The Energy Transition

$Energy Transition cityscape with icons web

What is the energy transition and what is Hotstart’s role? We could say the world has always been transitioning from one energy source to another or slowly evolving the mix of different energy sources. Today, there is a great sense of urgency about energy transition as we strive to be better stewards of our beautiful planet and continue to improve everyone’s quality of life through affordable, reliable and clean power.

Hotstart's hometown of Spokane hosted the International Exposition on the Environment in 1974. Known as EXPO 74, it was the first environmentally themed world's fair. I was 10 when I attended and it made a big impression on me. Image credit

Like many Hotstarters, I love living in Spokane because of the beautiful outdoors and the fun activities it offers. Over the years, I have enjoyed camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, swimming, trail running, snow shoeing, snow skiing, water skiing, mountain biking and even piloting a glider under puffy white cumulonimbus clouds where strong thermal lift occurs. Hey! Maybe natural thermals could be a new source of clean energy!

I love activities with my family in our beautiful, clean outdoors.

There is so much innovation going on in today’s energy transition. There isn’t just one silver bullet that will make our world a better place. We need a lot of new solutions, and many are being pursued by a wide range of companies. Key parts to the energy transition include electric vehicles, renewable energy, and energy storage. Companies that traditionally focused on diesel and gas power are developing internal combustion engines that run on e-fuels such as green hydrogen and ammonia. Fuel cells are also an exciting development. Also, improving the energy efficiency of existing equipment is important as more electric vehicles hit the road and the demand for electricity soars. We can only cover so much of our planet with solar panels and wind farms; we need to be smarter and use less energy.

Read the DNV 2021 Energy Transition Executive Summary

I love how Hotstart has made the world a better place. When the company started in 1942, it was all about keeping a school bus engine hot when shutdown so it could easily be restarted (hence our name Hotstart). This helped the environment because the engine starts were cleaner and there was less need for idling which reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Over the years, Hotstart brought “clean starts” and “reduced consumption and emissions” to other applications like trucks, machinery, locomotives, ships, natural gas compressors and generators. We continue to evolve and innovate to support the energy transition as it applies to these different mobile and onsite power applications. For example, our products are now on electric buses keeping their lithium-ion batteries at the proper temperature so they can operate at greater capacity and last longer. Also, we have developed thermal management systems for lithium-ion batteries used to store energy from solar panels and wind turbines. These energy storage systems are key to the energy transition as they provide power even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. We’ve also developed more energy-efficient systems for backup generators used in data centers. Since our systems operate 24/7 until there is a power outage, the energy savings adds up for the end-user while the utility has more energy to charge all those EVs that are coming.

Link Transit in Wenatchee, WA operates a fleet of EV buses with our thermal management equipment to help keep the lithium-ion batteries at their optimum temperature.

I’m excited about our future and how Hotstart will continue to play an important role in the energy transition. It all comes down to our amazing people who are passionate, talented and innovative. I love our Hotstart family! We have fun working with each other and our partners and customers to make the world a better place, a much more sustainable place, for all of us to enjoy including our future generations. Thank you all!

Thanks for making the world a better place for my grandkids and yours!