Alphabet's startup Dandelion is developing a new geothermal heating and cooling system that's meant to reduce utility fees for homeowners while simultaneously being much cheaper to implement than competing solutions, according to a Saturday report from KTLA. Just like its name suggests, Dandelion's solution will rely on ground energy, redirecting it to one's home through a robust system of plastic pipes that will be able to both heat and cool a house, depending on the season. The set of pipes is complemented by a pump that controls the flow of hot and cool air from the ground into one's home, dispersing the energy in a relatively equal manner and likely being able to quickly change the temperature of a medium-sized house.
The pipes that are commonly referred to as "ground loops" are meant to be installed using Dandelion's proprietary drill. Not many details on the tool have been revealed so far, though it's said to be significantly more effective than traditional drills, making the process of installing a system of pipes under one's home relatively straightforward, at least compared to alternative methods that usually take weeks to achieve similar results, significantly inconveniencing homeowners in the process. Dandelion's equipment is reportedly able to drill more than 1,000 feet underground, with the entire process being said to cost in the range of $20,000 to $25,000, i.e. being significantly cheaper than similar procedures that can set homeowners back as much as $60,000. The technique is also said to be of the non-invasive variety, only leaving behind a couple of ground holes with diameters of only several inches.
Dandelion is one of the many ventures of Alphabet's semi-secret research initiative X which is focused on moonshot endeavors like the ambitious Project Wing. It's currently unclear how long will the startup take to start implementing experimental versions of its solution, though latest reports indicate that it's already accepting signups from interested homeowners in New York and is looking to strike local partnerships with heating and cooling companies in an effort to speed up the testing phase of the system. An update on the firm's endeavors may follow later this year.