Two Hungarians innovating heat storage
HeatVentors, a company that revolutionizes heat storage, did quite well in startup contests. Their pilot projects are about to launch, and they are planning to take their invention to China. They do not fear copycats, as Forbes.hu reports.
Founders of HeatVentors Rita Farkas and Zoltán Andrássy both studied as energetics engineers. They have been dealing with phase change materials for five years — writing their thesis about them — and now they use them for creating a product and building a company.
Zoltán stated that they were mostly encouraged at professional conferences to try and make a profit off their ideas. This is how HeatVentors was founded, as the founders decided to get involved in the world of business and law. Still, they tried to remain what they are: engineers.
HeatVentors has become a financial success: they have won 10,000 euros of support in the Climate-KIC accelerator program in June.
But what is so original about their ideas? Well, most of the heat containers run on water nowadays. We store energy by heating and cooling water. HeatVentors, however, use phase change materials’ state of matter. It is like an ice cube. “As we melt or freeze the material, we can store much more power, almost without any change in temperature”, Zoltán explained.
The greatest advantage of the new technology is that it requires almost 90 percent less space than water containers. They are also able to store heat energy between 100 and 600 degrees Celsius. This system is proper for heating, freezing and renewing systems, as well as for solar plants.
The other great advantage of HeatTank energy containers is that they repay their value more quickly. It means that the required investment is a couple of hundreds of euros per apartment buildings, which will be regained in 3-4 years.
Building a product based on their studies was a difficult task. It had to be connected to energetics and building-engineering, contain novelties and challenges, but still be marketable.
Now they are developing in two branches. On of them is a family product that is splendid for family houses and apartment buildings. These systems can be installed by any ordinary heating engineer. It would be available not only at HeatVentors, but in the supply of larger companies as well.
The other branch concerns unique products like larger HeatTanks. These could be purchased by larger companies and installed in their several facilities. HeatVentors was intentionally looking for niche markets where they could prove the usefulness of their products with pilot projects. They claimed that they are debating with both Hungarian and multinational companies, with four large companies among them who were discussing the launch of the pilot projects.
The size of their products is the key: whenever another attribute changes, size has to be recalculated. They are even planning to move to the Chinese market, and they do not fear any violation of copyright.
“We have won second prize in Women Startup Competition’s semi-final in Budapest. The online jury voted us in the finals in London”, Rita states. They have won a trip to China where they could introduce themselves in three cities and four great factories. They were also among the winners of MVM’s mentor program’s first round and won the second prize at Nestlé Demo Day.
They are planning to sell their technology in China. They do not fear copycats, as any copy will work only among the proper circumstances. If it is changed, the size has to be redesigned. And only Rita and Zoltán are able to do that. The container cannot be used by any copyist.
They have received offers from some investors, but they are still spending their prizes and preparing for new competitions. Their first pilot projects will launch in months. They are also planning to design additional products based on this technology.