New Ventures BC 2009 Finalist Etalim received some great coverage last week in MIT’s Technology Review.
In an article titled An Engine that Harnesses Sound Waves, Tyler Hamilton tells the story of the Vancouver startup that has developed a new type of engine that could generate electricity with the efficiency of a fuel cell, but which costs only about as much as an internal combustion engine.
Etalim, based in Vancouver, Canada, says its engine, roughly the size of a basketball, could improve the economics of electricity production for the cogeneration of power and heat in homes, and as a way to harness the heat produced at concentrating solar collectors. The company has created a prototype, but has yet to achieve the kind of efficiencies—in excess of 40 percent—that its computer models indicate are within reach.
The device shares some principles of a Stirling engine, in which an external heat source is used to expand a fixed amount of working gas (usually helium), which then contracts when it is pushed into a cooler space. This expansion-contraction cycle repeats itself, turning heat into mechanical work by driving a piston.
Etalim was founded and incorporated in March 2006. Former Creo CEO Amos Michelson is Etalim’s Chairman and experienced tech entrepreneur Ron Klopfer was CEO in June 2009.
Speaking of Etalim, they picked up the Best Early Stage Cleantech award at last year’s Canadian Financing Forum. The 2011 version of the event takes place this Thursday at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.