Google X Startup Dandelion To Bring Geothermal Heating And Cooling Tech To Homes

Backyards are not only a fun place to hang out, but could also potentially be a functional part of one’s household. Dandelion, a new start-up created by Google X’s secretive lab, plans to to offer home geothermal and cooling systems. Homeowners would be able to tap into the ground’s energy to heat and cool their houses.

Dandelion’s system would utilize plastic underground pipes or “ground loops” that would connect to a pump inside the home. During the winter, water inside of the pipes would absorb heat and pump warm air to the building. During the summer months, the pump would pull warm air from the home and disperse the air underground.

dandelion how it works
Image from: Dandelion

Dandelion promises that its installation methods and prices are better than other geothermal systems. Some geothermal systems can cost as much as $60,000, however, Dandelion’s systems come in under $25,000. Geothermal systems generally require using wide drills to dig 1,000 feet deep wells. The process takes a long time and tears up the person’s yard. Dandelion’s drills are thin and only dig one or two holes that are a few inches wide. They also guarantee that the installation process takes two to three days.

Traditional heating and cooling systems tend to generate a lot of carbon emissions. The United States Green Building Council estimate that 39% of carbon dioxide emissions in the US are produced by buildings. Geothermal systems could potentially reduce carbon dioxide emissions and decrease homeowners’ utility bills.

google x lab lobby
X's central atrium, Image from: X Company Blog

Dandelion is one of X’s “moonshots” or projects. X is a research and development facility and subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc., Google’s parent corporation. One of their biggest projects has been Waymo, a self-driving vehicle company. Waymo has been particularly popular in places like Phoenix, where the company has given free rides to residents. As of this past spring, Waymo vehicles have clocked in over 1.5 million miles.

Dandelion is currently accepting sign-ups in New York. You can learn more here.