ACHRNEWS

April 20, 2010: Renewable Phase Change Material Allows HVAC Systems to Capture and Reuse Waste Energy

April 20, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - Entropy Solutions Inc., a thermal technology development company, has introduced PureTemp for HVAC, a renewable phase change material that allows HVAC systems to capture and reuse waste energy, to provide more efficient and cost-effective heating and cooling systems.

A vegetable oil derivative, PureTemp captures wasted ambient energy and then releases this energy as necessary to hold specific temperatures for extended periods of time without requiring additional energy, says the company. PureTemp is said to be 100 percent renewable, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly.

When integrated into an HVAC system, Entropy Solutions says PureTemp captures the significant amount of wasted energy generated every time a furnace, water heater, or air conditioner restarts and cycles through to reach or maintain its target temperature. PureTemp harnesses this stored energy to power subsequent HVAC system restarts when the temperature fluctuates, creating a more efficient system.

For example, assume it costs 20 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity to heat a commercial building during the daytime, but only 12 cents per kilowatt-hour at night. If the same building had a boiler engineered with PureTemp, it would be possible to heat the system at night, with considerably less expensive off peak energy, and store the thermal energy to power the boiler during the day when energy is more expensive.

“For the past 30-plus years, energy efficiency has been a top priority for HVAC system engineers and designers,” said Eric Lindquist, chief executive officer for Entropy Solutions. “Today, there’s an even greater emphasis on leveraging sustainable energy technology to make HVAC systems more efficient. Whether it’s part of an airflow system in a furnace or air conditioner, or used as insulation material for a boiler or water heater, PureTemp for HVAC is redefining the meaning of ‘high efficiency’.”

According to the company, most HVAC solutions that store thermal energy use water as a temperature-controlling phase-change medium. But water-based systems are limited in their capacity to retain energy, storing four joules per gram on average. By comparison, PureTemp is said to store up to 200 joules of energy per gram, boosting performance more than 50-fold.

Other alternatives to water-based phase-change mediums, such as paraffinic (petroleum-based) or salt hydrate materials, offer a slight improvement over water’s thermal energy storage properties, but lack the long-term stability and green properties of PureTemp, the company says.

For more information, visit www.entropysolutionsinc.com.

Publication date: 04/19/2010