Study of the Use of Quantum Well Thermoelectrics for Truck Air Conditioning

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-08ER85066
Agency Tracking Number: N/A
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
7606 Miramar Road, Suite 7400, San Diego, CA, 92126
DUNS: 192116440
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Bass
 (858) 695-6660
Business Contact
 Norbert Elsner
Title: Mr.
Phone: (858) 695-6660
Research Institution
The systems currently used to cool truck cabs include a vapor compression system attached to the engine. This system uses a refrigerant fluid (R134A) that is potentially harmful to the environment. In fact, this fluid has been outlawed in Europe and likely will be outlawed in the United States soon. In addition, the compression system is a high maintenance item, is noisy, vibrates, and is a significant power drain on the vehicle. This project will develop a new type of thermoelectric, called quantum wells, a solid state means of cooling that does not use dangerous gases and can achieve cooling efficiencies that are equal to or better than vapor compression systems. In Phase I, a working model was used to demonstrate that quantum-well thermoelectrics could be used to cool the interior of a truck, without any hazardous gases such as R134A. The coefficient of performance was shown to be comparable to currently used vapor compression cycles, without the attendant high maintenance and noise. Phase II will design, fabricate, and test a complete prototype system.Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: Applications for the new cooling system include trucks and automobiles. Savings in fuel consumption, elimination of refrigerant leakage, reduction in noise and vibration, and reduction in overall maintenance costs would be among the chief benefits. There exists a vast potential market of over a billion dollars

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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