The first commercial membrane chiller
Phase Innovations provides novel stack-based technologies for energy conversion and storage applications. Our work is grounded in a commitment to clean water, air, and energy. For these systems, nanotechnology advancements meet applications in the form of thin films. Stack architectures are optimal for maximizing surface area to volume ratio resulting in high efficiency systems. There are many parallels in the engineering principles related to species transport in stack designs for various applications. Phase Innovations is leveraging their expertise in developing these systems to accelerate clean technology.
Currently, Phase Innovations is finalizing designs for the first 2-ton pilot cooling and de-humidification unit that will be functioning at its pilot location in the summer of 2017.
The membrane chiller in development provides sensible cooling by the same principles used in an evaporative chiller. However, these systems can continue to provide sensible cooling when the outside air has dew points higher than the desired supply temperature, making the technology suitable for high humidity environments. Additionally, the membrane heat pump (MHP) will dehumidify the supply air without condensing on the coil, eliminating the need to reheat. This technology is enabled by water vapor transfer membranes with water as the working fluid in partial vacuum. The MHP is very exciting from an engineering standpoint because the key components of these systems exist today with the main development challenge being design and integration. An optimized MHP will be more efficient than the state-of-the-art vapor compression systems with no impact on greenhouse gas emissions during their lifecycle.