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Natural Gas Heat Pump and Air Conditioner

Lead Performer: Thermolift - Stony Brook, NY
Partners:
-- New York State Energy Research & Development Authority - Albany, NY
-- Stony Brook University - Stony Brook, NY
-- Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Oak Ridge, TN
-- National Grid - Washington, DC
-- Applied Thermodynamic Apparatus (ATA) - Ann Arbor, MI
-- Fala Technologies - Kingston, NY
-- LoDolce - Saugerties, NY
DOE Funding: $750,000
Cost Share: Provided by CRADA partners
Project Term: 10/1/2013 - 9/30/2014
Funding Opportunity: Building Technologies Innovations Program 2013 (DE-FOA-0000823)

Project Objective

Thermolift is developing the Vuilleumier heat pump (VHP), which uses natural gas to provide space heating, space cooling, and hot water for residential and commercial buildings. This project will design, build, and test two VHP prototypes. The VHP incorporates an ultra-low-emission combustion burner, electronically controlled actuators for cycle efficiency improvement, and innovative heat exchangers. The VHP will not use refrigerants yet still be cost competitive and outperform current state-of-the-art equipment. Reduced energy demand will contribute to a more reliable energy grid, lower energy costs, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and increased domestic energy independence. VHPs will be manufactured in the United States, improving employment and the trade deficit.

Project Impact

With these improvements, Thermolift expects the next-generation VHP device to outperform currently available state-of-the-art HVAC and domestic hot water equipment. Thermolift expects this approach will achieve small-scale commercialization within 3 years and broad-scale commercialization within 5 years.

Contacts

DOE Technology Manager: Tony Bouza
Performer: Paul Schwartz, Thermolift