PARC, A Xerox Company, announced its recent award of $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). PARC received this competitive award from ARPA-E’s Advanced Research in Dry Cooling (ARID) program, which seeks to develop transformative power plant cooling technologies that enable high thermal-to-electric energy conversion efficiency with zero net water dissipation to the atmosphere.
The funding will be used to develop and demonstrate a massively scalable and low-cost metamaterial film that can ‘self-cool’ in broad daylight, without the need for electricity or water. The envisioned deployment of this technology is in the form of multiple radiative cooling panels tiled over large areas, similar to a solar farm, resting on top of enclosures of water channels, to aid in dissipating heat loads in power plants.
“A material that can cool to 6o C below ambient temperatures when directly facing the sun is a real technical feat and a game-changer for dry cooling applications,” said Dr. Bernard Casse, Area Manager of PARC’s Metamaterial Devices and Applications group. “We’re engineering a new class of electromagnetic materials that molds the flow of heat. And, these materials are flexible, sturdy, low cost, and can be used for a broad range of applications, including cooling off power plants, buildings, satellites, and military tents and supplies in hot desert climates.”
Working with SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc., a global leader in full-line, full-service tower and air-cooled condenser manufacturer, PARC will develop and demonstrate scalability of its innovative passive radiative cooling technology. SPX will support PARC in commercialization and technical advisor roles.
“This material has the potential to enhance the way we meet customer needs for the most effective cooling solutions,” said Eric Rasmussen, Director, Global Research and Development, at SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc.
PARC’s passive radiative cooling technology has a simple and scalable architecture, which is designed to reflect solar light, while simultaneously radiating heat to the cold sky within the atmospheric infrared transparency window. This innovative design is a strong departure from other radiative cooling schemes, and its cooling performance exceeds that of competing technologies. At a scale of 1 km2 of paneling (~10 MW of total radiative cooling power), this cooling system will be able to cool the effluent from a power plant’s air-cooled heat exchangers by an additional 6-8 °C. This roughly translates to a net power plant efficiency gain of 3%, with the potential to eliminate water consumption in power plant cooling.
ARPA-E is an agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that invests in disruptive ideas to create America’s future energy technologies. For more information on ARPA-E and its innovative project portfolio, please visit http://www.arpa-e.energy.gov/.
PARC, a Xerox company, is in the Business of Breakthroughs®. Practicing open innovation, we provide custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government agencies and partners. We create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for our clients. Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC today continues the physical, computer, and social sciences research that enables breakthroughs for our clients' businesses.