Membrane dehumidifier makes air conditioners up to 50 percent more efficient
Americans unnecessarily spend billions of dollars on power bills when humid air causes their air-conditioning systems to be inefficient. To cut electricity use for cooling in hot, humid climates by 50 percent, a team led by ADMA Products and including PNNL and Texas A&M University is developing a novel dehumidifier. The system uses a thin membrane developed by PNNL chemical engineer Wei Liu and his PNNL colleagues that acts as a molecular sieve and soaks up water from the air. The membrane consists of a thin, foil-like metal sheet that's coated with a layer of a water-attracting material called zeolite. Just one-fifth the width of human hair and made from common, inexpensive materials, the membrane removes moisture from air many times faster than dehydration membrane products currently on the market. PNNL is developing a small, lab-scale prototype of its system, and the project team has created a manufacturing method that can be used at larger scales. Visit Liu at the ADMA Products booth, or hear him pitch the technology to a panel of investors at ARPA-E's Future Energy Pitching Session, which runs 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25. More info on the pitching session is at http://www.arpae-summit.com/Agenda/Future-Energy-Pitching-Session.
New way to heat, cool electric vehicles reduces drain on driving range
The combustion engines in gasoline-powered cars generate a lot of heat, which is great for heating the passenger cabin in winter. But energy-efficient electric vehicles produce very little waste heat. Providing electricity for the same amount of heat used in gasoline cars would reduce electric vehicles' driving range by up to 40 percent. PNNL engineer Pete McGrail is leading a team that includes the University of South Florida to
|Contact: Franny White|
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory