Cowa boostes renewables by increasing the storage capacity of water-based thermal accumulators.
Could you explain what your startup does in a few sentences?
Cowa is developing compact thermal energy storages for buildings. Thanks to our product, photovoltaic driven heating systems can become more self-sufficient and efficient. Our technology is really simple: We develop capsules filled with a high energy density material. The capsules are stacked into conventional water storages of heating systems and boost their capacity up to a factor four.
What is something you wish you knew when you started putting together your business?
We started as researchers at the University of Applied Science and Arts Lucerne and had zero experience in building a start-up. We had to learn everything from scratch which was super exciting but also challenging and a little time-consuming. Hence, our advice to all new startups is: Use the great ecosystem we have in Switzerland to learn fast.
What plans do you have for your startup in the next several months?
In the next months, we will produce and install our first pilots in real buildings. In parallel, we will further optimize our product and complete the industrialization to achieve the market launch as soon as possible.
What role do you see your startup playing in the industry within the next 5 years?
Cowa will become a leading company when it comes to compact thermal energy storage to boost renewables in building. It is our vision to have a total installed storage capacity of 500MWh in 2026, which is equivalent to a typical pumped storage hydro plant.
What is the biggest challenge you expect to be facing with your startup?
A key challenge will be industrialization. Our product will need to be manufactured with outstanding quality while the production costs have the be kept adequate. Building up a network of strong suppliers, managing our unique IP, and keeping an eye on the costs of goods will be some of the main challenges in the coming years.