- Name of Startup: Qnetic
- Year Founded: 2021
- Website: Qnetic.energy
- Type of company: B2B climate tech
- HQ Location: New York, NY, USA
- Michael Pratt, CEO,
- Loïc Bastard, CTO,
‘Low-cost, high-performance grid energy storage solution that enables the transition to renewable power
Problem the startup solves:
Solar and wind power are already cheaper than coal and gas, but the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Today’s best solution—lithium-ion batteries just aren’t performant enough, or cheap enough to enable the sustainable energy transition. That’s where Qnetic comes in.
Qnetic is a grid-scale energy storage based on new flywheel technology. Compared to lithium-ion batteries, Qnetic has a cycle life 3x greater, discharges for twice as long, and has a lifetime cost 38% cheaper.
With these characteristics, it is ideally suited to resolving the daily fluctuations between energy supply and demand. This enables Qnetic to fulfil its mission to help enable civilisation to transition to sustainable energy.
Progress and Current Status:
The full concept design has been completed alongside static, dynamic and vibration model simulations, which demonstrate our expected performance characteristics. The initial patents are being drafted.
The two founders have been joined by two further core team members forming the company management team. We are currently looking for a new premises to develop our first prototype and hire in key talents.
The founders and core team have invested $195,000 and our equity crowdfunding campaign has already raised $400,000 of the target $1.2MM.
What is an Inspiring Story about the Startup?:
The company was incorporated purely on the premise that we should do something beneficial and maximally impactful for the benefit of the future of life on earth. There was no product, no business plan, no ideas. There was a top-level mission and the course was set.
The first project we faced as a company was to determine what it should do. We looked at various problems that needed solving, including water, food and agriculture, heating and cooling in homes, health, and politics. Energy was a recurring theme since it is the fundamental building block of all activity on earth.
Based on our experience and skillset we settled on flywheel energy storage to be our product after discovering that there is a massive unrealised potential in this area.
This back-to-front approach to the company speaks to the value of starting with good people trying to do something maximally useful; and then the sky’s the limit.
What is a Company the Startup Looks Up to, and Why?:
Undoubtedly Tesla. We really admire the way they have pursued a seemingly impossible-to-solve problem.
For example, ten years ago if you looked at making all cars battery powered, most people said “it’s not feasible”.
Instead, Tesla worked through the logic thinking from a civilisation-level perspective: how many electric vehicles do we need? How many cells is that per year? How many cells are currently in production? The answer was not enough…
Well what if we built the biggest cell factory the world had ever seen; how many cells can we produce then? How many such factories will we need across the world to serve the whole planet? Is that reasonable across a long timeframe?… The answer was yes so they just got on with it!
It’s an excellent case-study in audacity and the power of fundamental reasoning.
The Company in Four Years Will Be…
Qnetic will have its first factory up and running in Europe and ramping production capacity. Several patents will be in place that cover the key technologies.
We will already have had one or more pilot battery facilities—comprising many Qnetic connected and operating as a single battery—running for some time, demonstrating the technology and the financial model of owning storage. This will convince customers and financiers.
We will be looking to expand production to USA and China.
We will be working on the next generation Qnetic flywheel technology with more advanced materials, larger capacity and higher performance.