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Thermoelectric startup GMZ Energy secures $14M in Series C funding

Thermoelectric material developer GMZ Energy (earlier post) has secured $14 million in Series C financing. The new investment was led by Mitsui Ventures and includes I2BF Global Ventures, Energy Technology Ventures (a joint venture of GE, NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and BP Alternative Energy. With the new funding, GMZ will expand its engineering and go-to-market capabilities as the company moves into production of its thermoelectric technologies.

GMZ’s material, a nanostructured bismuth antimony telluride, was developed by researchers at Boston College and MIT.

Thermoelectric materials have typically been used for niche heating and cooling applications, but we have developed a way to enhance the material’s performance to enable more applications. This investment will allow us to commercialize this breakthrough and expand our product line more quickly and efficiently.

—Aaron Bent, CEO of GMZ Energy

Since 2009, GMZ has intensified its focus on increasing the productivity and performance levels of thermoelectric material, and adapting different market-based applications for turning otherwise lost heat into electricity. GMZ was named a winner this year in the GE ecomagination Challenge, earning an investment from GE in a program created to accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies through open collaboration and financial support.

GMZ Energy has developed one of the most efficient and low-cost materials to generate electricity from heat with numerous applications—from electricity-generating solar water heaters to technology that increases automobile-fuel efficiency.

—Kevin Skillern of GE Energy Financial Services and Energy Technology Ventures, a GE-NRG Energy-ConocoPhillips joint venture

GMZ Energy is developing its first product for the $8 billion residential, commercial and industrial solar thermal water market. Expected to launch next year, the product would integrate its thermoelectric material directly into conventional solar hot water collectors, enabling the production of electricity in addition to heat and hot water. This increases each solar water system’s value with minimal cost and accelerates the payback to customers. GMZ Energy also is pursuing waste heat recovery applications for the automotive and industrial process markets.



Interesting. What's the efficiency and capture method? Sounds like an excellent position for entering the $8B residential thermal water market. Can they outperform a Stirling or plain ole steam generator?

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