You are here

Non-Refrigerant Based Cooling System for Cabin Cooling


OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials TOPIC OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop alternative air handling units or systems to cool the cabin area and/or electronics. TOPIC DESCRIPTION: This topic calls for selected proposer(s) to design a non-refrigerant based low Global Warming Potential (GWP) Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) free cooling system. HFC 134a is being phased out globally due to its high global warming potential (GWP), the automotive industry has switched over to HFO-1234yf which is flammable and not suitable for current military system designs. The idea to design a non-refrigerant based cooling system directly supports the Army Climate Strategy. The HFC 134a phase down plan included in Section 103 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260) calls for a phase down of the production and import of HFC’s down to 15% of the current levels by 2036. Rather than trying to adapt military air conditioning system designs to address the flammability of HFO-1234yf, this design strategy is to eliminate the refrigerant loop altogether. A non-refrigerant based system would eliminate the need for the purchase and storage of refrigerants as well as the leakage issues of current systems. It would eliminate the need for large specialty equipment recovery machines which are required to maintain refrigerant systems, thus saving cost for Army wide infrastructure. PHASE I:  Quarter scale proof of concept version of cooling system. This would be tested in the Special Systems and Component Engineering (SSCE) laboratory in a thermal chamber for performance. The Phase I Base amount must not exceed $250,000 for a 12-month period of performance. PHASE II:  Full size breadboard system tested in laboratory environment • Phase II Sequential: Full size system installed in vehicle • Phase II Enhancement: Resolve any issues, document, demonstrate in-vehicle performance PHASE III and DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: As global regulations tighten around the kinds of refrigerants that can be used, all industries that require refrigeration in their operations will require a new, effective, and compliant refrigerant moving forward. However, widespread adoption and scalability remain concerns. This system would eventually be installed on a vehicle and evaluated for performance. KEYWORDS:    System cooling; Non-refrigerant; air conditioning; refrigerant loop   REFERENCES:  1. 2. 3.
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government