ROCKLEDGE, Fla. — Mainstream Engineering Corp. has been awarded a contract from the Army to develop a thermal energy storage device to improve the efficiency of air conditioning units.

Military air conditioners are one of the greatest consumers of electricity in forward operating bases located in the Middle East. Even small increases in efficiency can lead to significant reductions in generator fuel consumption, fuel transport safety, and comfort. The climate at military bases can be highly variable and shelter cooling loads can vary by a factor of 20 during a single day. This scenario is ideal for load shifting and energy reduction using thermal energy storage.

Mainstream is developing an add-on thermal energy storage device for air conditioning systems that can reduce daily energy consumption by 9 percent, said the company. This addition to existing air conditioning systems is expected to pay for itself after only a year of use, so the device could result in significant savings for the Department of Defense.

Mainstream noted that it has a tradition of developing new products for military applications and transitioning this technology to the residential and commercial air conditioning market through its line of QwikProducts. For example, Qwik System Flush® was developed to clean the oxygen breathing systems of a military aircraft and now is used to clean air conditioning linesets. Likewise, PuraClean® was developed for a NASA application and is now used to improve the filtration effect of air filters for those with allergies and asthma.

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Publication date: 5/19/2014

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