HAYWARD, Calif.: Alphabet Energy Inc., innovator of thermoelectric products for waste-heat recovery, has secured $2 million in debt financing from Hercules Technology Growth Capital. The investment, which follows last quarter’s $12 million Series A equity financing led by TPG Biotech, provides Alphabet Energy with the means to accelerate its plans to acquire capital equipment as the company continues the build-out of its new Hayward facility in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“We’re pleased to announce that Alphabet is accelerating its development and manufacturing efforts,” said Matt Scullin, Alphabet’s CEO and founder. “There is huge potential for waste-heat to generate very low-cost power in a wide variety of applications and industries. Alphabet is focused on developing scalable and cost-effective technology that will provide an affordable and plentiful source of renewable energy.”
“We are pleased to be a key partner and additional source of capital for Alphabet Energy,” said Todd Jaquez-Fissori, managing director and head of the Cleantech Group at Hercules Technology Growth Capital. “The market for thermoelectric waste-heat recovery solutions is potentially very large and is an area of interest for Hercules.”
Alphabet Energy’s first product, currently in prototyping, is a simple, turnkey solution for the generation of electricity from wasted heat. Alphabet’s goal is to become the leader in the potential $100 billion global market for products that convert medium- to high-grade waste heat into electricity — part of an existing $75 billion annual market for energy efficiency and a $6 billion annual market for industrial equipment. In the near term, the company is planning to deliver electricity generators that utilize waste heat from exhaust gasses, with products targeting other waste-heat sources, portable and auxiliary power, and, beyond that, solar.
Alphabet’s fabless semiconductor approach to thermoelectrics
Thermoelectric materials are semiconductors that, when placed in a temperature gradient, generate electricity in the solid state. A distinguishing characteristic of Alphabet Energy’s approach to waste-heat recovery is its use of silicon as its thermoelectric heat-to-power technology. Alphabet’s efficient silicon-based technology leverages established and readily available silicon infrastructure and expertise; Alphabet is the leader in this approach. Tapping into existing know-how and capacity in the semiconductor and MEMS industry enables the company to iterate quickly through prototype phases and achieve scale faster by operating as a “fabless” semiconductor manufacturer and lean startup. Alphabet’s breakthrough thermoelectrics can be used to turn heat directly into electricity in applications ranging from power generation, to heavy industry, automotive, aerospace, and military.
About Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc.
Hercules Technology Growth Capital (NASDAQ: HTGC) is a leader in customized strategic financing solutions for entrepreneurial venture-backed companies in technology-related markets that include cleantech, life sciences and high technology. The company has committed more than $2.7 billion to over 190 companies and is the partner of choice for entrepreneurs, venture capital and private equity firms seeking ideal, customized growth capital financing at all stages of a company’s development to accelerate business growth and reach the next critical milestone.
About Alphabet Energy Inc.
Alphabet Energy is commercializing breakthrough, inexpensive waste-heat recovery products. Alphabet aims to offer the most modular and scalable heat-recovery technology available, and to tap into the potential $100 billion market for the conversion of medium- and high-grade waste heat into electricity — offsetting as many as 500 million metric tons of carbon per year. Alphabet Energy won four awards at the 2009 Cleantech Open business competition: runner-up, National Prize; winner, National People’s Choice Award; winner, California region Energy-Efficiency Prize; winner, California region Sustainability Prize. For more information, see www.alphabetenergy.com and @alphabetenergy on Twitter.