A Year of Growth
No two days are the same lately, let alone three seasons, and wow, what a few seasons it has been!
From the beginning, I’ve had every confidence that the team at Dimensional Energy could pull off this staggering feat of ingenuity and supply the world with drop-in replacements for fossil fuels. Even so, to see the work of our team bloom into a fully-fledged, product-producing installation in the space of just a few years is no less impressive.
I am indebted to the team for their persistence, and to you, for believing in them as much as I do. I hope this update both excites and illuminates. Thanks for sticking with us.
Live long and prosper,
Funding the Fuels of the future
A wave of successful fundraising efforts has us poised to take on our next phase of development.
Upcoming Growth from our Seed Round
In July, we wrapped up a first close of a seed round of funding, securing the resources needed to expand our solar fuels platform.
Up to now our technical focus has been on the development of a few key pieces of our total array of systems at proof-of-concept-scale:
- Our solar tracker/concentrator—which delivers heat to our reactor
- The reactor itself—where CO2 and hydrogen are converted to syngas
- Our gas skid—which controls both the flow of the feedstock gasses into the reactor and that of the syngas which it produces.
With these new funds we’ll integrate an additional three elements:
(1) a Fischer Tropsch skid—the gas-to-liquids portion of our fuel production, allowing commercially viable aviation fuel to be produced on site; (2) an electrolyzer—the water splitting technology which supplies us with a sustainable source of hydrogen; and (3) a bulk CO2 container—with carbon dioxide sourced from our soon-to-be-announced carbon capture partner.
More on the latest on our tech below, after a few other exciting updates.
At the end of July, we received news of our acceptance into Cohort X of Elemental Excelerator, one of the most prestigious cleantech incubators in the world. The season-long application process was rigorous, with three rounds of interviews and two rounds of longform due-diligence writing.
In the end, we were selected alongside 18 other companies from a pool of 600! The value-add for our involvement was immediate: from the moment we submitted our application, members of the organization offered to introduce us to their partners.
And more benefits await—EEx provides world-class stress testing of our value proposition, the chance to interface with other ingenious members of the cohort, as well as a healthy cash component ($300,000) to which we are using to invest in our marketing efforts and human resources.
DOE SETO Grant
As a part of a forty million dollar funding effort by the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, we’ve been awarded $2.7 million to produce “disruptive solutions that will enable a decarbonized electricity system by 2035 and a 100% clean energy economy with net-zero emissions by 2050.”
This will support work to be done in collaboration with Heliogen and Oakridge National Labs through which we will scale our existing solar reactor to a reactor / receiver capable of accepting 150 kW of direct concentrated solar (we’re currently at 1.7kW).
Broadening our Communication Efforts
Bolstering the Work of our Internal Marketing Team
For the last two years, our in-house staff (comprised of Aaron Breetwor, our Marketing Director, and Matt Lowe, our lead Designer who’s been with us since almost the very beginning), have worked to keep up with the shape-shifting nature of Dimensional Energy, its technology, value proposition, team and timelines. As we’ve all gotten a clearer picture of the path to carbon neutral aviation and other difficult-to-decarbonize industries, they’ve helped us to refine our language and craft visual representations of our solution set, which render them legible to the general public. Among other things, this has involved rebuilding our entire website three times over. Huge thanks to them for their patience with the frenetic nature of a clean tech startup.
With the momentum provided to our technology by our Seed Round, and the added resources from the Elemental Excelerator, we are able to expand their department’s budget, allowing for a partnership with a creative agency named Zeus Jones, a Minneapolis-based B-Corp with a diverse staff and portfolio saturated with B2B and B2C projects focused on justice. Together they'll develop Dimensional Energy’s brand to be one which can stand confidently alongside those of fossil fuel companies of the past, with industry-leading guiding principles of transparency, climate justice, and a commitment to building a future in which we all can thrive. I’m beyond excited to spend the next two months building the foundations for the brand we want to be in a hundred years.
Integrating Voices of the Climate Justice Movement
As a part of this process we are also looking outside DE to assemble a diverse advisory council that can help support out development with equitable human focus, alongside all the amazing technology we’re developing. If you know anyone in climate justice or broader diversity equity and inclusion thought leadership spaces, please do reach out with your suggestions.
Applied Science in Arizona
And now, for all those interested, here are the latest developments on the technology front.
On the ground in Arizona, our site plan is being developed by a global EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) firm named Black and Veatch, allowing us to increase our power supply to over one megawatt, up from our current maximum draw of about 200 kilowatts. This enables the integration of the technologies listed above, whose total demand on the system is about half a megawatt. The second half will remain available for even further expansion.
We’ve just purchased two round, 16 square meter parabolic dishes, which will be used to develop designs of our solar receivers. Our goal is to figure out how to most efficiently direct light with a heliostat (sunlight tracking and focusing device) and transfer the focused heat to our reactors. As our technology scales, these mirrors will come along for the ride, working all the way up to a ten kilowatt reactor.
Our current installation increases outputs by 3-4x from the demonstration we launched last fall in Gillette Wyoming, from about five tons of CO2 per year to twenty tons. We’ll be running this for six months and then scale an additional 5-10x with the introduction of our E reactor.
The E (electronic) reactor is a container-type building with ultra high temperature furnaces inside. These furnaces will speed up R&D in two ways. First, by running on electricity, as opposed to solar heat, we open up to the possibility of operating future reactors with other renewable energies, like inexpensive hydro-electric from Canada. This would allow for 24/7 fuel production (a huge deal in itself) and the possibility of implementing our tech around the world, even in areas with limited sunlight. The E reactor will also enable higher temperature testing while our heliostat technology is still in development. These increased temperatures will increase CO2 conversion efficiency to upwards of 70% by the end of 2022.
Our next stage of reactor designs, currently in development, will further bolster these already impressive conversion rates with novel materials, production methods and proprietary designs.
Groups of these new reactors will work in concert as a part of a 100MW system, with the capacity to produce five to ten thousand barrels of fuel per day—a truly commercial unit.
Oddly enough, all this development has been accelerated by COVID-era supply chain slowdowns, because our designs are outpacing the speed of equipment deliveries, encouraging us to make greater leaps between iterations. That said, our original plan to be operating a fully integrated system by Q4 of this year has been pushed to Q1 of 2022.
Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you would like any further clarification of any aspect of the technology. I know it’s a lot to hang onto and we want to be sure we’re describing each element as plainly as possible, for the benefit of all stakeholders. If something is confusing, tell me—chances are someone else is scratching their head too.
Dimensional Energy in the Media
It's no surprise that all our activity has led to a groundswell of media attention. Check out these particularly exciting pieces:
This video from Freethink Media is the clearest description of our tech to date. Give it a watch, and please share to let others know why we must, and how we can, achieve climate justice.
Fast Company profiled Dimensional Energy to help shed light on the need for paradigm-shifting fuels. This is one of our first features from a major magazine.
The Honolulu-based Civil Beat considers how Dimensional Energy could green air travel and help balance Hawaii’s existing commitments to shift to entirely renewable energy by 2045.
With the recent influx of new resources, we are able to expand our team to satisfy the ever-broadening sets of expertise required to integrate all aspects of our platform.
If you know anyone who would excel in the positions listed below, please do not hesitate to refer them to us.
Reactor Design Engineer
Senior Process Engineer
Senior Fischer Tropsch Engineer
That’s all folks.
For further information on any of the above, please reach out.
Until next time, be well.