Infinite Cooling captured the Robert P. Goldberg $100,000 grand prize at the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition’s Launch Finale last week, presenting its patent-pending technology that enables water-sustainable thermoelectric power. The technology could have a significant economic and environmental impact across the globe, bringing its efficiency to the 7,000 power plants in the U.S. alone.
Power plants today are one of the top consumers of water in America, using about 161 billion gallons of freshwater every day. Current technology uses evaporative cooling, where a portion of the water is evaporated to cool the remaining water. Infinite Cooling’s technology uses electrical fields to recapture 80% of water now being lost during this process, recycling it back into the cooling system. This would effectively decrease water usage by approximately 30%, generating millions of dollars of cost savings.
The co-founders of the company, Maher Damak and Karim Khali, are both PhD candidates at the Varanasi Research Group in MIT’s Mechanical Engineering department. This is not their first award or recognition, with Forbes magazine naming them as creative disruptors in the energy field on 2017’s 30 Under 30 list.
Launching ideas and companies like this since 1990, the MIT $10k Entrepreneurship Competition actually has three independent contests for Pitching, Accelerating, and Launching companies. Every semi-finalist receives mentorship to help their idea come to fruition, along with other resources that accelerate new ventures with winning ideas.
Other winners at this year’s Launch competition included Iterative Scopes receiving the $10,000 Booz Allen Hamilton Data Analytics Prize, and Zilper Trenchless receiving the $10,000 Audience Choice Award for their redesign of trenchless pipe installations that reduce install time, environmental impact, and costs.