$175,000 from MassDevelopment carries Dynamo Micropower into pilot tests

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Dynamo Micropower, a startup housed at Greentown Labs, will receive a $175,000 loan, the group announced Monday. The money, distributed by MassDevelopment’s Emerging Technology Fund, adds to the $2.5 million in private investment and grant funding that the Somerville-based turbine maker has received over the last 18 months.

The company’s core product is  turbine that can run on water-saturated, unpurified natural gas, the kind that is released at oil rigs and natural gas fields but burned as waste because it is too costly to tap.

“We’ve figured out a way to run on those fuels without significant refinement,” Dynamo co-founder Jason Ethier said. 

The company intends to sell its technology to oil and gas companies, who could use waste gas as fuel to power rig machinery, sensors, or measurement systems.

Though their target market includes oil and gas giants, Ethier said his tech could run a variety of heavy machinery — instead of the more expensive diesel, almost any machine could run on natural gas.

Dynamo was incorporated in 2011 and launched initially with grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. In 2013, the company presented its turbine at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Innovation Summit.

Dynamo shipped its first product this winter, a small-scale industrial heater that runs on propane. Multitek, a Wisconsin-based maker of forestry equipment, tested the heater.

The industrial heater is a technology Ethier intends to sell to the construction industry, for use in the cold weather. “You can heat an entire floor with one of these units and allow the work to continue,” he said.

The newest infusion of money will be used to purchase equipment and resources to conduct a pilot test for its larger turbine this summer, the company said.

Nidhi Subbaraman writes about science and research. Email her at nidhi.subbaraman@globe.com.
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