January 21, 2015 – Air Innovations announced its participation with United Technologies Research Center, Bush Technical LLC, and Cornell University in a Syracuse University research grant aimed at developing localized heating and cooling systems within buildings. This project team has been awarded $3.2 million from DOE/ARPA-E, and will receive substantial contributions from Syracuse University, Empire State Development and NYSERDA.
The U.S. Energy Department’s effort is intended to provide funding to 11 different project teams in developing technologies based on regulating temperatures for building occupants instead of regulating the overall building. The localization of thermal management is intended to reduce the energy consumed within a building dramatically, since it would ensure occupant comfort, but allow the remainder of the building to operate in a wider temperature range. The ARPA-E DELTA program will provide $30 million to support this project.
The Syracuse University project team – with support from Air Innovations and other participating organizations – will develop a near-range micro-environmental control system. According to Syracuse University press, this “system will leverage a high-efficiency micro-scroll compressor” within a micro vapor compression system that has an evaporator embedded in phase-change material. The cooling produced by the micro vapor will be stored in the phase-change material at night, then released as a cool breeze during the day, making building occupants more comfortable. The project team is targeting at least a 15 percent reduction in the energy used for heating and cooling a building, when a building implements a micro-environmental control system of this nature.
“Air Innovations is delighted to be part of a research project that can have such a lasting effect on energy consumption in our country” said Michael Wetzel, CEO of Air Innovations. “Air Innovations is constantly looking for efficient ways to maintain critical environments and our participation in this project will allow us to leverage our knowledge to continue to push that envelope.”