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Exergo will use CO2 to heat and cool the cities of the future

Thursday 8 September 2022

Exergo’s thermal network using CO2 as a fluid in the pipes is currently being tested in the basement of the Energypolis campus in Sion. | © Exergo

Exergo, a start-up from the EPFL Valais, has developed a novel and ambitious heat and cold distribution network powered by CO2.

ExerGo provides a compact and efficient energy infrastructure solution that overcomes the limitations of implementing district heating and cooling systems in dense urban areas. Similar to commercial and industrial cooling systems (supermarkets, ice rinks, factories), ExerGo uses CO2 instead of water to distribute thermal energy.

Thanks to the high energy density of CO2, the energy transport infrastructure set up by the EPFL Valais start-up is extremely compact compared to a water-based heating and cooling network of the same capacity.

With its two-pipe thermal network, ExerGo can provide both heat and cold, simultaneously combating summer heat waves and meeting the hot water needs of buildings, as well as providing heating during cold seasons. The CO2 comes from carbon capture technologies and remains locked in the system for the life of the installation, up to 30 years. It can be recovered and reused afterwards.

A pilot project on the Energypolis campus

In collaboration with several research institutes in Switzerland, including EPFL, HES-SO Valais/Wallis in Sion and HEIG-VD in Yverdon-les-Bains, Exergo has just completed its pilot project on the Energypolis campus in Sion (canton of Valais), thanks to a collaboration between industrial and research partners and with the support of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. This project will serve as a showroom for customers and will demonstrate the energy efficiency of the solution.

After obtaining a Tech Seed loan from the FIT in 2020, the start-up has received a new Tech Growth loan in the amount of CHF 500'000. This will allow ExerGo to strengthen its team and reach 15 employees by the end of 2022, but also to invest in the commercialization of its product and its market entry in Switzerland and around the world.

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