An Athens-based company is primed to make a dent in the billion-dollar high performance cooling product market using an engine that's been around for almost 200 years.
Global Cooling LLC
, a 16-year-old former engineering firm, is now producing ultra-low freezers for use in the biomedical field not only is based on green technology, but also promises huge savings.
The high-efficiency freezers, which keep its cargo as cold as -121 degrees Fahrenheit, are the first of their kind.
"If you go into a large bio-repository, or a hospital or a large pharmaceutical facility, you'll see a large number of ultra-low freezers employed for long-term storage of biological samples," explains Bill White, the company's director of marketing. "In some cases, you can find 400 or 600 of them at one place."
Global Cooling's new freezers perform the same task more uniformly, more quietly and at a fraction of the energy usage. They also use no oil, unlike traditional cooling products.
"Depending on the kilowatt-per-hour rate, it takes from $1,200-$2,000 a year just to operate (traditional units). What our ultra-low freezers do cuts the cost of that by about half. That's a serious benefit that is going to land on someone's bottom line."
Started in 1995 in Athens as an engineering firm, the company was primarily focused on patenting cooling technology that helped slow ozone layer depletion. Soon after, it determined Stirling engines, a 19th-Century invention that had been employed in steam engines, could be modernized as an improvement over the current technology.
The company began producing its own cooling products, culminating in the most recent model, which is now rolling off production lines. With investment from Ohio Third Frontier's Entrepreneurial Signature Program
and TechGROWTH Ohio
, it expanded its facility in Athens earlier this year. Its first three coolers off the new production line were delivered to Ohio University's Innovation Center
last week, for use in its laboratories.
"It came full circle -- the university was involved in the early stages, helping with the business planning, and now they turned around and purchased the first three units off the line," says White.
Orders are already pouring in from bio-science companies both here and worldwide, and Global Cooling has a big future thanks to the innovation, he adds. The company expects to add 70 jobs over the next couple of years, most of them on the technical side.
Source: Bill White, Global Cooling LLC
Writer: Dave Malaska