Transaera Inc., a startup based in the United States, in partnership with Haier, selected as a Finalist in the Global Cooling Prize

Transaera, a startup out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is collaborating with Qingdao Haier Air Conditioner Gen Corp. Ltd. to develop a cooling solution using a new type of solid desiccant material.

Technology Description

The cooling solution is designed to operate a high-efficiency room air conditioner in parallel with a novel dehumidifier to provide optimal thermal comfort, especially in regions with hot and humid climates. By separating the temperature and humidity control processes, this air conditioner has the potential to reduce energy consumption by as much as 70 percent as compared with standard air conditioners.

Humid air is difficult to cool because of the large amount of water vapor in the air. Transaera’s technology, comprising a proprietary desiccant material and heat exchanger, spontaneously absorbs this water vapor, allowing room air to dry. Dry air is easier to cool with a high-efficiency AC unit, thus reducing the overall electricity consumption. Additionally, while typical desiccant materials require a high-temperature source for regeneration, Transaera’s material can be regenerated using exhaust heat from the cooling subsystem, a source of energy that is normally wasted. The system has a provision for a direct evaporative cooling option at the condenser inlet to further improve condensing efficiency, as well as a small integrated solar photovoltaic panel and battery to reduce peak grid consumption.