Mesophase, the winner of this year’s Water Innovation Prize is a company commercializing a material that could dramatically improve the efficiency of power plants.
Mesophase is developing a more efficient power plant steam condenser that leverages a surface coating developed in the lab of Evelyn Wang, MIT’s Ford Professor of Engineering and the head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Mesophase’s patent-pending surface coating improves condensers’ ability to transfer heat, thus allowing operators to extract power more efficiently.
Based on lab tests, the company predicts it can increase power plant output by up to 7% using existing infrastructure.
The company estimates its system could reduce fresh water withdrawals by the equivalent of what is used by 50 million people per year.
The company is also planning to work with existing condenser manufacturers to get to market faster.
The company plans to start in the U.S. geothermal space, where Mesophase estimates its technology is worth about USD 800M a year.
The company will use the prize money, in part, to begin testing in a real power plant environment.