Clean Energy

ThermoLift lands $2.75M from Topspin, Angels

By GREGORY ZELLER // Stony Brook energy firm ThermoLift has gotten a big VC lift. The company, a resident of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University, announced today that it has closed on a $2.75 million VC round that includes funding from the Topspin Fund, the venture fund of Topspin Partners, and the Long Island Angel Network. The funding will allow ThermoLift – which is looking to redefine the energy…


Cooling team lands $2.5M in DOE help

Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Lab researchers have landed a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop ways to radically reduce the amount of water used to cool heating plants. While the ultimate goal is zero net water dissipation into the atmosphere, getting there will also enable next-generation power plants to operate in deserts or other arid conditions. Such technology would also appease environmentalists who have long…


14 LI communities win microgrid funding

Roughly $8.3 million in state awards were doled out today to support innovative “microgrid” projects across New York State – and for once, Long Island was in the thick of things. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that 83 New York communities would receive approximately $100,000 each through Stage 1 of the NY Prize microgrid competition, part of Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy that is designed to inspire a new generation of community-based power. Among the…


After 300 years of window opening, a way to finally tame steam heat

By GREGORY ZELLER // With a dose of modern engineering, a 300-year-old heating mechanism may prove to be one of the most energy-efficient of the 21st century. Stony Brook-based Bonded Energy Solutions is going back to the future with a high-tech method of controlling steam-heat distribution through single-family homes, apartment buildings and industrial spaces – a potential environmental and economic “game-changer,” according to CEO Jerritt Gluck. While modern structures are built with more efficient, more…


state support for solar

Long Island looks into the eyes of the sun

By GREGORY ZELLER // New York State is lapping the nation in solar-power growth – but Long Island may be hitting its head on solar’s technological ceiling. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that solar power usage in New York increased by more than 300 percent between 2011 and 2014 – twice the U.S. growth rate, according to a press release from the governor’s office. That makes the Empire State “a leader in clean-energy technology,” noted…


A fresh take on getting energy from the sea

By GREGORY ZELLER // On its way to providing cheap, clean electricity for all mankind, Stony Brook startup Brimes Energy is making a quick detour to address another human inconvenience: Earth’s limited freshwater supply. Under the guiding hand of international industrialist Ramuel Maramara, Brimes Energy is working to reinvent the way oceanic energy is harvested, using gyroscopes inside an “artificial jellyfish” to capture the power inherent in undulating waves and crank out electricity. Turns out…


At clean-gen startup ThermoLift, the heat is on

By GREGORY ZELLER // With a new roster of heavy-hitting contributors, an advanced prototype being readied for field tests and significant fundraising in the bank – plus another major investment pending – the folks at clean-gen startup ThermoLift are fired up. The company, a resident of Stony Brook University’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, is certainly thinking big. With its natural gas-powered heat and cooling pump, three-year-old ThermoLift aims to redefine the energy world, making…


A royal nod to renewable energy

Queen Elizabeth has filed for a permit to equip her Balmoral estate in Scotland’s Aberdeenshire with solar panels. The house, built by Queen Victoria for her faithful — some say very faithful — servant John Brown, would be equipped with panels that would generate 1.8 kilowatts per hour on sunny days, which actually don’t come often in Aberdeenshire. The sunniest month is June, which traditionally has 15 days of rain. In winter, days with one…


New refrigerant rules = hot times for Priority Cool

By GREGORY ZELLER // With new refrigeration standards sweeping the globe, a Bay Shore company with proprietary rights to an advanced coolant formula is poised to cash in on a potential $10 trillion industry. Pretty cool, right? Green Way Solutions, dba Priority Cool, has only been manufacturing its patent-pending hydrocarbon blend since January, but it’s already estimating $3 million in 2015 sales – and that’s without tapping the enormous U.S. market. According to company officials,…


It’s Memorial Day, time for a new heating plant

The heat is off at Adelphi University. But that’s OK, it’s summer. By the time the cold weather rolls around again next fall, the heat will be on again – and the university will be saving more than $1.6 million annually in energy costs, while drastically reducing its carbon footprint. After a multiyear search for the right project, at the right price, to replace its aging and inefficient boiler system, the Garden City university has…


BNL magnet

At BNL, the force is with them

Brookhaven National Lab researchers have been kicking the tires on a 40,000-pound superconducting magnet – basically an elephant-sized MRI – that will be used to look at shattered atoms that mirror the earliest conditions of the universe. Kicking the tires? Well, yes, since the magnet is pre-owned, as they say in the car business, once used at Stanford’s linear accelerator program in Menlo Park, Calif. Brookhaven Lab physicists hope to use the magnet to upgrade…


East Hampton wins microgrid funding

East Hampton microgrid plan wins state funding

An East Hampton solar power and energy storage proposal was selected as one of five projects to share $500,000 in initial funding from the state’s community microgrid program, which is designed to create energy backup for local community networks during extreme weather events or emergencies. The NY Prize Microgrid Competition’s first five awards, $100,000 each, will fund feasibility studies at each location. Applications for the second- and third-stage funding, which first stage winners are eligible to…


SulfCrete, Melville startup

SulfCrete readies its breakout pitch

BY GREGORY ZELLER // A rock-solid Brookhaven National Laboratory commercialization prospect is ready for its close-up. SulfCrete, a stronger, more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional concrete, will share the spotlight May 8 with four other regional innovations at the Long Island Capital Alliance’s Technology Transfer Capital Forum, a showcase designed to attract investors to some of the Island’s hottest IP. The result of decades of BNL R&D, SulfCrete is the stage name of sulfur polymer,…


Robert Moses going solar

Happy Earth Week, Robert Moses

A 500-kilowatt solar energy system will turn Robert Moses State Park into the nation’s first energy-neutral state park. As part of New York’s Earth Week observances, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that a new $1.7 million photovoltaic system at the park would generate enough electricity to meet or exceed the park’s annual electricity usage, saving the state roughly $130,000 annually in energy costs and turning Robert Moses State Park’s green fields, well, greener. The governor’s…


Ram Maramara of Brimes Energy

Looking to make a splash

Industrialist Ramuel Maramara may have reinvented the way oceanic energy is harvested. If his artificial jellyfish proves seaworthy. That’s the next big test for Maramara and Brimes Energy, the Stony Brook-based startup he incorporated in 2014. Already a successful businessman on two continents – well, one continent and an archipelago – the Filipino native and his team are planning ocean testing this summer for a “jellyfish” device that improves upon Salter’s Duck, the longstanding top…