A team led by Syracuse University has been awarded a $3.2 million grant by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to develop a "micro environmental control system" for office buildings. The team, which also includes Air Innovations, Cornell University, United Technologies Research Center and Bush Technical LLC, is working on a micro vapor compression system that has an evaporator embedded in phase change material.
The cooling produced by the micro vapor will be stored in the PCM at night and released during the day. The unit, about the size of a desktop computer, will maintain comfortable micro climates and allow thermostats for bigger spaces to be set 4º F higher or lower than is now typical. The team's goal is to achieve at least a 15 percent reduction in heating and cooling costs.