Solar thermal technology startup Sunnovations Inc. announced that it has closed on a Series A round of financing led by cleantech investment firm Two Seven Ventures of Aspen, Colorado. The company’s patented geyser-pump technology enables solar water heating systems for residential and small commercial applications that are less expensive, easier to install and more reliable than comparable systems. Sunnovations will use the investment to accelerate geographic expansion of its Installer Partner Network, invest in channel support and continue to develop and extend its product roadmap.
Todd Mitchell, President of Two Seven Ventures, said: “We were attracted to the company’s strong intellectual property position, commercial traction to date and the energy and focus of the management team. We look forward to working with Sunnovations to roll out their solar thermal system across the US and internationally.”
Solar water heating is an incredibly underexploited technology in the US despite its potential for significant end-user energy savings and carbon footprint reduction. A home using solar energy to heat its water can save up to 75% on water heating energy costs and mitigate several tons of greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime. US market traction compares unfavorably to elsewhere in the world, including Europe, where an estimated 10 million homes utilize the technology, and China, with over 60 million installed in homes.
Cost, installation complexity and maintenance issues have all played a role in this disparity between the US and international markets. Sunnovations’ technology has removed all of the traditional barriers to solar water heating, offering a system that is significantly less installed cost to the homeowner, simplified and single-day installation and zero ongoing maintenance cost.
“We are incredibly excited about this investment and the growing traction for solar water heating in the US,” stated Sunnovations Chief Executive Officer Matt Carlson, “Two Seven is a perfect fit for us as we continue to build the premier distribution network in the sector with world-class support and products for our Installer Partners and their customers.”
The company’s stated mission is that “solar-powered hot water should be an obvious, affordable alternative for all American homes and businesses.” Since Sunnovations’ commercial launch in June 2010, it has attracted the leading solar hot water installers in its mid-Atlantic launch region. The company is now establishing a distributor network in the northeast US, Colorado and select other states.
Sunnovations’ geyser-pump design removes the need for all electro-mechanical components found in typical solar water heating systems, providing for affordable, simplified and standardized systems while at the same time maintaining performance and freeze protection. The company’s system is available exclusively through leading renewable energy installers.