Alphabet’s X – The Moonshot Factory | Dandelion

Friday 13 September 2019

X-The Moonshot Factory

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Established  2015
Graduated  2017

The premise:

Reducing heating costs and carbon emissions with geothermal energy.

Dandelion uses geothermal energy to make it easier and more affordable to heat and cool homes with high-performance equipment and a proprietary, low-cost installation process that allows homeowners to save money and help the environment by moving away from conventional heating and cooling methods.

The project:

Dandelion co-founder Kathy Hannun wanted to see if it was possible to develop a technology that would allow homeowners to harness geothermal energy more easily and affordably. Previously, geothermal systems typically required a large up-front installation fee to cover the cost of drilling to install ground loops, which discouraged consumers from adopting the technology.

The first step for the Dandelion team was to design a better drill that could reduce the time and mess of installing ground loop pipes. The team tested all sorts of ideas, from modified jackhammers to freezing the ground with liquid nitrogen, to even using a high-pressure water jet to obliterate the ground. After many months, they devised a fast, slender drill that took up less space and could dig a hole a few inches wide, producing less waste. It left a typical backyard relatively undisturbed and importantly, it could install the ground loops in hours instead of the customary three or four days.

The outcome:

After two years of applying X’s prototyping techniques and labs to help develop the drilling technology, Dandelion graduated to become an independent company in 2017 offering high-performance equipment and a proprietary, low-cost installation process that allows homeowners to save money by switching away from conventional heating fuels.

Dandelion’s geothermal marketplace connects homeowners looking for cleaner, more affordable heating with local companies selected to install Dandelion home geothermal. It now operates out of New York City.









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About the Author
Alex Clunies-Ross, CFA

Alex Clunies-Ross, CFA

Head of Research

Alex commenced his career with Swell in August 2015 and developed many of the technical models and quantitative screens used to manage Portfolio investments and research. Alex directs investment team research projects in addition to his responsibilities for allocated investments in the Swell Global Portfolio.

Alex earned the right to use the CFA designation granted by the CFA Institute in 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from Griffith University and was an inaugural member of the Griffith University Student Investment Fund.

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