Now that Tempronics is ready to engage Tier 1s and OEMs, what can you tell us about your company?
Tempronics is a very exciting company. Our products provide superior driving comfort, reduce the HVAC energy by 36% to 43%, and extend the life of Lithium Ion batteries by many years. Our company is focused squarely in vehicle electrification. We are venture-backed with the long-term investor commitment needed to be successful in the automotive industry.
We offer two solid-state heating and cooling (thermoelectric) product lines. The first is a ClimateRibbon™ for car seats that provides unprecedented heating/cooling response time and performance. The second product line is an ultra-thin heating and cooling AnySize™ module for batteries that provides thermal management.
Tempronics is headquartered in Tucson AZ, has a presence in the Silicon Valley and New York, and is building a presence in the Detroit metro area.
What improvements in thermoelectric heating and cooling is your company bringing to the marketplace?
Our ClimateRibbon™ provides heating and cooling in the seats, keeping the driver and passengers comfortable while reducing the capacity and energy required of the central HVAC system. In EVs and hybrids, the HVAC system often requires as much energy as moving the vehicle. The US Department of Energy has tested our product in a Ford Focus EV and a Chevy Volt, and the HVAC energy savings was 36% to 43.5%. The test reports are publicly available.
Our products are much more efficient and effective than standard thermoelectric, or Peltier, modules resulting from our patented Peltier Distribution System. The science behind our unprecedented efficiency and effectiveness has three components: (1) conducting heat in/out of a person or battery instead of relying on forced air or other fluids, (2) distribution of the thermoelectric chips to minimize heat backflow losses (concentration of heat drives up the temperature delta), and (3) removing heat directly from a warm surface, reducing the delta temperature across the thermoelectric devices even further. More information is available by contacting the company.
These improvements in thermoelectric efficiency and effectiveness also apply to battery thermal management.
What key milestones has Tempronics reached?
Tier 1s and OEMs are currently integrating both of the ClimateRibbon™ and AnySize™ products. We have passed numerous industry-standard tests for durability, chemical spillage, performance, and function. Human subject testing of our climate seat has included body sizes from 5th to 95th percentiles, qualitative perceptions, and quantitative (surface temperature) measurements. Test results are available for our climate seat and for the competition’s actively cooled, ventilated, and resistive heated seats. These independent tests were conducted in environmental chambers to simulate extremes of vehicle temperatures.
Describe the Tempronics manufacturing process.
That is an easy question. Except for some final assembly and trimming, our manufacturing process steps and automation equipment are from the surface mount technology (SMT) industry used to make circuit boards and wiring harnesses for the automotive industry.
What is the partnership strategy and how important is it to the company’s long-term success?
We know that the right relationships and participation of the parties involved are critical to our success. We already have some and are forming additional partnerships with the OEMs, Tier 1 seat and thermal management suppliers, and battery pack manufacturers. We also have developed multiple relationships within each OEM, as our value proposition spans the seat, the occupant comfort, the user interface, the HVAC system, and the environmental regulations. For the battery thermal manager, our module interacts with the battery, the battery pack, the radiator, and the electrical system, and we are developing relationships within the OEMs in these areas too.
Discuss the addressable markets.
The addressable markets in automotive for the seat ClimateRibbon is luxury cars for comfort, electric vehicles for comfort and range, and hybrid vehicles for comfort and MPG. Beyond automotive, our ribbon can be used in office chairs, beds, and sofas for comfort, and in nursing beds and wheelchairs for bedsore prevention.
The addressable market in automotive for the AnySize Module is battery thermal management for hybrid cars, beverage console coolers, and third-row zoned HVAC vents decoupled from the refrigeration loop. Beyond automotive, our AnySize Module can be used for medical fluid transport, restaurant buffet trays, plant soil temperature control, and many other applications.
What differentiates Tempronics from other offerings in the marketplace?
Our seat ClimateRibbon is 2X to 3X faster in the following measures: time to sensation, time to neutral, time to cool, and time to warm vs. competitive solutions in environmental chamber testing. Our climate seat also draws 2X to 3X less power from the battery while beating competition in these comfort measures, all at a comparable cost for inclusion in the car.
Our solution does not need perforated holes in the leather, which our competition requires to move cool air to the occupant. Ironically, the occupant blocks these holes when seated. Furthermore, the holes in the leather are costly and diminish the visual appeal of the seats. Our conduction-based solution moves heat directly into or out of the person seated.
Regarding our seat climate solution, OEMs tell us “we want this in every seat in every car”, and “this is the best line item for emissions reduction we have on the list.” Tier 1’s tell us “wow, a seat climate system that improves comfort while greatly reducing vehicle energy consumption”. Dealers tell us ”finally, a seat cooling feature that we can feel good about selling”.
Our battery thermal management module is more efficient and is a cleaner and simpler solution for mild, moderate, and strong hybrids as compared to chilled water loops and standard thermoelectric modules. OEMs love that our AnySize module can match the size of the surface to be heated and cooled, providing uniformity. Our module is also compressible and compliant for thermal contact, fitment, and vibration tolerance in the engine compartment.
The electric vehicle (EV) market is becoming mainstream as most (if not all) automakers have introduced electrification platforms. However, the performance of the battery and its associated high cost is still widely viewed as a major hurdle to mass market adoption. How can Tempronics help address these issues?
We help in the following ways: (1) we reduce the HVAC energy needs by 36% to 43% which greatly reduces the size and cost of the battery needed for the car, (2) we provide temperature stability for the battery, increasing its cold start capacity, increasing the battery’s life, and removing the need for oversizing the battery.
How do you envision the Tempronics model evolving over the next 3 years?
We like the model we have now. We are the “Intel Inside” for conductive thermoelectric components in automotive and other applications, supplying the parts needed for others to integrate and differentiate their brands.
Any closing comments.
We at Tempronics are ready to engage in further commercialization of these products. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.
Read more about Tarek at Inside Tucson Business.