In this episode of lab to startup, we talk to Marcus Lehmann, the Co-founder and CEO of Calwave Energy. Calwave is unlocking the power of the ocean by harvesting the dense energy packed in waves, which is about 30-60 times more dense than solar or...
In this episode of lab to startup, we talk to Marcus Lehmann, the Co-founder and CEO of Calwave Energy. Calwave is unlocking the power of the ocean by harvesting the dense energy packed in waves, which is about 30-60 times more dense than solar or wind!
We will talk about the underlying technology development, engineering challenges, partnerships that helped them learn faster and how they are currently testing their product under water near San Diego, California. One of the biggest surprises for me and their team is how reliable the product has been since it was installed under water last September! This speaks for the meticulous planning and engineering prowess of the team from the design phase of the product development.
- Wave power has about 30-60X energy compared to solar and wind.
- Wave energy hasn't became mainstream commercially because of a lack of scalable solutions
- Research originally performed at MIT and UC Berkeley led to technology behind Calwave Energy
- Extensive simulation studies helped
- Original testing was made possible by funding from NSF and Wave energy prize
- Startups tend to go too big too fast and fail- find out how they avoided that mistake, mostly guided by the Wave energy prize
- Productive partnerships with DoE, naval architects, oil and pipeline industry, etc., that helped learn quicker (not reinventing the wheel)
- Having MBA students from Cleantech to Market program at UC Berkeley, helped avoid the general push back from potential customers
- DoE determines the locations for highest wave energy in the oceans
- Lessons on fund raising- Lean operations, government grants, crowd funding and competitions funded Calwave for the longest time
- Shortsighted view of some investors and technology evaluators comparing wave energy to solar and wind hurts
- In the US, 50% of the population lives within 50 miles of coastline, makes transmission cheaper
- Lessons learnt from other renewable sources of energy generation
- Careers: https://calwave.energy/careers/