Recovery Act - High-Efficiency Membrane Regenerator for Liquid Desiccant Air Conditioning

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010

$150K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Pax Scientific, Inc.
999 Andersen Dr Ste 100 Array
San Rafael, CA 94901
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Georgia Institute of Technology
225 North Ave NW
Atlanta, GA 30332
Institution POC

Abstract

Low-Flow Liquid Desiccant Air Conditioning (LDAC) has the potential to dramatically lower the electricity used for commercial air conditioning by directly removing moisture from the air prior to cooling. But in order to achieve widespread market adoption, the mechanisms by which the liquid desiccant is regenerated must be made more energy efficient, reliable and cost-effective. Membrane technology holds the greatest promise for high-efficiency desiccant regeneration and membrane-based systems have already been successfully applied to high-efficiency thermal desalination. This project will develop a novel membrane-based liquid desiccant regenerator that will substantially improve the overall energy efficiency of liquid desiccant air conditioning systems. In Phase 1, we will design and build a membrane test cell capable of measuring the performance of various commercially-available membranes under realistic conditions. We will also develop a 1-D numerical model of membrane performance to validate the physicochemical processes taking place during membrane regeneration. In Phase 2 of this program we will design and build several prototype membrane regenerators and field them in realistic performance trials atop commercial buildings. This project will lead to the introduction of a new high-performance desiccant regenerator to the marketplace that will dramatically improve the overall energy efficiency of liquid desiccant air conditioners and further improve the COP of LDAC systems. PAX Streamline will collaborate with the Georgia Tech Research Institute to develop, prototype and test the advanced membrane regenerator.