NREL's Energy-Saving Technology for Air Conditioning Cuts Peak Power Loads Without Using Harmful Refrigerants (Fact Sheet)

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This fact sheet describes how the DEVAP air conditioner was invented, explains how the technology works, and why it won an R&D 100 Award. Desiccant-enhanced evaporative (DEVAP) air-conditioning will provide superior comfort for commercial buildings in any climate at a small fraction of the electricity costs of conventional air-conditioning equipment, releasing far less carbon dioxide and cutting costly peak electrical demand by an estimated 80%. Air conditioning currently consumes about 15% of the electricity generated in the United States and is a major contributor to peak electrical demand on hot summer days, which can lead to escalating power costs, brownouts, ... continued below

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2 p.

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Creator: Unknown. July 1, 2012.

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Description

This fact sheet describes how the DEVAP air conditioner was invented, explains how the technology works, and why it won an R&D 100 Award. Desiccant-enhanced evaporative (DEVAP) air-conditioning will provide superior comfort for commercial buildings in any climate at a small fraction of the electricity costs of conventional air-conditioning equipment, releasing far less carbon dioxide and cutting costly peak electrical demand by an estimated 80%. Air conditioning currently consumes about 15% of the electricity generated in the United States and is a major contributor to peak electrical demand on hot summer days, which can lead to escalating power costs, brownouts, and rolling blackouts. DEVAP employs an innovative combination of air-cooling technologies to reduce energy use by up to 81%. DEVAP also shifts most of the energy needs to thermal energy sources, reducing annual electricity use by up to 90%. In doing so, DEVAP is estimated to cut peak electrical demand by nearly 80% in all climates. Widespread use of this cooling cycle would dramatically cut peak electrical loads throughout the country, saving billions of dollars in investments and operating costs for our nation's electrical utilities. Water is already used as a refrigerant in evaporative coolers, a common and widely used energy-saving technology for arid regions. The technology cools incoming hot, dry air by evaporating water into it. The energy absorbed by the water as it evaporates, known as the latent heat of vaporization, cools the air while humidifying it. However, evaporative coolers only function when the air is dry, and they deliver humid air that can lower the comfort level for building occupants. And even many dry climates like Phoenix, Arizona, have a humid season when evaporative cooling won't work well. DEVAP extends the applicability of evaporative cooling by first using a liquid desiccant-a water-absorbing material-to dry the air. The dry air is then passed to an indirect evaporative cooling stage, in which the incoming air is in thermal contact with a moistened surface that evaporates the water into a separate air stream. As the evaporation cools the moistened surface, it draws heat from the incoming air without adding humidity to it. A number of cooling cycles have been developed that employ indirect evaporative cooling, but DEVAP achieves a superior efficiency relative to its technological siblings.

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2 p.

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  • Related Information: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

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  • Report No.: NREL/FS-2000-55740
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1046261 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1046261
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc837924

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • July 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • April 4, 2017, 6:23 p.m.

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NREL's Energy-Saving Technology for Air Conditioning Cuts Peak Power Loads Without Using Harmful Refrigerants (Fact Sheet), report, July 1, 2012; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc837924/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.