Speeding innovation for industry
Success | Technical and economic aspects of energy | Non-destructive testing
With its state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials, Hotblock Onboard transforms heat into electricity and detects heat loss in buildings and industrial processes.
Founded in Grenoble in 2012, Hotblock Onboard uses silicon-based alloys, developed by the CEA and protected by 30 patents, to innovate energy recovery and heat flow technologies. Two to three times less expensive than competing materials, Hotblock Onboard’s materials can operate at higher temperatures (up to 500°C, compared with 300°C) and contain neither hazardous substances nor rare earth metals.
The startup has harnessed its knowledge of systems integration and signal processing to develop two products. In the first, thermoelectric generators are combined with exhaust systems to utilize waste heat energy for transportation and industry. In the second, miniature heat flow sensors contribute to the smart control of thermal systems and help lower the energy consumption of buildings and industrial processes.
As part of an R&D partnership agreement, Hotblock Onboard benefits from Liten’s support in a number of areas: R&D, technology transfer, and the production of thermoelectric materials. They are also housed by the institution. Prototypes of the technology are currently being tested by several companies.
Resources and skills
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.