Principal investigator: Aaron Wemhoff

University: Villanova University

Industry partner: OxiCool, Inc.

OxiCool (Malvern, PA) has developed a novel residential air conditioning system that uses water as the refrigerant and a zeolite bed for water vapor adsorption as part of the cooling cycle. This project addresses the poor thermal conduction within the adsorbent bed, which acts as a major bottleneck in system performance. Two general strategies will be applied to improve the uniformity of adsorbent bed heating: the addition of highly conducting inclusions into the zeolite bed, and the modification of the bed design to enable deeper heat penetration. The project team will feature one graduate student for each of these research thrusts, working in close collaboration with industrial partner Brandon Wilcox of OxiCool. Thermal testing will be done by the students and Mr. Wilcox at the OxiCool test facility, and PI Wemhoff will supervise complementary theoretical and computational work at Villanova University.