Photo of Sandia's radial flow heat exchanger.

Sandia's radial flow heat exchanger.

Lead Performer: Sandia National Laboratories - Albuquerque, NM
-- Tribologix - Golden, CO
-- United Technologies Research Center - East Hartford, CT
-- University of Maryland - College Park, MD
-- Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Oak Ridge, TN
-- Whirlpool - Benton Harbor, MI
-- Optimized Thermal Systems - College Park, MD
DOE Funding: $5,472,285
Cost Share: $1,740,000
Project Term: February 2010 - TBD

Project Objective

This project is demonstrating a radial flow cooler in physical systems—such as commercial refrigerators, thermoelectric heat pumps, and residential heat pumps—that can reduce electrical power consumption in heating, venting, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) by 15%–20%. In addition, the project is building and testing an axial flow heat pump based on the advances in the radial flow cooler, but that is scalable to building HVAC&R applications. The axial cooler eliminates any requirement for heat transfer across a fluid bearing. The objective for the axial cooler is to create a new de facto standard for cost-competitive, high-efficiency HVAC&R technology.

The project will send 10 demonstration units of the radial flow Sandia cooler to potential licensees to evaluate the technology. Some specific steps:

  • Construct and test a 4kW axial flow heat pump.
  • Work with ORNL to develop a 1kW residential heat pump using the radial flow sandia cooler.
  • Work with University of Maryland to demonstrate the radial flow Sandia cooler technology by using it as a condenser in a commercial refrigeration unit.
  • Work with Optimized Thermal Systems to develop a unique thermoelectric refrigeration/heat pump device using the radial flow Sandia cooler.


DOE Technology Manager: Tony Bouza
Performer: Terry Johnson, Sandia National Laboratories

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