Supercharger for Heat Pumps in Cold Climates

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-11ER90195
Agency Tracking Number: 96698
Amount: $1,000,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: 08 a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000676
Small Business Information
Mechanical Solutions, Inc.
11 Apollo Drive, Whippany, NJ, -
DUNS: 015334899
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Walter
 (518) 320-8552
Business Contact
 Karen Rizzi
Title: Ms.
Phone: (973) 326-9920
Research Institution
For many years, electrically driven heat pumps have proven to be an effective method of extracting heat from ambient air. As air temperature falls, however, heat pump performance falls off, essentially limiting their year round usefulness to warmer climates. In colder climates heat pump-equipped heating systems typically have a secondary means to provide heat, usually natural gas or electricity. This adds complexity, duplication, cost and pollution. There are currently no strong candidates for air source heat pump system designs that maintain both capacity and coefficient of performance (COP) in cold climates. If these systems were developed, they could have a significant energy-savings impact in cold regions, particularly where natural gas is not available. To address this opportunity, Mechanical Solutions, Inc. (MSI) proposes to develop a compact, motor driven refrigerant compressor that can be installed in the low pressure portion of the refrigerant loop to boost the refrigerant pressure ahead of the heat pumps existing compressor. The MSI device will be compact, highly efficient, and suitable for back-fit as well as new installations and future new products. Properly configured, the MSI supercharger will be universally applicable to the entire heat pump market, and will enable heat pumps to be applied to far colder climates without changing the type of refrigerant employed or the design of commercial compressors used in todays marketplace.Commercial Application and Other Benefits: MSIs proposed effort directly supports benefits at both the commercial and federal level: Effective use of heat pumps at colder temperatures will enable less use of foreign oil for heating; MSIs device will be a leading-edge combination of advanced technologies in small process-driven turbocompressors, and oil-free, low-cost bearings; As sources of electric power become cleaner, wider heat pump use offers the ability to produce heat with minimal increase in greenhouse gases. Customer sites include countless commercial installations throughout the country. Residential building candidates are numerous. Overcoming the technical challenges in the work MSI proposes is within our grasp. Developing this device will place the U.S. ahead of foreign competitors, and leading edge domestic-based science and technology will be the result.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government