Generation-1 TCHP Prototype (2014)
With DOE and NYSERDA grant funding, the Generation-1 (TCHP-1) prototype focused on the fundamental concept design including simulation and build of critical system components (e.g. emissions-free natural gas burner, heat exchangers, mechatronics and displacers, regenerators, etc.) for initial system testing.
- Successfully demonstrated the fundamental thermodynamics and unique thermal compression concepts of the system.
- In-house simulation modeling and designs indicated a heating cycle COP of 1.4 – 2.2 and an anticipated cooling COP of 0.8 – 1.2
- Applied for patents on novel aspects of displacer motion and electro-mechanical (mechatronic) control system.
Generation-2 TCHP Prototype (2016)
With thermodynamic concepts validated, the TCHP-2 prototype focused on component optimization, improved system design, and utilization of low-cost production methods and durable materials. Energy from natural gas supplemented 40% by ability to capture heat energy from the ambient air / environment, even at very low temperatures.
- Delivered > 2.5 kW warm water, while pumping over 500W of cooling capacity at low temperatures (-5°C) for a calculated COP of 1.25-1.5.
- Ability change temperature over 22°C in less than 30 seconds
- Substantial improvements to displacer control, both through mechanical design and software modification, resulted in almost tripling output heat capacity.
Generation-3 TCHP Prototype (2018)
With the system now moving towards optimal configuration and design, TCHP-3 focused on system, burner, and mechatronic strategies to improve power and load response. In August, testing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) demonstrated simultaneous heating and cooling with COPs that exceeded DOE heat pump targets.
- Successful testing at ORNL achieved a heating COP of 1.5 at 8˚C, while demonstrating natural gas derived cooling down to -100°C (approximately -150°F).
- Demonstration of the ability to deliver heating capacity that does not degrade significantly in cold climate operation.