Whiffle, a Delft University of Technology spin-off that developed a highly accurate, localised weather forecasting model, has secured a €3 million capital injection from impact investors ENERGIIQ and SHIFT Invest. The funding will enable the company to expand and achieve rapid growth.
Optimised by artificial intelligence and machine learning, Whiffle is the world’s first operational weather model based on Large Eddy Simulation (LES). The calculations of the weather model are run on graphic processing units (GPUs), allowing local turbulence and underlying processes and conditions in the atmosphere to be captured in greater detail. The company can therefore provide its customers with very fast and accurate weather forecasts that account for various factors such as the local effects of hills, buildings and wind turbines. The model offers great opportunities in different areas, from aviation to agriculture and from shipping to better air pollution forecasting.
Whiffle CEO Harmen Jonker says: “We can use this investment to further grow the company and bring our weather model to market in a number of sectors. In recent years, we have been working hard to refine the technology and make it easy for customers to use. We are now seeing a significant increase in commercial interest. This investment will allow us to expand even faster and continue to improve our model in the coming years.”
More predictable energy production
Whiffle is currently focusing on the renewable energy market. The highly advanced weather model makes renewable energy production more predictable. More accurate weather forecasting lowers imbalance prices for energy companies, for example, which has a direct effect on their margins. The model can also be used to optimise the configuration of wind farms and better predict future energy yields. This could result in higher yields and lower financing costs. Weather forecasts and wind simulations are of crucial importance to various players in the sector, including energy traders, wind farm owners and developers.
Janneke Bik, partner at SHIFT Invest, says: “We are impressed with the team and the state-of-the-art technology it has developed. As the growth of renewable resources will make the energy system more weather dependent, accurate simulations and forecasts are crucial to the energy transition. Whiffle therefore fits perfectly with our fund’s objective.”
Rafael Koene, fund manager at ENERGIIQ, concurs: “Whiffle’s technology can have a major impact on the energy transition by further reducing the overall costs of renewably generated energy. We have great confidence in the company and its model and are very much looking forward to working with the team.” Source: InnovationQuarter