Everybody loves fresh food. But we also know that it is sometimes not possible to have it produced just around the corner. It needs to be transported. Just as vaccines this food has to be cooled. It is called the cold chain. And guess what: It needs energy. A lot. Until now. Because now there is TESSOL from India. Their technology makes the cold chain green. Rajat Gupta, CEO, tells us why and how.
Describe your product and its history! What is your unique value proposition and your business model?
The product is based on Latent energy storage technology and came of several years of experience in working with PCM based heat exchangers. The technology was initially applied to commercial air conditioning from which it was adapted for use in the cold chain industry. The mobile cold chain product under PLUGnCHILL brand presents following key value propositions:
1. Cost reduction of upto 60% in operating costs
2. High performance during multiple openings due to high amount of stored energy
3. High reliability during any breakdown since stored energy keeps products safe
4. Low maintenance costs due to minimal moving parts
We are currently selling the product to users and logistics providers who seek one or many of the above value propositions. We are exploring other business models of expanding the market reach based on the type of markets and its needs.
What is your vision in regards to the future of the energy economy? And how does your product contribute to this future?
Energy economy is incomplete without energy storage. Thermal – cooling or heating applications – contribute to more than 40% of energy used by us. With the efficient implementation of thermal storage, there is a dominant role in applications like demand management, fossil fuel mitigation and energy efficiency.
Our product contributes to all three areas in the temperature controlled transport and storage applications. Every PLUGnCHILL small vehicle on the field eliminates 1000 liters of diesel per annum leading to a huge environmental impact. The cold storage solutions need only 5-6 hours of power in a day to maintain temperatures for a full day thereby eliminating backup power at the farm level. With future applications in mobile and static air conditioning, the product has a huge potential in impacting the global energy economy.
What are, in your opinion, the key challenges of the energy transition in general, and what are they specifically for your startup?
As per our experience, some basic challenges are:
1. Willingness to change and compatibility with the way things are currently or have been done for ages.
2. Flexibility of using fuel vs electricity esp. due to low penetration of charging points and range anxiety.
3. Long payback periods for some applications. PLUGnCHILL mobile refrigeration has a 6 month payback, but stationary application paybacks are much longer
4. Low speed of diffusion of the product in the market for first 3 years.
Where are you based, and who are the key innovation drivers in the energy ecosystem in your region?
We are based in Mumbai. Availability of talent is one of the key drivers of the energy ecosystem. Proximity to a premium institute also helps in getting the right people and advise. A strong base of credible suppliers is another strong attribute of Mumbai.
Which results for your startup do you expect from the Tech Festival by DENA in March 2017?
– Technical association with other innovators in this space
– Opportunity to collaborate and get our product into the EU market
– Keen Interest from investors in our technology and new product research.
Founded in 2013, TESSOL is one of the fastest growing cold chain technology companies in India. Its PLUGnCHILL range of products for transport refrigeration use the proprietary PCM heat exchanger technology to provide 60% cost savings while eliminating the use of any fuel. TESSOL products are marketed pan India and are being launched in the UAE for the middle-eastern market. Widely awarded from global institutions for its innovation, TESSOL is a venture backed company led by a highly experienced and qualified team from most premier institutes of the world.