Start-up: Harvesting energy, recovering heat

Giving something back via Climate-KIC’s education programme is part of the deal for Peter Stein of greenTEG, winner of the global 2012 Venture Competition for start-ups.

‘I like Climate-KIC because it makes a difference,’ says Peter Stein, sales & marketing officer at innovation startup greenTEG. ‘But the real emotional benefit for me lies in sharing or passing on knowledge through the organisation’s education activities.’

Peter first met Climate-KIC on a green venture and business ideas programme hosted by Climate-KIC in Switzerland, later signing up for the summer school, to which he now contributes as teacher. In 2009 he launched greenTEG with colleagues to design, manufacture and market solutions for increased energy efficiency.

Based on a novel manufacturing process developed at Climate-KIC partner ETH Zurich, the current product portfolio includes customisable heat flux sensors, with thermoelectric generators for energy harvesting and waste heat recovery due to come on stream in 2014. ‘Our sensors optimise buildings so they lose less energy,’ explains Peter.

‘You can stick one on a window and see how much is lost per window per day. The next step is to generate energy from wasted heat.’

GreenTEG was winner of Climate-KIC’s 2012 Venture Competition, celebrated at the Innovation Festival in Bologna. How did the start-up beat off the competition? ‘It’s about the potential of our technology,’ says Peter. ‘It can be deployed in lots of situations that have a climate impact.’

Next year the company brings its groundbreaking energy harvester to market. The device turns heat or temperature into electricity in a smart, remote, autonomous way.

‘Wireless controllers exist,’ says Peter, ‘but they use batteries that need to be replaced. Our technology introduces a harvester into the product, generating the electricity to meet its needs by itself.’