French startup uses Hi-Fi speakers to develop eco-friendly heat pumps
Author: Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
Founded in 2017 and having raised €5 million, French deeptech startup Equium is seeking to provide a more ecological alternative. With this aim, it has developed a novel, acoustic heat pump core that harnesses the energy of sound. Amidst the climate and energy crisis, heat pumps have emerged on the housing heating market as a technology that can replace gas and oil, while lowering the energy bills. Yet, their air compression systems require refrigerants to work. These refrigerants, also known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are amongst the most potent greenhouse gasses. According to Equium, the heat pump isn’t just greenhouse gas-free, but also made from 100% recyclable materials, boasting overall a very low carbon footprint. At the same time, the machine’s ecological mode of operation is claimed to provide the same efficiency of a conventional heat pump, while increasing energy savings and overall cost. As per the startup’s founder, Cédric François, for an equivalent cost and size, the AHP’s advantage translates to a 50% lower CO2 impact and a 20% lower energy consumption. To date, the young French startup has only one competitor in this brand new market: Netherlands-based BlueHeart Energy. But hopefully, more companies will start tapping into the capabilities of thermoacoustics to revolutionize heat pump technology.