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SBIR Phase I: Improved Cold Thermal Energy Storage for Refrigeration Applications
Phone: (415) 847-9017
Phone: (415) 847-9017
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes the development of a new type of cold thermal storage system that will help reduce the energy consumption of commercial and household refrigeration appliances. Central air-conditioning units and refrigerators account for nearly 30% of U.S. household electricity consumption. Cold thermal energy storage (CTES) technology has been proven to increase the energy efficiency of air conditioning and refrigeration appliances. However, much of the recent developments in CTES technology have been focused only on large-scale commercial air conditioning units. These developments have not been successfully translated to smaller scale industrial and household refrigeration appliances. The objective of this Phase I work is to overcome each of the major technical risks in the development of a small-scale cold thermal storage system by systematically studying, modeling and testing new types of thermal storage components and system configurations which will be incorporated into future energy-efficient refrigeration products. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to reduce the energy consumption of power-hungry appliances such as refrigerators and air-conditioning units. Nearly 70% of all commercial buildings in United States use some form of refrigeration equipment, ranging from small refrigerators or vending machines to large refrigerated walk-in units. None of this equipment is designed to use energy efficiency technologies such as cold thermal energy storage. Cold thermal energy storage also has enormous market potential in developing economies where energy storage is not only an efficiency technology but is the ultimate key to enabling refrigeration in off-grid and remote locations where grid supply is u eliable or non-existent. In markets like India, farmers, food processors and public health institutions are clamoring for energy-efficient, grid-independent refrigeration appliances to store and preserve agricultural produce and vaccines.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *