Lead Performer: Xergy -- Seaford, DE
Partner: GE Appliances -- Louisville, KY
DOE Funding: Phase 2 - $999,680; Phase 1 - $149,856
Project Term: May 2014 - May 2016
Funding Opportunity: FY 2014 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Release 3

Project Objective

Xergy is transforming heat pump technology with its electrochemical compressor. By using water as the working fluid rather than a refrigerant, which contributes to climate change and is used by the vapor-compression systems in current water heaters, Xergy’s technology can operate with zero global warming potential. The electrochemical compressor creates a refrigeration cycle by producing a small volume of lightly pressurized hydrogen from electricity, leveraging hydrogen’s excellent thermodynamic characteristics, as well as existing proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) technology.

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In Phase I of this project, Xergy developed the technology for an electrochemical compressor (ECC) suitable for a 50 gallon unit, which is both more efficient than current mechanical compressors, but also scalable. The technology uses a new high-performance, low-cost membrane configuration suitable for ECC use. In Phase II, Xergy will create a prototype heat pump hybrid hot water heater using their electrochemical compressor.

This award is part of the Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a government-wide effort to leverage small businesses’ technical expertise.


DOE Technology Manager: Tony Bouza
Performer: Bamdad Bahar, Xergy

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