SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Delivering Efficient Local Thermal Amenities (DELTA) program will develop localized heating and cooling systems and devices to expand the temperature range within buildings. The program is providing $30 million to support 11 project teams in developing technologies that can regulate temperatures focused on a building’s occupants rather than the overall building. This localization will enable buildings to operate in wider temperature ranges while still ensuring occupant comfort, to help significantly reduce the building’s energy consumption.

Syracuse University, led by principal investigator Professor H. Ezzat Khalifa, along with partners United Technologies Research Center, Air Innovations, Bush Technical LLC, and Cornell University, has been awarded $3.2 million from DOE/ARPA-E, and has also received substantial cash and in-kind contributions from Syracuse University, the above partners, Empire State Development (ESD), and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Syracuse University will develop a near-range micro-environmental control system. This system will leverage a high-efficiency micro-scroll compressor in a micro vapor compression system, whose evaporator is embedded in a phase-change material. The phase-change material will store the cooling produced by the micro vapor compression system at night, releasing it as a cool breeze to make occupants more comfortable during the day. This micro-environmental control system could save more than 15 percent of the energy provided for heating and cooling.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy systems played an important role in the success of this proposal and will be a major contributor to the execution of this award.

“These new projects highlight the Department of Energy’s commitment to developing a broad range of disruptive technologies to ensure a secure, affordable, and sustainable American energy future,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Publication date: 2/16/2015

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