A tech startup that began as a “moonshot” project at Google X has raised $2 million in seed money as it promotes a more affordable type of ground-source heat pump.
Details about the system developed by Dandelion were skimpy. The company says that it has developed “clean drilling technology” that will be much less disruptive to property than the current practice of drilling wells or excavating deep trenches for the heat exchange tubing the systems need.
Its website says that the drill makes a bore “just a few inches wide” and a few hundred feet deep so a complete installation can be complete in two or three days with minimal disruptions to a customer’s property.
It wasn’t clear whether Dandelion’s system, which it calls “geothermal heating and cooling,” represents any advance in the compressors, pumps, and other components of current ground-source heat pump technology or amounted only to a new way of drilling holes for the tubing.
For the time being, Dandelion says it is offering the systems to homeowners in upstate New York in the Hudson Valley and Capital region. There was no word on when the company planned an expansion beyond that region.
Lower costs also are promised
The extensive excavation that ground-source heat pumps often require is one sticking point for some homeowners, and so is the cost. Many estimates from experts for a complete system top $40,000, with one as high as $50,000. (See Are Affordable Ground-Source Heat Pumps On the Horizon?). That’s far above the cost of competing technologies.
Dandelion’s site says that homeowners will pay $20,000 for an installed system with no upfront costs. Monthly payments would be less than the $210 a homeowner using $2,500 worth of propane or fuel oil per year would pay.
Dandelion is a spinoff from a two-year project at X, Google’s subsidiary for long-shot projects, according to an announcement posted at BusinessWire. Alphabet calls X the “innovation engine” of the giant tech company.
GBA is seeking additional information from Dandelion and will update this article if more information becomes available.