Cool Storage for Supplemental Cooling

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Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Project Term:
08/15/2015 - 12/31/2018

Technology Description:

Advanced Cooling Technologies (ACT) will work with Lehigh University, the University of Missouri, and Evapco, Inc. to design and build a novel cool storage system that will increase the efficiency of a plant’s dry-cooling system. During the day, the system will transfer waste heat from the plant’s heated condenser water via an array of heat pipes to a cool storage unit containing a phase-change material (PCM). The planned PCMs are salt hydrates that can be tailored to store and release large amounts of thermal energy, offering a way to store waste heat until it can be efficiently rejected. When temperatures are lower, such as at night, a novel system of self-agitated fins will be used to promote mixing and enhance heat transfer to air. The effectiveness of the fins will allow a reduction in the size of the storage media and the power required to operate it, both of which could lower costs for the system. Because the PCM materials are salts, their storage temperature can be tuned by changing the water content. Therefore, the storage system can potentially be customized to provide supplemental dry cooling for different climates, including regions with high ambient temperatures, such as the southwestern United States.

Potential Impact:

If successful, ACT and its partners will develop a supplemental cooling system for power plants that can facilitate dry cooling in hot climates without sacrificing power plant performance.


Power plants can maintain energy efficiency by using the team’s dry-cooling technology instead of water cooling when water use is restricted.


ACT’s storage system results in no net water consumption for cooling, and therefore eliminates the need to draw on local water resources.


By improving the performance of air cooling, ACT’s cool storage system reduces the capital costs of air cooling by 30%, while reducing the size of the system by 40%.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Michael Ohadi
Project Contact:
Dr. Richard Bonner
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Lehigh University
University of Missouri
Evapco, Inc.

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