By Stuart Corner of IoTAustralia
Unlisted Australian public company Hydra Light International is looking to raise $5 million to commercialise its battery-alternative technology that generates electricity from a chemical reaction between oxygen and a magnesium alloy.
The form factor of the core product is the size of two D cells, and the main advantage claimed for the technology over conventional dry cells is a shelf life of decades — a HydraCell is inert until dipped in water — and the low environmental impact of used cells.
According to Hydra Light CEO, Gerry Comninos, a single HydraCell has the electrical output equivalent to about 30 premium AA batteries.
He told IoTAustralia he hoped to get the cost down to about 50 percent more than the equivalent capacity on AA batteries, although he acknowledged that there is enormous variation in the price of these products.
Despite the price disadvantage he sees a number of distinct markets for the product.
“In a first world country it is very much as a lifestyle product – its more convenient and it is a non-toxic, clean and green product.
“Hydracells are completely recyclable and/or biodegradable.
“In many countries around the world the longevity of shelf life is key from an emergency perspective.”
The company claims a Hydracell could sit on your shelf for 10 years and when you activate it, it will have 100 percent of the power it has today.
“And in the Third World there’s 1.2 billion people who don’t have electricity or have very intermittent electricity. It provides a real alternative to the other forms of power they are using.”
The $5 million the company is looking to raise will take its total capitalisation to $26 million.
Comninos said about 20 percent of the cash would be used to complete tooling in its contract manufacturing facility in China, and the majority for business development activities, primarily overseas.
He said the company hoped to list on the ASX in 2021 or 2022.
Hydra Light is based in Melbourne and has offices in the Philippines, China, the UK, Canada and the USA.
It says extensive sales and marketing efforts have already been undertaken with 29 containers of product already supplied into USA company Infomercials, US distributor Green Supply and Australian distributor, Breon Telematics, a company providing safety technologies for remote workforces.
A single double D cell-sized HydraCell costs $19.95.
There are also a number of complete lighting devices using the HydraCell, including a small handheld that sells for $11.95 and billed as “great for first aid kits…[or] emergencies 25 + year shelf life…will operate continuously for several days.”
There are several reviews of a HydraLight torch sold in the US that uses the HydraCell and reviewers were not impressed with the light output of the unit.
Comninos said the product had been produced through a joint venture with Infomercials and did not reflect the current state of the HydraCell technology.
“They purchased those units two or three years ago, and they are still working through the stock they purchased.
“Since then we’ve innovated the HydraCell significantly.
“It now pushes out about 50 percent more power and we have also enhanced the performance of the light – LEDs have come a long way and we have better reflectors in our products today.”
Stuart Corner is ediro of IoTAustralia.
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