Hybrid Absorption/Vapor-Compression System for Shelter Air Conditioning

Period of Performance: 05/02/2011 - 05/02/2013


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Array
Rockledge, FL 32955
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Maryland
3112 Lee Building
College Park, MD 20742
Institution POC


Unnecessarily high battlespace fuel consumption degrades operational capability, increases force balance problems, exposes refueling convoys to high risk, and increases operating and support costs. Currently, military shelters are cooled by vapor compression air conditioners powered by diesel electric generators. Diesel generators, which are overwhelmingly used for shelter cooling at forward bases, are the second-largest drain on U.S. military fuel supplies next to aircraft. In response to this challenge, Mainstream Engineering Corporation (MEC) is proposing the development of a hybrid absorption/vapor-compression (AB/VC) system for shelter air conditioning. In Phase I, the AB/VC concept was shown to significantly increase the fuel-to-cooling coefficient of performance (COP) over current vapor compression systems while maintaining excellent system size, weight, durability, and maintainability. In Phase II, MEC will design, build, and thoroughly characterize a hybrid AB/VC technology demonstrator. MEC is uniquely positioned to perform this program given our experience with thermal control R&D and experience with the design, production, and fielding of military refrigeration systems. In addition, an exceptionally strong STTR teaming arrangement adds 30+ years of experience in absorption refrigeration, heat transfer, and working fluids to the team.