Troy and Green Island businesses receive awards to support energy-efficient technologies
Troy-based ThermoAura Inc. was awarded $393,000 to aide commercialization of their heat-to-electricity technology and Green Island-based Ecovative Design, which was awarded $350,000 to improve the energy efficiency of the manufacturing processes used to produce their product, a packaging foam synthesized from farm by-products.
“The State understands that the manufacturing sector plays a critical role in the economy, and with the incentives provided today, it is assisting these cleantech companies to remain competitive by manufacturing products in a more energy efficient way,” said the resident and CEO of NYSERDA, Francis J. Murray Jr.,, in a statement. . “Governor Cuomo has stressed the importance of innovation and technology in growing the State’s economy, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the Capital Region. These three companies are examples of how investments in clean-energy technology and manufacturing can provide benefits to all New Yorkers.”
ThermoAura is a start-up formed in 2011 by Rutvik Mehta and several professors from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. They built a solid-state thermoelectric material that creates electricity from heat in a process more efficient than comparable products currently on the market and are poised to partner with Ceralink Inc. of Troy in order to scale up production to a commercial level.
When commercialized, the technology could be used in medical devices, compact refrigerators, and for power generation from low-temperature (less than 100 degrees Celsius) industrial or vehicle exhaust waste heat. Paralleling their growth expectations, the company expects to add 10 new jobs in the next three to five years.
|Eben Bayer, CEO |
of Ecovative Design, LLC
(Mike McMahon/The Record)
Currently, the company pumps a mixture of materials into a plastic mold, which hardens in three to five days. With a new technique, the company would create a "suspension material" that would bond in seconds. This could reduce expenses, increase productivity and lessen the amount of energy needed to create the form.
The company employs 70 full- and part-time employees and works out of a 50,000 square-foot office and manufacturing plant along Cohoes Ave. in Green Island.