The M-Cycle-Based Cooling System
There aren’t many truly new technologies these days; most build upon existing technologies to a greater or lesser degree. The Maisotsenko Cycle (M-Cycle), from emerging-technology firms Idalex Inc. and Coolerado LLC, allows for production of cold, power, drinking water, and many other applications, based on an efficient heat recovery process utilizing atmospheric air.
Combined with solar and other renewable technologies, it is said to be able to be utilized for the different renewable energy policy projects and green building initiatives that construct zero-energy buildings.
Products that currently use the M-Cycle include the Coolerado Cooler R600, which is said to be able to cool a 2,500-square-foot space and uses about 700 watts of power. That means it could require just four, 200-watt photovoltaic panels to power it. (A traditional compressor-based air conditioner would require 20-40 solar panels to harvest enough solar energy to power the system.)
The M-Cycle allows atmospheric air to be cooled (without humidification), not to the wet bulb temperature, but the dew point temperature; according to the manufacturer, it increases the psychrometric temperature difference and, consequently, the energy resource of the atmospheric air. In a nutshell, it relies on atmospheric air as its renewable, clean energy source.
UNDERSTANDING THE M-CYCLEIn order to understand the M-Cycle, it’s important to understand the basics of a little-discussed process called indirect evaporative cooling. You don’t hear much about indirect evaporative air coolers because the little bit of added cooling has not been worth the added cost of manufacturing.
Indirect evaporative air cooling uses the principles of evaporation in a heat exchanger. The exchanger prevents moisture from being added to the product airstream (the air going into the building).
In theory, the product airstream should be able to almost reach the wet bulb temperature without adding any water to the final product output, state the developing companies. In practice, however, the effectiveness of these types of coolers is reported to approach 54 percent of the incoming air wet bulb temperature, said the developers. “This is largely due to limitations of geometry and manufacturing.”
The M-Cycle uses the same wet and dry channels as in the indirect evaporative cooler, but with a much different geometry and airflow, creating what is called a new thermodynamic cycle. It incrementally cools and saturates working air, and benefits from that cooling on the next increment.
This cycle allows any fluid (gas or liquid) to be cooled below the wet bulb and within a few degrees of the dew point temperature of the incoming working air. In addition, no moisture is added to the product fluid stream, the companies said.
The M-Cycle has already been used in specific product applications. Idalex’s manufacturing company, Coolerado, is selling coolers worldwide as the Coolerado Cooler. An independent lab tested the Coolerado Cooler; results show that the product air is up to 22 percent below the wet bulb temperature, and to within 85 percent of the dew point temperature.
According to the manufacturer, the Coolerado Cooler has achieved real (not theoretical) temperatures below the wet bulb and approaching the dew point. Some recently published works deemed this impossible.
The M-Cycle has transitioned into the Coolerado Cooler from the conceptual stage to commercial applications, which offers up to an 80 percent reduction of power for air conditioning of homes, commercial, and industrial buildings. The Coolerado Cooler has gained recognition through the Department of Energy at NREL and FEMP.
SOLAR TIE-INThe M-Cycle’s cooling capacity is said to increase (instead of decrease) when the incoming temperature of the air being cooled increases. This property makes the M-Cycle suitable for applications with solar heat even with low potential solar heat.
Solar heat and wind energy can be efficiently transferred through the M-Cycle for producing cold or power, or the potable water, etc., the company said. It is possible with solar heat, using desiccant technology, to produce the Coolerado air conditioner, which is said to be up to five times more energy efficient than conventional air coolers - and, it can work in any climate zone without expenses of water or producing distilled water, etc. Using solar panels and wind energy for the M-Cycle, it is possible to produce solar-powered air conditioners while increasing the efficiency of existing solar panels, using exhaust working air for their cooling.
Coolerado air conditioners currently can be found in markets around the world - in Japan, Europe, South America, and Singapore as well as in the United States from Washington to Florida.
For more information, visit www.idalex.com and www.coolerado.com.
Publication date: 11/10/2008