NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Energy Impact Partners LP (“EIP”), a global investment platform leading the transition to a sustainable energy future, announced today that its Deep Decarbonization Frontier Fund (the “Frontier Fund”) led the seed round in Transaera Inc., the innovative pioneers behind a novel air conditioner providing affordable, energy-efficient dehumidification. The round closed at $4.5 million; EIP was joined in the round by Carrier Ventures, Saint Gobain, and MassCEC.
Air conditioners produce up to 7-11% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, a number expected to double by 2050. Dehumidification is key to efficiency because conventional A/C systems overcool the air to condense out moisture, leading to wasted energy. Transaera’s technology improves the efficiency and comfort of cooling, while simultaneously reducing emissions.
“All air conditioners perform two functions at once: cooling and dehumidifying,” said Sorin Grama, CEO and Co-Founder of Transaera. “The dehumidifying part accounts for almost half of the energy consumption of an air conditioner, especially in hot and humid climates. By separating these two functions and taking care of the dehumidifying part in a new way, we can dramatically reduce the energy consumption of an air conditioner.”
Transaera was co-founded by Mr. Grama, an experienced entrepreneur who previously scaled a refrigeration company, and Mircea Dincă, Professor of Energy in the Department of Chemistry at MIT. The company’s technology uses an innovative sponge-like material that grabs moisture from the atmosphere enabling the air conditioner to cool the air more efficiently. The heat generated by the unit is then used to dry the material for the next cycle.
"MOFs are central to several energy technology innovations,” Professor Dincă commented on the technology. “Their ability to adsorb large quantities of moisture are transformational for heat transfer and air-conditioning applications, with Transaera leading the charge in understanding how to apply these revolutionary materials in real devices."
Transaera was named one of eight finalists in the Global Cooling Prize, an international innovation competition to develop an affordable and sustainable residential air conditioner. The company’s enabling technology is its metal organic framework desiccant which can dehumidify air much more efficiently without increasing equipment complexity and cost. The proprietary desiccant material, spontaneously absorbs water vapor, allowing room air to dry. Dry air is easier to cool with a high-efficiency AC unit, thus reducing the overall electricity consumption.
“Our investment in Transaera will support the availability of a climate technology capable of dramatically lowering the cost and energy intensity of cooling at a time when it’s needed most,” said Ashwin Shashindranath, Partner at Energy Impact Partners. “We’re incredibly impressed with the team’s technology and are excited to continue supporting their growth and impact on this industry.”
For more information about EIP, please visit www.energyimpactpartners.com.
About Energy Impact Partners
Energy Impact Partners LP (EIP) is a global venture capital firm leading the transition to a sustainable future. EIP brings together entrepreneurs and the world's most forward-looking energy and industrial companies to advance innovation. With over $2.5 billion in assets under management, EIP invests globally across venture, growth, credit, and infrastructure – and has a team of over 70 professionals based in its offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Palm Beach, London, Cologne, and Oslo. For more information on EIP, please visit www.energyimpactpartners.com.
Transaera is an MIT spinout and performs research and development at Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America. The company is exploring novel desiccant materials to develop ultra-efficient climate systems that can regulate indoor environments critical to business and human productivity, all while reducing the impact on our global climate and local grid infrastructure. Transaera was one of eight finalists in the Global Cooling Prize, an international innovation competition to develop a residential air conditioner that would consume 80% less energy than commonly available air conditioners. For more information visit: www.transaera.com