By Steve Sears
The Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) recently awarded 14 New Jersey startup companies a total of over $3.6 million through its Pilot Clean Tech Demonstration Grant Program.
The goal is to “accelerate the commercialization and deployment of innovative clean energy technologies by demonstrating capabilities in a real-world setting,” according to the program’s website.
What follows is a description of what each company does best. We spoke to some of these companies, and gleaned information about the others from their websites.
Newark’s 4.0 Analytics has “created a vehicle management system that continuously evaluates the engine, generating end-user outputs that can support reductions in fuel consumption and the ever-increasing cost of maintaining vehicles.” Located in nearby Kearny, Farm to Flame Energy was founded in 2018 “to commercialize a unique combustion process” that “allows several agricultural wastes to burn in a smokeless and odorless fashion.”
Parsippany-based BRISEA Group “has been dedicated in providing environmental and energy professional services to government agencies, private industrial companies, and international funding organizations.”
Eatontown is represented by both Consolidated Energy Design, Inc. and SunRay Scientific. The former holds several United States patents in the areas of Smart Grid, Smart Micro Grid and internet-of-things (IoT) Mini BAS Edge Control technologies, offering them under the product name “FADRS.” It has been reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions since 1987, while SunRay “offers custom engineered interconnect solutions for advanced electronic packaging.”
Plainfield’s Energy Research Company is “a small high-tech company that conducts research in industrial energy and emissions related areas,” says the company website. “ERCo develops technologies that it owns and typically licenses to others for commercial deployment. Also, ERCo consults to other companies on technology matters and assists them in obtaining R&D technology or demonstration grants.”
The Pennsauken-based Gridless Power leadership team of Jason Halpern, Patrick Murphy and Andrew Leonard offered us the following: “From the very beginning at Gridless, we have pushed to create innovative, dependable products that solve some of the world’s toughest power problems. Throughout our years of experience in the energy space, we’ve developed IP [intellectual property] that makes Gridless batteries more efficient, long lasting, and reliable. This investment from the NJCSIT and NJEDA [New Jersey Economic Development Authority] helps us take the next step in offering our proprietary technology to the wider battery industry. The grant will accelerate our work commercializing and deploying a significant advancement in BMS technology that will benefit not only our home state of New Jersey, but the future of clean energy around the world.”
Christopher Abram, CTO of Bordentown’s HiT Nano, told us, “We have technology for manufacturing electrode materials for rechargeable batteries. We’ve focused on the process of making those materials, which is completely different from the conventional methods. Our process uses less energy, produces less waste streams, and produces an improved product compared to what is currently available. We’re in the process of scaling up this technology. The same manufacturing technology can be leveraged to produce sodium-ion batteries from low-cost, earth-abundant elements. We’re also working on solar thermochemical energy storage, so instead of storing energy electrochemically, we store it as heat and chemical bonds in novel materials, which can be used to decarbonize heavy industries such as steel manufacturing.”
Also in Bordentown is Princeton NuEnergy. According to the company website, “Using our novel LPAS (patented low-temperature plasma-assisted separation) technology, we deliver a cost-efficient, environmentally friendly lithium-ion battery direct recycling solution that reduces global GHG emissions and delivers strong ESG values.”
Neutroelectric, LLC (dba Becq), in Camden, was awarded the grant for its RAEV project. Dave Castley, cofounder of RAEV Mobility, said, “RAEV is a fleet of shared, low-speed electric vehicles located throughout cities for convenient, affordable and zero-emission ‘first-mile/last-mile’ transportation use. RAEV consists of low-speed vehicles and a mobile companion app that allows users to find the nearest electric vehicle and unlock it via QR code. The RAEV app guides the user as they drive themselves to a designated RAEV parking spot closest to their intended destination and leave the car parked for the next user.”
Three Princeton-based companies were also awarded the grant. One of them is wind-energy generator SWIND POWER LLC. Another is WeSolar CSP, a minority-owned renewable-energy technology and design company. Founded in 2017, WeSolar CSP also has offices in New York, Georgia and Arizona. “We’re not your typical energy company. WeSolar CSP utilizes innovative and disruptive ASC [Ayman Solar Concentrator] technology,” says the company website. “WeSolar CSP is the future of energy — an affordable and sustainable solution to providing carbon neutral (if not negative) energy and water that is affordable and reliable.”
The third is PolyGone Systems, which stated via email that it is a “Princeton University spinout cleantech company that develops novel systems for removing microplastic pollutants from waterways. In response to the looming threat of microplastics as an aquatic pollutant, our team designed and developed an affordable, portable, and environmentally friendly biomimetic technology explicitly for the sequestration of aquatic microplastic debris. The microplastic filtration device, the Plastic Hunter, was designed to work in a wide array of water bodies and utilizes our proprietary ‘Artificial Root’ filter to entrap microplastic debris. We hope to deploy the Plastic Hunter devices in both open water channels, such as rivers, reservoirs, and streams, and industrial wastewater effluent channels, as a means to monitor microplastic levels and remove excessive microplastic contaminants.”
Finally, GeoGreens is an indoor hydroponics farm located in the Mill One Building in Hamilton. “We grow fresh, local produce all year round serving the Tristate area,” says the company website. “Because we are an indoor farm, we are not subjected to the effects of climate seasonality. Our mission is to become as close to a zero waste farm as we can. With our water, utilities, and medium.”