Mojave Energy Systems has received $US12.5 million in seed round funding to launch its third-generation liquid desiccant air conditioning platform.
The novel Mojave product line cuts in half the energy required to provide buildings with fresh, cool, and dry outdoor air, while using 20 per cent less refrigerant than existing systems on the market.
The round is co-led by At One Ventures and Fifth Wall with participation from Xerox Ventures and others. The company spun out of the Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC).
Mojave's founder and CEO, Philip Farese, said the technology used to cool buildings hasn't changed much in over 100 years even though buildings have changed a lot.
“Today the story is about dehumidification, not cooling; in fact, we spend more energy dehumidifying air than we do cooling it,” Farese said.
“HVAC equipment improvements have focused on reducing the energy needed for things like heat pumps and fans, neither of which addresses dehumidification.
“Our first product, focused on providing cool, dry, fresh outdoor air, uses half the energy of other solutions and can reduce emissions by 100 million tonnes CO2e . It is especially helpful with buildings like schools, hospitals, and grocery stores, that have more demanding requirements.”
Mojave uses a high concentration salt solution to passively pull water from air.
The cool, dry air is then delivered to the building and, notably, the water-saturated liquid desiccant is reused by "regenerating" it (i.e., water pulled out and returned to its useful high salinity state) using only waste heat from the system: this eliminates the need for external sources of heating or cooling.
This process achieves double the moisture removal efficiency when compared to the traditional vapour compression approach, both reducing cost of operation for customers and helping them achieve Net Zero compliance with energy-efficient systems.
The Mojave DOAS can "drop in" to existing HVAC infrastructure and requires minimal maintenance.
Dilip Goswami, venture partner, At One Ventures, said commercial building owners need to see product benefits immediately and to move away from traditional inefficient solutions.
“We are excited about Mojave's debut product because it offers massive energy savings, refrigerant reduction, drop-in installation, a quick payback, and $50,000 or more per unit in lifetime savings: it's an easy business decision,” Gosvami said.
In addition to financial benefits, Mojave's DOAS can also improve indoor air quality. Mojave's units independently control temperature and humidity, allowing the user to select the ideal indoor air conditions.
The biocidal properties of its liquid desiccant can even purify the air from bacteria and viruses further improving air quality.
Mojave is already running several field pilots and has its commercial launch slated for January, 2024.
The company will leverage the new capital for go-to-market and commercialization rollout, manufacturing of initial orders, and will continue to invest in research and development.
Mojave's liquid desiccant technology cools and dehumidifies the air, enabling the user to independently control dew point and dry bulb setpoints.
Further, technology currently in development has the potential to require 80 per cent less energy than vapour compression systems and eliminate the need for refrigerants.