What is Climate Well?
It's a company that promises to slash carbon emissions caused by homes and offices, by using solar power to heat and cool buildings. Controlling the climate at home, Climate Well says, need not be at the expense of the earth's climate.
The company was founded by Ray Olsson and Göran Bolin, with backgrounds as entrepreneurs and expertise in solar energy. The company has developed from this core, promoting and developing it's unique heat storage system abroad. It currently has research operations in both Sweden and Spain, where it has built a model house to showcase its technology.
Climate Well has already had considerable success. CEO Per Olofsson was recently nominated as European of the Year by European Voice Magazine, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicolas Sarkozy and Richard Branson. The magazine nominated him "for pioneering solar cooling technology, which could help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the heating and cooling of buildings."
The sales pitch
The company aims to capitalise on the growing environmental awareness that climate change has brought. It claims that its solar system for heating and cooling can reduce a family's CO2 emissions by 7,000 kg per year. It can also utilise district heating systems, as the technology allows the heat to be stored and delivered on command.
Climate Well uses the thermodynamic properties of water and salts to provide a solar powered heating and cooling system combined with a patented chemical heat pump and storage system. It is centred around a thermo-chemical accumulator (TCA) system that acts as a battery for heat, storing the heat created from solar or other power until it is needed. It can also absorb heat from warm places to keep them cool.
The future, with growing pressure for people to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, is strong if the technology can access key markets. The solar system is intended for use in sunnier climates, where a majority of the world's population live. Climate Well has already attracted substantial funding from a Spanish investor.
In the pipeline is an ambitious idea attracting the attention of the Swedish government and the paper and steel industries. The idea is to capture the enormous amount of waste heat from processes in these industries and store and export it to other areas that need it. The process is energy dense and efficient; if practice can match the theory, it could have profound implications for Europe and the rest of the world in meeting targets for Kyoto and whatever process follows.