Airwatergreen, the Uppsala startup founded in 2009, is a pioneer in the field of humidity control. The technology converts moist from air into water by using heat instead of electricity. Why is this special? Well, according to SP Techincal Institute of Sweden this approach can lower the energy costs by more than 50 % compared to traditional ways of doing it. And yesterday, Vinnova announced additional funding from the Forska & Väx-programme.
A lot of good things happening right now, it seems. So I decided to have a quick chat with Jonas Wamstad, CEO at Airwatergreen.
How would you explain your technology?
We solve an old problem in a new way by 1) using heat instead of cold and 2) a two-phase process instead of a one-phase process. The two-phase process allows you to focus the invested energy on more adsorbed water, giving a better energy/water quota. The usage of heat gives a range of new unique opportunities, e.g. the ability to condense water in freezing temperature. In addition, heat is often cheaper than cold.
We solve an old problem in a new way
When you started, you had a vision about bringing affordable water production to developing countries. What strategic decisions have you made since then?
We have redirected focus toward humidity treatment, reason being that the water-from-air market was not sufficiently developed and we lacked the adequate resources to open it. The humidity treatment market however was already open/ready and geographically closer to us, making it easier to reach it.
You recently launched your first product, how has the reception been so far?
Magnificent. It seems there’s a great surge for new energy efficient products in the indoor climate control area.
It seems there’s a great surge for new energy efficient products in the indoor climate control area.
How big is the market potential for this product category?
The humidity treatment market is global, present in all countries. We expect this particular product to have the highest attraction in temperate climate countries, e.g. North Europe and North America. We estimate market value at about 3-5 billion SEK per annum.
What are the goals for 2014?
To establish the product on the Swedish market, break down market barriers and reach break-even. We also have a set of very interesting development projects in the pipeline for 2014 for which we have just secured significant government funds. These projects aim to adapt our technology to entirely new markets that earlier were not available to humidity treatment companies.