Low-Global Warming Potential HVAC System with Ultra-Small Centrifugal Compression

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Mechanical Solutions, Inc.'s ultra-small centrifugal compressor concept will facilitate low-GWP refrigerant adoption.<br />Photo Credit: Mechanical Solutions, Inc.

Mechanical Solutions, Inc.'s ultra-small centrifugal compressor concept will facilitate low-GWP refrigerant adoption.
Photo Credit: Mechanical Solutions, Inc.

Lead Performer: Mechanical Solutions Inc. – Whippany, NJ
Partners: Lennox International Inc. – Richardson, TX
DOE Total Funding: $1,000,000
Cost Share: $250,000
Project Term: September 1, 2015 – August 31, 2017
Funding Opportunity: Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontier & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) – 2015 (DE-FOA-0001166)

Project Objective

Mechanical Solutions Inc. (MSI) has teamed with Lennox Industries Inc. (Lennox) to develop a low-Global Warming Potential (GWP) HVAC system featuring ultra-small centrifugal compression to meet DOE’s requirement for more efficient HVAC systems. The developed system will be in the 2- to 20-ton range. Based on MSI’s leading-edge research in ultra-small centrifugal compressors, and Lennox’s tradition of market-leading technology advancements, the team expects to do the following:

  • Design and develop an ultra-small, high-speed centrifugal compressor with improved efficiency over state-of-the-art scroll compressors.
  • Achieve system-level integration of a low-GWP refrigerant and an ultra-small compressor, including heat exchanger, control methodology, “drop in” replace-ability, and more flexibility in product packaging.
  • Produce the compressor for a cost that is equal to or less than current heavier, bigger and less efficient solutions.

The ultra-small compressor will feature increased efficiency and oil-free operation, all in a form factor less than 1/10th the size of a comparable scroll compressor. The heat exchanger system will also be optimized for the oil-less, very low-GWP refrigerant.

Project Impact

Compact centrifugal compression at a cost comparable to current positive displacement technology will facilitate adoption of low-GWP refrigerants while maintaining efficiency goals. Lifecycle Climate Performance (LCCP) will benefit considerably from this shift to low-GWP refrigerants.

Contacts

DOE Technology Manager: Antonio Bouza
Lead Performer: Dr. Edward Bennett, Mechanical Solutions Inc.

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