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Nanomaterial could reduce air conditioning load

CANADA: The development of an ultra-thin graphene-based nanofilm membrane that could reduce the energy required air conditioning systems has received CAD$2m (€1.4m) in seed funding.

Evercloak, an advanced material innovation spin-out company from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, raised the money in an oversubscribed seed round of investment, driven by interest in its breakthrough HVAC technology. 

The graphene-based membrane allows water molecules to pass through while keeping out the other components of air and gas. Thanks to the thinness of the membrane, this requires little energy.

By radically reducing the amount of electricity required to dehumidify air — the most energy-intensive part of cooling — Evercloak’s membrane-based solution could cut the energy demands of air conditioning in half.

The idea of this project is to scale up production for large area coatings, and develop an application that can use Evercloak’s water vapour selective coatings to improve HVAC coatings, so that air coming into buildings can be dehumidified while reducing the energy load by AC systems.

“We’ve proven our technology works,” said company co-founder and CEO Evelyn Allen following field trials of two demonstration units last summer.

“Now, this funding injection allows us to scale up our membrane manufacturing, strengthen our commercial team and give the world a more sustainable way to cool buildings.”

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