Phoebus Energy, founded in 2007 with $2 million in seed funding from Terra Venture Partners, has developed a hybrid heat pump system that integrates with existing oil-based systems to make them more efficient. Newly appointed CEO Yaron Tal told The Jerusalem Post says that Phoebus Energy's system saves between 50 and 70 percent of oil and reduces pollution by 80 to 90% compared to a traditional heat pump system.
"The Phoebus system is based on a complex algorithm that we developed which governs when to use the oil-based system and when to use the heat pump. It constantly monitors many parameters to decide which way is most efficient to generate heat," Tal said.
"The system measures such parameters as the temperature outside, the temperature of the water, and the price of the oil. Several of the parameters change a number of times throughout the day," he continued.
Phoebus Energy has already installed its system in eight locations in Israel, from kibbutzim to community centers to hotels, according to The Jerusalem Post. Phoebus Energy's solution targets medium and large water heating systems, such as those found in hospitals, hotels, factories and large apartment buildings. The company is also already in negotiations with potential clients abroad, Tal told the Post.
Heat pumps had been around for a long time as a means to heat water, Tal said. Phoebus Energy heat pumps take an ecologically safe version of freon to transfer energy to water. The freon flows at high pressure at a temperature of 5º Celsius. Air is then pushed into the freon, which heats the freon. At 12º, the freon turns from a liquid into a gas. The gas is then mixed with the water, which heats the water, Tal said. The company managed to get the pumps to heat water to 55-60º Celsius, as opposed to other models that only reached 30-40º, he said.
The use of heat pumps cut oil use tremendously, thus reducing costs and pollution, he said.
Shalom Turgeman, who runs the Gilo community center, said in a statement, "The expected savings run into the hundreds of thousands of shekels, but the real point is that we are taking a step for a greener Earth and fighting the air pollution in the Gilo neighborhood."
Until now, the community center, one of the largest in the country, burned more than 100,000 liters of oil per year to heat the swimming pool, water for the showers and bathrooms, and the gym.
Yaron Tal, previously the President & CEO of TopSpin Medical, was appointed CEO of Phoebus Energy earlier this month. Yoav Ben Yaacov, the Founder and former CEO of Phoebus Energy, is now the company's VP Marketing & Sales.
It was reported last month that Phoebus Energy recently completed a financing round of $1 million from Galilaea Fund.