|Speaker:||Albert K. Henning|
|Executive Summary:||US refrigerators consume 15 % of residential electrical energy. Other refrigeration and AC units account for another 15% of electrical energy use.
Small efficiency increases in refrigeration and AC systems thus lead quickly to compelling reductions of energy consumption and attendant greenhouse gas emissions. Refrigerators and air conditioners accounted for 156.1 and 182.8 BkWh of the 1140 billion kWh of residential electrical energy use in the U.S. in 2001. A 5% efficiency improvement in refrigerator energy utilization translates to a savings of 7.8 BkWh.
Our product improves energy efficiency of refrigeration and AC systems by replacement of the passive pressure drop/expansion copper tube in conventional systems, with an active microvalve, with efficiency improvements of between 2 and 14% in residential refrigerators.
Microfabrication technology applied to the fabrication of microvalves for this purpose will meet the requirements for such a device. The salient requirements are: power consumption less than 0.5W; reliability consistent with a refrigerator running 365-24 for up to 15 years, without failure; response time of less than 4 sec; price to refrigerator manufacturers of less than a few dollars, with a tradeoff available between reduced power consumption (below 0.5W) and increased price.|
|Venture is:||Seed Level|