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ExerGo receives a FIT Tech Growth loan of CHF 500,000 to deploy its compact district heating and cooling network solution in Switzerland and Europe  

Leading towards the energy transition in Europe, ExerGo provides a compact and efficient district heating and cooling solution that delivers clean energy services to buildings in dense areas. The Tech Growth loan from the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) will help the cleantech company to set up its Vaud-based business development and sales team. 

The building heating and cooling sector in the EU is responsible for more than 30% of EU total carbon emissions.  The rising pressure to decrease energy dependence on oil and gas is increasingly pushing Swiss and European cities to look for innovative decarbonization solutions. District heating and cooling networks are recognized as the best available technology to achieve this goal. Currently more than 16’000 networks are already planned in European cities and will be built before 2030. Germany, a leading nation in the energy transition, has just approved a plan for the development of new districts including a 3 billion euro scheme to support district heating and cooling systems running on at least 75% of renewable energy and waste heat. One of the major challenges to the cost-effective implementation of these systems lies in the limited space available to deploy the district energy infrastructure.  

ExerGo brings to the market a compact and efficient energy infrastructure solution that allows to overcome the limitations of implementing district heating and cooling networks in dense urban areas. Just like in commercial and industrial cooling systems (supermarkets, ice-rinks, manufacturing), ExerGo relies on using CO₂ instead of water to distribute thermal energy. Thanks to the high thermal energy content of CO₂, ExerGo’s piping infrastructure is extremely compact with respect to a water-based heating and cooling networks with the same capacity. With its two-pipe thermal network, ExerGo can supply both heating and cooling energy, therefore allowing to simultaneously fight summer heat waves and ensure hot water needs of buildings, as well as provide heating during the cold seasons. The CO₂ is sourced from carbon capture technologies, remaining sealed in the system for the entire life of the installation, or up to 30 years. It can be recovered and reused afterwards. 

As a Swiss cleantech start-up, ExerGo works in collaboration with multiple research institutes in Switzerland, such as EPFL, HES-SO Sion and HEIG-VD in Yverdon-les-Bains. The start-up has just completed its pilot plant in Sion, 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 to demonstrate the energy efficiency of the solution. 

ExerGo is now aiming to replicate projects with early customers in commercial environments and to prepare for large-scale deployment.  

ExerGo’s solution combines market-available equipment, with a product deployment that fits existing industrial standards and benefits from existing supply chains, which is an important advantage for the market entry in view of the company’s internationalization phase. The system is compatible with both heating dominated or cooling dominated networks, attracting customers from various countries around the world. 

After obtaining a FIT Tech Seed loan in 2020, the new FIT Tech Growth loan of CHF 500’000 completes a fundraising round from corporate and private investors. This will allow to grow its team to 15 employees by the end of 2022 and to invest for the product industrialization as well as the market entry in Switzerland and globally. It will also serve to drive innovation and work on the improvement and extension of the product functionalities that have already been identified. 

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