Briefs: Electronic air conditioning

David Sattler, from Sattler Consulting, a Melbourne-based firm (Australia) was awarded an AUD 80000 federal government grant to further his work on a new type of air conditioner, allowing for large cooling effects (and a heating potential) with minimal energy. A working prototype is expected to be ready by mid-2012. The technology used is based on a phenomenon called "sub atomic thermal migration" whereby the thermal dissipation of a material is greatly enhanced by the energizing of the media surrounding it to an elevated potential state. The system itself is described as an electron generator directing electrons from an electric plate to a fluid transport apparatus, a dissipation heat exchanger. The electron exchange enhances the release of heat: the electron movement breaks down the thermal resistance of the boundary layer surrounding the heat exchanger, allowing for rapid and massive heat exchange. Heat can therefore be removed quickly and in great quantities, with minimal external energy and released into the ambient, which acts as an "infinite" heat sink. A COP of 40+ was achieved in the first trials. It is envisaged that the technology would initially replace cooling towers and greatly increase the efficiency of existing air-cooled air conditioners that could be easily retrofitted, but potential applications also include pre-treatment of refrigerants (hot gas) entering chillers, or even replace the chillers altogether.