Charging Up the Grid with MicroEra Power


MicroEra Power Inc. is a Rochester-based startup that is developing THERMAplus, an innovative thermal energy storage system. For the electric grid, Thermal Energy Storage enables the transition to a renewable-intensive grid by reducing on-peak electric demand. THERMAplus stores off-peak energy to provide commercial buildings with low-cost, low-carbon heating and cooling, saving up to 50% on a building’s energy cooling costs.

"The FuzeHub grant supported our evaluation of the thermal energy storage field. Funding came at a timely moment to accelerate early prototyping of THERMAplus."
Ellie Rusling

The Challenge

Co-founders Ellie Rusling (CEO) & James Grieve (CTO) and the team needed funding to evaluate phase change materials that MicroEra Power, Inc. could use in its thermal energy storage technologies.

The Solution

MicroEra Power entered the 2018 FuzeHub Commercialization Competition and received $50,000. FuzeHub funding supported evaluation of phase change materials to identify those with potential for high efficiency and targeted bandwidth to both heat and cool commercial buildings. A lab-scale prototype was built and provided successful demonstration.

Outcomes / The Impact

Rusling indicated the FuzeHub prize was valuable funding to evaluate phase change materials and to model the value THERMAplus can bring to the marketplace for both cooling and heating. From this project, MicroEra Power pivoted to focus on thermal energy storage as its first-to-market product which can produce value via retrofit with existing traditional air conditioner chillers, or in new builds with an array of technologies, including combined heat and power (CHP), heat pumps, thermal hybrid solar collectors (PVt), or geo-thermal systems. The company is raising seed money to grow the business and technical teams and to field a full-scale pilot this year.

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