For the past several years, Lance Brockway, David Walther, and Liam Berryman have been developing and launching a new type of coating into the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) market. Lance earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Texas A&M and worked on various heat transfer projects at NASA JPL, UC Berkeley, and in Singapore. Dave earned his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and was previously a project lead at the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center and VP of R&D at Cobalt Technologies. Liam studied chemical engineering at UC Berkeley and is a Kairos Society Senior Fellow and board member of the ACS California Section.
In 2015, after developing their novel heat transfer coating at UC Berkeley, the team founded Nelumbo. The company soon won the TechConnect National Innovation Award and raised over half a million dollars in private capital. Nelumbo then went on to win the $100,000 Berkeley Cleantech University Prize, the 2016 Western Regional Cleantech Open, the National Cleantech Open Emerging Technology Award, and the Haas School of Business Cleantech to Market best technology and best presentation awards, in addition to reaching the finals of the National Cleantech University Prize. MMore recently, Nelumbo was named a Verge Accelerate Finalist, a Prospect Silicon Valley portfolio company, a Kairos K50 company, and was invited to present at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Industry Growth Forum.
Critical need: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, HVAC-R accounts for over 40% of all energy consumption in buildings.
Technology vision: Our coating can enhance the efficiency of heat exchangers by up to 30 percent, delay frosting onset time by up to 20 percent, and increase the rate of defrosting by rapidly removing condensate from heat transfer surfaces.
Current state-of-the-art: Coatings in HVAC-R systems are currently used to prevent corrosion and increase the longevity of heat exchangers. Nelumbo’s technology is the first coating to improve HVAC efficiency without sacrificing corrosion resistance or longevity performance benefits
Key innovation: Our technology utilizes the droplet ejection heat transfer mechanism to create “operationally dry” surfaces. This reduces the negative impact of condensation on HVAC-R heat transfer elements, drastically improving overall system performance.
First market hypothesis: We are deploying our technology into critical HVAC-R applications such as supermarkets, data centers, and cold storage.
Potential for impact: The ability to improve energy performance and prevent corrosion in a single platform unlocks mass market opportunity, with potential for significant carbon emission and energy use reductions worldwide.
We're looking for:
- Technical collaborators
- Joint development partners
- Team members - business
Lance Brockway (lance [at] nelumbo [dot] io), Dave Walther (dave [at] nelumbo [dot] io), Liam Berryman (liam [at] nelumbo [dot] io)