How energy startups can make the world a better place

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing. While countries negotiate measures to reduce CO2 emissions through regulatory means, many companies are developing technologies that not only address environmental concerns but also save money and enhance user experience.

Vlad Batkhin, the founder of an energy startup, sheds light on these challenges.

The journey

Vlad Batkhin is the Founder and CEO of Voltcore – a material science and energy startup. With a family background in science and degrees in physics and mathematics, he brings over 15 years of experience in business development, advanced technology, R&D, and capital project execution within the chemical industry. His expertise in GreenTech, sustainability research, and investment projects uniquely equips him to lead Voltcore’s mission to revolutionise heating and make it as environmentally friendly as possible.

Voltcore's mission is to decarbonise heating through innovative material science, with the company's core invention: a conductive polymer filament that offers a significantly cheaper, safer, and more energy-efficient alternative to traditional heating solutions.

What is the importance of energy startups in today's challenges and opportunities?

Let’s talk about climatetech and energytech. There are currently three main directions: new low-carbon energy generation (wind, solar, fusion), grid and storage development to support new generation and optimise distribution (improving the electricity grid and figuring out how to store clean energy), and the optimisation and decarbonisation of applications (methods and areas of application, such as switching from gasoline-powered cars to EVs).

Startups are important in this field as they help to quickly test new technologies across the entire energy value chain, providing customers and corporations with new scalable solutions for implementation. Large companies are less flexible in the development and adoption of new technologies, so startups can play a crucial role. A good example is the EV market, where companies like Tesla and BYD now lead the competition.

While new energy generation has already made significant strides towards low carbon emissions, applications have untapped potential to introduce new energy-efficient solutions to the market. This is where Voltcore aims to make an impact, driving energy savings and cutting CO2 emissions in the heating industry, which is responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions.

How does the conductive filament function?

Conductive filaments can be pre-programmed during production to maintain a specific temperature. Once manufactured and tested, polymer heating wires are integrated into heating surfaces such as textiles or laminates, which can be easily incorporated into any system. This power source can be a standard electrical outlet or a low-voltage source, like power banks, as polymer wires can utilise different voltage sources.

Is it possible to customise the products?

Voltcore’s polymer wires allow us to craft products in any shape or with any element to meet the client’s requirements. This translates to a wide range of customisation possibilities to suit their needs. As a startup, we are limited in resources and dedicated to our main market niche, so sometimes, we miss out on some opportunities that require additional customisation. We are fully open to collaboration and would be happy to share our knowledge with companies that wish to implement and benefit from our product.

What are the critical properties of the material?

Our material combines several critical properties that make it a superior choice. Foremost is its ultimate energy efficiency. By utilising directional heating and allowing the material to be placed close to objects, our nanofilament minimises energy losses and ensures effective energy use, reducing overall consumption.

The nanofilament emits heat in the infrared spectrum, which is natural and safe, creating a more comfortable and healthier environment without overheating or overdrying the air.

Our polymer-based nanofilament is designed for easy recyclability at the end of its lifecycle, allowing for collection and recycling.

Despite its advanced features, our solution is affordable and safe (technology automatically cuts off the current in emergencies, preventing potential inflammation hazards and ensuring reliable operation).

Are there any analogues to your product on the global market?

While there are older generations of heating materials on the global market, such as liquid-based systems and metallic cables, they have significant drawbacks. These traditional systems often suffer from poor energy efficiency, with up to 80% of energy being lost while distribution or delivery. Additionally, they provide inconsistent heating and take a long time to reach the desired temperature. The installation and maintenance of these systems are also complex and challenging, making them difficult to integrate into modern designs.

Why did you decide to develop such a new technology?

When we began our first R&D, we simply wanted to test a physical hypothesis about achieving a proper level of conductivity inside the polymer filament. At that time, we couldn’t foresee the full properties of our materials. However, once we started to get stable results, it became clear that we had crafted a potential new generation of heating materials with enhanced energy efficiency. Our team, composed of sustainability enthusiasts, naturally focused on developing the greenest heating material possible to help reduce CO2 emissions in housing and boost the efficiency of thermally sensitive green solutions such as EVs.

The potential, however, went beyond our initial vision – we realised this technology could extend to everyday applications, such as clothing and footwear, keeping you warm during winter commutes or skiing.

What are the main goals of Voltcore?

Voltcore aims to combat climate change with innovative heating and energy-efficient solutions. The core technology focuses on reducing carbon footprint through sustainable heating practices, translating to lower CO2 emissions that minimise atmospheric heating and pave the way to a greener future. 

In addition, Voltcore is actively involved in developing next-generation battery technology for electric vehicles, further solidifying its commitment to a clean energy future. Everyone deserves access to warmth, and Voltcore is dedicated to making eco-friendly heating a reality.

Voltcore's goal in 2024 depends on reaching two crucial milestones: establishing an operational demonstration plant and achieving our initial commercial sales. This year will be essential for demonstrating the viability of our technology on an industrial scale and confirming market demand.