Cooling Using Thermochemical Cycle

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Project Term:
09/01/2015 - 02/28/2019

Technology Description:

Applied Research Associates (ARA) will design and fabricate a dry-cooling system that overcomes the inherent thermodynamic performance penalty of air-cooled systems, particularly under high ambient temperatures. ARA’s ACTIVE cooling technology uses a polymerization thermochemical cycle to provide supplemental cooling and cool storage that can work as a standalone system or be synchronized with air-cooled units to cool power plant condenser water. The cool storage will be completed in two stages. During the day, the cool storage is maintained near the ambient temperature, and then at night the remainder of cooling can be done using the low temperature nighttime air. The cool storage unit is then ready for plant condenser reuse the next day. This technology will provide power plant condensers with return water at the necessary temperature levels to maintain power production at their optimum thermal efficiency.

Potential Impact:

If successful, ARA’s ACTIVE technology will demonstrate a cost-effective means of using a thermochemical cycle to reject waste heat to the ambient air without consuming water.


Power plants could maintain energy efficiency by using ARA’s technology instead of water cooling when water use is restricted.


The team’s ACTIVE system can eliminate the need for local water resources for cooling and help conserve water for other uses.


By using a novel de-polymerization/re-polymerization cycle, the team’s ACTIVE technology has seven times the heat storage capacity of commonly used materials, helping to reduce the cost of its system.


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