The invention of a technology that converts variations in humidity into energy for heating and air conditioning

Heating and air conditioning are among the sectors that consume the most energy in the world. Around 65% of the energy in buildings is allocated to it, whereas the latter corresponds to 30% of global energy consumption. In addition, the price of energy has not stopped rising in recent years. A new startup of Israeli origin called ThermoTerra has invented a technology that could solve the problems of energy costs for heating and air conditioning. A technology that uses fluctuations in humidity to heat and cool buildings. ThermoTerra believes their technology can cut energy costs in half.

The principle of ThermoTerra technology

ThermoTerra’s innovation is a temperature control system that utilizes the energy from humidity fluctuations. According to the explanations from the company’s founder and CEO, Dr. ZchoriThere is transfer of a large amount of energy when water vapor in the air is absorbed by an absorbent material. When water is absorbed or condensed on a material, heat is produced. Conversely, when it evaporates, there is cooling. In the ThermoTerra system, warm air is stored inside the building’s wall insulation when it is warm. Insulation can be made of hemp concrete, silica gel or wood wool, all of which are known to absorb moisture well. As the air evaporates, energy is absorbed, cooling the house. When temperatures are low, cold, moist air is supplied and its absorption warms the air and the house.

Technology can be implemented in countless forms. Image credit: ThermoTerra

How the invention works

Sensors built into the walls monitor the operation of the system. Intelligent algorithms automatically adjust the temperature of the released air. Algorithms can also act based on external weather forecasts. According to Zchori, the system can store water in advance when the weather forecast indicates that temperatures will drop, even if it is very hot at “time t”. The structures to circulate the air are integrated into new walls or added walls in existing buildings. These structures add a few centimeters to the thickness of the walls, but they have a significant impact both economically and environmentally. Integrating the invention into buildings would potentially cut heating and cooling costs in half or even zero.

The constitution of ThermoTerra technology

The invention of Zchori consists of three different elements. First the storage tank and a special absorption material. It is integrated inside the wall with air ducts capable of handling maximum air flow. Then there is the system with fans, ducts and dampers. The last component is ActiveMemBrain, which has several IoT smart sensors, a controller, algorithms and cloud computing. For a private house of 100 m², according to Zchori, it would take approx $3,400 to use the humidity fluctuating heating and cooling system. The service also includes the detection of smoke and gas leaks.

The invention of a method to convert variations in air humidity into energy.
The invention of a method to convert variations in air humidity into energy. Illustrative photo not contractual. Credit: Shutterstock

Filtration and monitoring of indoor air pollution are also offered. As for the construction of the insulation, the company is currently looking for partners to undertake this part of the project. For the future, Zchori hopes to adapt its ThermoTerra technology to cool cars. In any case, heating and cooling are fundamental for a large number of people, and the system developed by ThermoTerra can contribute to creating homes and possibly also cars, self-cooling and self-heating. More information: thermoterra.com

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