Cooling Without a Compressor: Start-Up Phononic Raises $44M

phononic heat pumpThis Wednesday, Phononic raised $44M in Series D funding from leading clean tech investors in Silicon Valley and abroad. Phononic manufacturers a solid-state semiconductor that has potential to revolutionize the traditional compressor-driven refrigeration cycle.  According to a 2011 interview with co-founder Dr. Anthony Atti, Phononic is “in the business of monetizing heat”.  Dr. Atti goes on to explain that his product “converts waste heat into power, or conversely, uses electricity efficiently to remove heat for cooling and refrigeration.”

Phononic’s heat pump is made of a proprietary combination of thermoelectric materials that are both electronically conductive and thermally insulating. This technology is vastly different from the vapor compression cycle.  Eliminating the compressor means that there are no moving parts or toxic refrigerant required.  Phononic also advertises the added benefits of no noise, little maintenance, 25% operating cost savings,  and space savings.

Phononic is focused initially on commercial refrigeration and electronics cooling, with eyes on air conditioning in the future.  Phononic has now raised $78M to date.  Initial investors include Venrock and Oak Investment Partners.   Venrock also backed well-known household device disruptor, Nest Labs.


Photos Courtesy of Phononic