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Google wants to turn your lawn into your air conditioner



  India seeks cost-effective solutions to climate change

Google Spinoff Dandelion is unveiling a cheaper way to keep your home cool. It is your lawn.

Dandelion, born in Google's mysterious and futuristic lab "X", uses energy from the ground to cool and heat your home. It announced its first commercial product on Wednesday: an intelligent heating and air conditioning system called Dandelion Air.

Although heating and cooling systems are not naturally sexy, Dandelion is using an environmentally friendly method to provide homeowners with heating and air conditioning costs reduce.

Related: Apple is now powered entirely with clean energy

Instead of relying on ovens and traditional AC systems, Dandelion Air is a geothermal system that uses the energy of the soil via plastic pipes and a pump in-house. The systems transport heat from the floor to the house in winter and heat from the house to the ground in summer.

Geothermal systems reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help consumers save money on energy costs.

  Dandelion google

The concept has been around for decades, but due to the high price and inability to monitor performance over time, the introduction was relatively slow.

"It's a niche technology that has not yet established itself in this country," said former Dowelion CEO Kathy Hannun to CNNMoney.

Hannun's team from Google's X Division wanted to make geothermal technology more accessible. X is known for his "moonshots" or big ideas that are set to change the world, including the self-driving car company Waymo and the wi-fi balloons "Project Loon".

The team worked on the technology at Google for about two years before becoming their own company. Traditionally, geothermal systems for houses are tailor-made. But Dandelion wanted to automate the manufacturing process and make the system work with every house.

"One thing we were looking for at X was to integrate technology into an industry that did not benefit [from tech]," Hannun said. "I started working on it part-time, about two thirds of the year in [we realized]," There is something here. Let's focus on that. "

The startup claims that Dandelion Air is four times more efficient than furnaces, and almost twice as efficient as conventional air conditioning systems, and it also comes with a Nest learning thermostat and monitoring system to track its performance.

  Dandelion Air Unit
The Dandelion Air System.

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Although it is half the price of other geothermal systems, it is far from cheap – installation costs are around $ 20,000 Dollars, depending on the size of the house. It is expected to save around 20% of the cost of heating and cooling each year, and the startup hopes this will be reason enough for homeowners, geothermal for new or

"Homeowners are accustomed to having no choice on how to heat [their home]," said Hannun, "but we bring that with us: a choice." [19659010] The company attracted investor attention early on – it does not hurt to start with Google. In April, Dandelion said it was funding $ 4.5 million.

Jefferson Tester – a professor of sustainable energy systems at Cornell University – says, despite the initial cost, that geothermal systems are quiet, more efficient, and use less power.

"Maintenance is also very low, which could be attractive to a homeowner," he said. "The cost of geothermal systems varies widely, and a more standardized approach [like Dandelion’s] could be quite attractive."

The Company ran a six-month pilot program in the Hudson Valley and Capital Districts of New York, selling 70 systems in existing homes last year. With the official launch of Dandelion Air, the systems will be available from Wednesday in almost all states in New York.

But geothermal systems may not be suitable for everyone. In states with low electricity costs, a simple air conditioning system can be cheaper. It can also depend on the type of home life someone lives in, according to testers.

"This is not like buying a refrigerator. [Geothermal] has a lot of customs work to do inside the house," Tester said. "All old houses are not equal."

Customers can check if their home is available on the Dandelion website.

CNNMoney (New York) First published May 30, 2018: 6:31 pm ET

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