RWE Innogy invests into Swedish developer of innovative heat exchangers

Top Quote RWE Innogy acquires within its venture capital activities a stake of about 20 percent in the Swedish company Airec AB. The technology company from Malmö has specialised in the development and production of novel brazed plate heat exchangers for gases. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) March 14, 2011 - These units are superior to existing solutions with regard to their cost, compactness and efficiency. Through the use of the innovative Airec technology efficiency gains are possible alongside with improved cost-effectiveness, for example, in small combined heat and power plants (CHP plants), in biogas upgrading systems or for generating electricity from excess heat. In 2009 Airec has received the „Climate Solver Award“ from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for its products. The WWF grants this award to outstanding innovations with a huge climate protection potential through reduced emissions of CO2.

    Two Swedish investment funds, Industrifonden and TeknoSeed, also participate in the current capital increase of Airec.

    “A growing fraction of the future energy supply will come from decentralised smaller units, drawing on renewable resources. Therefore it is particularly important to advance the technological development in this segment. The heat exchangers developed by Airec can extract and transfer heat much more efficiently than conventional products. Due to their very compact and space-saving design they can be integrated into various types of energy systems. For example the products are ideally suited for the use in small combined heat and power plants as well as for excess heat recovery systems,” explains Crispin Leick, Chief Investment Officer of Innogy Venture Capital GmbH, and continues: ”Our investment in Airec aims to leverage this innovative heat exchanger technology to gain recognition in various application fields, for example for energy generation from renewable sources and in decentralised power plants. Here we see an enormous potential with regard to energy efficiency and CO2 emission reduction”.

    “We are very glad and proud to win RWE Innogy as our new investor. With the capital increase we can speed up our international expansion. Also the experience and the network of RWE Innogy will be a valuable resource for that process “, says Sven Persson, Founder and CEO of Airec AB.

    Plate heat exchangers consist of profiled thin metal plates. These are assembled in a way such that hot and cold media flow alternately through the resulting spaces between the plates. Due to their special asymmetric design Airec heat exchangers have wider flow channels on one side, such that the concept of plate heat exchangers, which is now widely used for liquid heat transfer applications, can be extended for the efficient heating or cooling of gases. Brazed plate heat exchangers are particularly suitable for larger production volumes or for applications in which elevated temperatures do not allow the use of rubber gaskets. Airec heat exchangers are already successfully used for gas cooling in biogas upgrading systems and for the extraction of excess heat from gas engines and gas boilers.

    Innogy Venture Capital GmbH invests in carbon neutral, central and decentralised renewable energy generation and storage technologies in Europe. The aim is to successfully bring innovative technologies in this area to commercial maturity. The investments are realised through Innogy Renewables Technology Fund I GmbH & Co. KG, founded by RWE Innogy who is the sole sponsor and investor. The fund is managed by Innogy Venture Capital GmbH. With the investment into Airec, the portfolio comprises currently nine companies from the areas wind, hydro, biomass, solar and storage technologies.

    Industrifonden invests in small and medium sized companies with international growth potential. Funds under management amount to 300 M€ and investments are made in the areas of Technology, Life Science and Industrial Growth.

    TeknoSeed is the leading early stage venture capital firm in southern Sweden with focus on high growth technology based startups. Since inception in 1997, TeknoSeed has made more than 30 investments in companies within the ICT, Life Science and Industrial Technology sectors.

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