Power Partners Teams with DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to Develop Breakthrough Commercial Air Conditioning Units
Power Partners, Inc., announced today it is teaming with the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Arkema Inc. on a $2.54 million research program to improve the efficiency and test new refrigerants in a type of air conditioning unit that runs on waste heat or heat from solar thermal collectors. The funding was announced on July 12 by DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, otherwise known as ARPA-E, and is part of the agency's Building Energy Efficiency through Innovative Thermodevices, or BEET-IT program.
Power Partners is a U.S. manufacturer and marketer of energy-efficient, environmentally friendly ECO-MAX adsorption chillers. The adsorption chiller is a type of air conditioner that is powered by waste heat or by heat from solar collectors. It has few moving parts and uses almost no electricity to operate.
During the three-year program, the team will design, assemble and test an adsorption chiller that takes advantage of PNNL's metal-organic heat carrier technology and new types of refrigerants. The goal is to utilize PNNL's advanced materials and develop adsorption chillers that are smaller, more efficient and affordable enough to be used more frequently in commercial buildings.
"More efficient methods of cooling represent a great opportunity to reduce energy consumption in buildings, and in doing so, greenhouse gas emissions as well," said PNNL Laboratory Fellow Pete McGrail, who is leading the research project. "The ARPA-E program represents a unique opportunity to move a recent laboratory discovery to the mainstream HVAC and commercial buildings marketplace in just a few years," he said.
"Buildings account for 40% of energy use in the United States," said Mike Stonecipher, Business Segment Leader at Power Partners. "Cooling is one of the primary uses of energy in buildings, yet the basic approaches for cooling have not changed in decades. We are excited about this joint effort to develop a commercially viable product that can meet the demand for energy conservation."
Power Partners will lead engineering and testing efforts as the project advances from a bench-scale prototype to a 5-ton cooling capacity demonstration unit, utilizing its state-of-the-art test facility.
About Power Partners
Power Partners, Inc., manufactures and markets ECO-MAX adsorption chillers that utilize waste heat or heat from solar thermal collectors to provide cooling and other process capabilities. The company is one of the ten largest women-owned businesses in the United States as certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Adsorption chiller technology is attractive to retail stores, hospitals, universities, office complexes, data centers, trigeneration facilities, processing plants, manufacturing plants and government facilities because it saves energy. Power Partners is a green manufacturing company and a partner in the Green Supplier Network. The company, which is located in Athens, GA, is ISO 14001: 2004 certified.
About Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory where interdisciplinary teams advance science and technology and deliver solutions to America's most intractable problems in energy, the environment and national security. PNNL employs 4,700 staff, has an annual budget of nearly $1.1 billion, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab's inception in 1965. It is located in Richland, WA.
About Arkema Inc.
Arkema is a world-class producer of industrial chemicals, including acrylics, PMMA, thiochemicals, fluorochemicals, and hydrogen peroxide and of performance products like technical polymers, specialty chemical organic peroxides and additives.