Phase Change Thermal Buffers for Environmental Control Unit Efficiency Improvement

Period of Performance: 01/13/2014 - 07/12/2014

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aqwest
8276 Eagle Road Array
Larkspur, CO 80118
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Aqwest LLC proposes to develop a phase change material (PCM)-based thermal energy storage (TES) to enable rightsizing of environmental control units (ECU) and improve overall efficiency through reduced peak loads, more stabilized ECU operation, and off-peak thermal energy storage. The Aqwest TES has a very simple construction and mode of operation while offering major savings in energy consumption. The Aqwest innovative TES concepts for ECU allow for effective thermal coupling between the ECU and the PCM, which translates to >10% in energy use savings. In particular, our innovative PCM packaging and heat spreading concepts we earlier developed for the DOD overcome the low thermal conductivity of PCM materials, thus enabling compact packaging.