Seatrec Selected as Finalist in General Excellence by Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards

Seatrec Selected as Finalist in General Excellence by Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards

Company’s SL1 Thermal Energy Harvesting System that generates electricity from the ocean’s natural temperature difference honored for pursuing innovation for the good of society and the planet


VISTA, Calif. – WEBWIRE – Tuesday, May 4, 2021.  Seatrec, the renewable energy company that harvests energy from temperature differences in the environment, today announces the selection of its SL1 Thermal Energy Harvesting System as a finalist for Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards in the category of General Excellence. The SL1 also received honorable mention in the energy category. The awards honor the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation when it comes to solving health and climate crises, social injustice, or economic inequality.

Seatrec is the first company to produce a portable power system that harvests energy from naturally occurring temperature differentials. Its patented thermal energy harvesting technology provides infinite power and is currently used to operate oceanographic equipment, including autonomous profiling floats and underwater gliders.

Many of the robotic platforms used by scientists, like autonomous profiling floats, are treated as disposable because retrieving them from far out at sea is expensive. That practice is not only a waste of resources but the batteries that power those devices can pollute the ocean by leaking toxic materials. Seatrec’s technology allows researchers to extend the life of their equipment, power more sensors, and collect data faster at a reduced cost and in an environmentally friendly manner.

“Protecting the ocean’s health is vital to life on Earth but understanding it is extraordinarily difficult without reliable, renewable energy to power sensors and the robotic platforms that carry them,” explains Dr. Yi Chao, founder and CEO of Seatrec. “The technology behind the SL1 is critical to innovating beyond current limited battery performance and providing clean power for research and key applications in the Blue Economy like aquaculture and maritime transportation.”

Seatrec is exploring a host of applications for its clean power technology to help drive the expansion of the Blue Economy from collecting data to improve hurricane forecasting, mapping the seafloor, developing carbon capture methods, aquaculture, and improving navigational routes for shipping to reduce bunker fuel.

The Blue Economy - sustainable, ocean-centric commerce - is expected to generate more than $3T in global economic impact and support more than 40M jobs around the world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Aquaculture alone is projected to grow into a $274B per year market by 2025.

Now in its fifth year, Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards honors innovations selected by a panel of eminent editors and reporters. This year the panel selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 4,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. Plus, several new categories were added, including Pandemic Response, Urban Design, and Architecture. The 2021 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Brazil to Denmark to Vietnam.

Showcasing some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies tackling exigent global challenges, Fast Company’s Summer 2021 issue (on newsstands May 10) highlights, among others, a lifesaving bassinet; the world’s largest carbon sink, thanks to carbon-eating concrete; 3D-printed schools; an at-home COVID-19 testing kit; a mobile voting app; and the world’s cleanest milk.

“There is no question our society and planet are facing deeply troubling times. So, it’s important to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, impact, design, scalability, and passion to solve these problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have discovered some of the most groundbreaking projects that have launched since the start of 2020.”

About Seatrec
Seatrec designs and manufactures energy harvesting systems that generate electricity from naturally occurring temperature differences in ocean waters. This renewable energy can be used to power deep water oceanographic research equipment such as floats, gliders, and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), resulting in the most scalable, cost-effective deep ocean data collection possible. Incorporated in 2016 by CEO, Dr. Yi Chao, Seatrec’s technology originated at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, to provide clean power for remote off-grid locations. The company is headquartered in Vista, CA. Visit us at and @seatrecinc.

About the World Changing Ideas Awards
World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.

Media contact
Sean Yokomizo
On behalf of Seatrec
+1 925.878.1200