learning, the software analyses a building’s energy use, forecasting demand levels and predicting spikes in energy market prices. A battery energy storage system within the building can then charge and discharge at the most profitable moments, potentially saving on energy costs and creating a new revenue stream.
Phase Change Energy Solutions
Phase Change Energy Solutions provides easy-to-install phase change materials to maintain building temperature, reducing heating and cooling needs. These materials absorb and release large amounts of thermal energy when they melt and freeze. The company’s BioPCM product can transition between solid-to-gel and solid-to-solid and can be designed to store and release thermal energy at a precise temperature.
Targeting steam-heated buildings, Radiator Labs incorporates radiator-level controls with real-time data visualisation to prevent overheating. The Radiator Lab Cozy, a smart internet-connected, thermostatic cover for radiators, saves on average 25% – and can save as much as 45% – on heating costs.