The moonshot factory formerly known as Google [X] revealed one of its secret projects today — Dandelion, a maker of geothermal systems for home use. The company "graduated" from X to operate as a standalone venture as of today.
Dandelion co-founder and CEO Kathy Hannun told CNBC that her start-up has raised $2 million in seed funding in a round led by Collaborative Fund, and joined by ZhenFund and Borealis Ventures. Alphabet, credited with starting the company, also holds equity in Dandelion.
Hannun explained how the company's systems work:
"Geothermal systems like ours let you pump heat out of your house, into the ground. This takes advantage of the fact that the ground is always around fifty to fifty-five degrees. So you don't have to pump heat against its natural gradient, like you do if you're running a conventional air conditioner on a hot day, blowing hot air out of the house into a very hot atmosphere, outside."
The main innovation she and her co-founder James Quazi developed concerns the installation of geothermal systems, she said. "The hardest part of installing a geothermal system used to be getting these things called the 'loops' into the ground. Until today people used tools like they would use to dig a well, general excavation tools to do this. We developed a much more efficient means of installation, which makes the whole thing relatively inexpensive."