Late Award - Advanced Hybrid Water-Heater using ECC

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Xergy Incorporated
105 Park Ave.
Seaford, DE 19973
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


The problem being addressed in this proposal is the existing extensive use of energy hungry hot water heaters in both residential and commercial building in the United States. In addition, any attempts to date to create a low energy hybrid hot water heater (HWH) have resulted in hot water heaters so loud that they cannot feasibly be used in residential applications. This project entails the development and prototyping of a hybrid hot water heater compressor which drastically reduces the energy needed to heat hot water as well as reducing the sound emitted from the hot water heater. Phase I successfully created a New (Electrochemical) Compressor suitable for a 50 gallon Hybrid Hot Water System, that is more efficient than current mechanical compressors and that is also, noiseless, vibration free, modular and scalable utilizing non-GHG refrigerant (water). The Phase II goal will be to create a High Fidelity heat pump hybrid hot water heater in conjunction with General Electric (GE) containing an Electro Chemical Compressor (ECC), allowing this unit to determine how to meet the DOE performance and cost of targets for the commercial residential electrochemical based Hybrid Hot Water Heater. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The need for this product is very clear. More than 70% of electric demand is utilized in buildings, with the U.S government reporting that approximately 15% of residential electric demand is for hot water production. Anything that will reduce that individual subunit demand will significantly reduce our total energy demand, emissions from producing electricity, and our dependence on foreign energy sources. In addition to energy conservation, this product would also reduce the use of GHG refrigerant, resulting in substantial environmental benefits. Utilizing this technology, GE could really have far-reaching positive effects on HWH market, (a) increase their share if they want to, and (b) increase the overall size of the market for Hybrid units. This is a disruptive and transformational technology that gives them an edge, they could really make a big splash and force the market to grow and for their share to increase. In addition, this compressor technology could be modified to other applications very easily and quickly for the following appliances: wine chillers, electronic cooling: basically anything that needs cooling above zero C.