Recovery Act - High-Efficiency Absorption Cycle and Novel Mid-Temperature Solar Collector.

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


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Rocky Research
1598 Foothill Dr
Boulder City, NV 89006
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


The proposed project addresses the need for an efficient cost-effective building cooling system which is powered by solar heat collected using low to medium temperature solar collectors. Such a system avoids the need for expensive high-temperature solar collectors and has potential to result in a truly cost-effective system that could achieve significant market penetration. Benefits to the public and DOE include reduced combustion of fossil fuels and less CO2 released to the atmosphere. A high-efficiency aqua-ammonia absorption chiller is being modified to accept heat from a lowcost medium temperature solar collector. The chiller is nearing commercialization. Coupling a commercial chiller with a commercially available solar collector will result in a system for solar powered building cooling that is cost effective, readily available, and reliable. Modular design based on 5RT chiller units will provide for application over a broad capacity range. Phase I will provide technical demonstration of the concept and Phase II will culminate with full-scale prototypes ready for production. Solar-powered building cooling is attractive for residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Benefits to the user include reduced energy costs and reduced demand charges. Peak cooling loads typically occur at the same time as peak power demand. Solar-powered cooling will provide significant benefit to the utilities and rate payers through reduced demand. Commercial and industrial users will also see reduced demand charges. And of course, as with any solar technology, environmental benefits will be realized as market penetration becomes significant.