- R&D 100 Awards
The Multibed Adsorption Recuperative Cooling (MARCool) System is an advanced adsorption cooling system that converts heat to cool air using little electricity, resulting in significant savings in energy costs. MARCool operates off any low-grade heat source. These heat sources include the exhaust of the portable power-generating equipment used at military operating bases, heat captured from engines that propel military, cargo and cruise ships, as well as geothermal and solar energy sources. MARCool is inexpensive to operate because it uses very little electricity in contrast to traditional power-hungry air conditioners. Until now, chillers using adsorption technology—a process in which a gas, liquid or solid adheres to the surface of a solid or liquid, but does not penetrate it— saw very limited application because they were too large, heavy and cost too much versus the energy savings realized. Those barriers are now overcome through the incorporation of new molecular engineered sorbent materials called metal organic frameworks (MOFs). PNNL uses a proprietary mix of MOFs synthesized with its patented method to run MARCool.