Heat-activated Heat-pump System with Compressor and Regenerator

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Technology Description


This heat-activated heat-pump system comprises a power cycle coupled to a vapor-compression refrigeration cycle both utilizing the same working fluid. The power cycle uses a boiler, an expander receiving superheated vapor and producing work from the superheated vapor, a condenser, and a pump. A regenerator conducts a first stream of working fluid from the pump to the boiler and a second stream of the working fluid from the expander to the condenser while transferring heat from the second stream to the first stream. The refrigeration cycle comprises a compressor that compresses the working fluid from the evaporator and delivers the compressed working fluid to a condenser. The expander and compressor are coupled together such that at least a portion of the work produced by the expander is utilized for running the compressor.


Features & Benefits


  • Smaller, lighter and portable than comparable system
  • Durable and efficient




  • Cooling of vehicle interiors
  • Cooling of personnel protective suites
  • Cooling for military device


Background of Invention


Combustion-driven, heat-activated heat pumps used for heating and/or cooling have a large performance advantage in terms of size and weight over battery-powered heat-pumping devices. This is due in part to the respective energy densities of commonly used liquid-hydrocarbon fuels compared to the energy densities of zinc/air batteries and of lead-acid batteries. High-performance, heat-activated cooling systems able to exploit this advantage of hydrocarbon fuels (by combusting them) would have many commercial and military applications. Even with a heat-to-work conversion efficiency of 10 to 20%, a combustion-driven heat-activated cooling system would be smaller and lighter, and could operate for longer periods of time (compared to battery-powered units) if component size and weight could be effectively limited.





Available for licensing.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
David Dickson
IP & Licensing Manager
Oregon State University
Monte Kevin Drost
Thomas Herron
Richard Peterson
Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Inst. (ATAMI)
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Mechanical & Areospace Engineering
Physics / Applied Engineering
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