A $20 million funding round has just been closed by Blue Frontier, a Miami-based startup envied by one Bill Gates. The billionaire and Microsoft co-founder has made a bet to invest in a new air conditioning technology that should arrive by 2026 or 2027 to replace traditional technologies that are far from good for the environment.
The market is huge. Given the growing and essential demand (some regions of the world can’t help but install air cooling systems to live) and the impact current systems are having on the environment, engineers and investors are rushing to get their share of the (future) pie take. Blue Frontier was born in 2018 and its investment round is just a Series A. This is amazing.
India, China and Indonesia are the geographic areas where the CO2 impact of air conditioning is greatest as the number of installations increases. According to the Xerox Research Center in Palo Alto in collaboration with the US Department of Energy, 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with air conditioning systems and their refrigerants.
This is how the air conditioning of tomorrow will work
Blue Frontier drew on research into anthrax, also known as anthrax, a very serious infectious disease that could become a real weapon of terror. To counteract its transmission, engineers have developed new, very powerful liquid desiccants, capable of removing any moisture present in the air even more effectively than current refrigerant liquids allow.
The liquid holds its relationship to air conditioning in that our current conventional systems use even more energy to reduce humidity than it does to cool a room. Of 1,950 million tons of CO2 released by systems around the world, 531 million would be used to cool the air, while 599 million would be used just to reduce humidity.
It was therefore essential to find a more efficient system to reduce this superfluous part of the consumption. Especially since 820 million tons of CO2 are associated in particular with refrigerant leaks.
According to Blue Frontier, tomorrow’s air conditioning will not allow for any possibility of leakage, while the liquid refrigerant never comes into contact with the air. Only the desiccant liquid derived from the work on Anthrax will be. The startup presents it as an advantage because the product kills bacteria (its main function) in addition to reducing humidity. “One of the benefits of Blue Frontier air conditioning technology would be an overall improvement in indoor air quality and a healthier indoor climate.”said Daniel Betts, CEO of Blue Frontier.
A final benefit of the system will be the transport of energy storage, where traditional air conditioning systems can no longer function when energy runs out. A way to avoid using electricity during periods of high demand, when many countries are using coal-fired power plants to meet demand.