PNNL, Oregon State get $2.8M from Department of Defense
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Pacific Northwest National Lab will work with Oregon State University and an Atlanta company to adapt its nanomaterial-powered air chiller for the battle field.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will receive up to $2.8 million from the federal government to develop an energy-efficient air chilling system that could be used by troops on the front lines.
PNNL will partner with Oregon State University and Power Partners Inc. of Atlanta on the project.
The award came from the Department of Defense, Navy and the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, better known as APRA-E. It was part of an $8.5 million allocation, divided between five projects, to improve the efficiency of battlefield heating and cooling systems by 20 to 50 percent.
"Our team has a strong emotional connection to the success of this project, as it could help prevent American soldiers from being injured or killed while moving fuel in dangerous supply convoys around the battlefield," said PNNL Laboratory Fellow and project leader Pete McGrail in a press release.
The system will be an adsorption chiller designed to be smaller, lighter, more efficient and operate under the extreme temperatures experienced at bases on the front lines. The chiller will use a nanomaterial that can hold much more water than the silica gel used in most adsorption chillers. The system will run off of waste heat coming from a diesel generator.
PNNL, a Department of Energy lab operated by Battelle, began developing the chiller for commercial buildings in 2010. The lab also received funding in 2011 to adapt it for use in electric vehicles.
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