A Stony Brook-based heat-pump innovator has completed a rigorous round of prototype testing – and, in the process, crushed a series of critical U.S. Department of Energy performance standards.
ThermoLift, headquartered at Stony Brook University’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center and a member of the university’s Clean Energy Business Incubator Program, announced Tuesday that it’s wrapped up testing of its innovative, refrigerant-free natural-gas air conditioner and cold-climate heat pump technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
And it’s done so in style: A Generation 3.0 prototype demonstration, funded in part by a DOE grant and featuring a plethora of technological upgrades, showed that ThermoLift’s “cycle coefficient of performance” exceeded all DOE-designated temperature targets for cold-climate heat pumps, based on strict international performance standards.
That includes “high performance” at what company officials describe as “the most difficult test point” – temperatures ranging as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius.
The upshot: a full range of simultaneous heating, cooling and water-heating functionality in virtually any environment, using only natural gas as a fuel source.
The ThermoLift prototypes advance the science behind the thermally activated Vuilleumier heat pump, which leverages the Vuilleumier cycle – essentially, a thermodynamic cycle that works at very low temperatures – to provide new opportunities in extreme-temperature heat and cooling systems.