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Zeo-Tech has developed a new energy conversion process for the efficient generation and storage of heat and/or cooling power. Driven by a heat source, this process is solely based on water and the natural mineral, zeolite and is therefore fully compatible with the most stringent environmental regulations.
The natural mineral Zeolite has the property to attract (adsorb) water vapor and to incorporate it in its internal crystal lattice while releasing heat at the same time.
If this process proceeds in an evacuated (airless) environment the attraction of water by the zeolite is so forceful that the internal pressure drops dramatically. The remaining water in an attached vessel evaporates, cools down and freezes immediately due to the heat of evaporation. The resulting ice can be used for cooling and air conditioning while the simultaneously produced heat of adsorption within the zeolite tank can be utilized for heating. If a valve is included between the two vessels, the heat or cold production can be interrupted for any periods without loss of energy.
The first phase of this process proceeds up to the point when the zeolite is saturated with water. The reverse process is initiated by heating the zeolite at high temperatures in the second phase. The adsorbed water molecules are forced to evaporate (desorption). Condensation takes place in the water tank (condensor). The sequence of adsorption/desorption processes is completely reversible and can be repeated indefinitely.
A nearly continuous cooling power is accomplished if two or more of these sorption devices are operated in a phase-shifted manner. The regeneration can be performed with electric energy or – preferably from the perspective of primary energy usage – with heat from combustion processes or even with solar collectors.
As shown in the figure, the driving energy source is heat (100 %) which picks up an additional 30 % of net cooling power and thus provides a usable net heating power of 130 % as the overall result of the conversion cycle. If this system is applied in dual use mode for heating as well as cooling in parallel, the overall net effect amounts to 160 % of the expended heat input (100 %), provided as heat output (130 %) and cooling power (30 %).
Even with electrical heating, a sorption system provides considerable energy savings and a corresponding reduction of carbon dioxide production.
With other input heat sources the energy saving potential is much higher, with corresponding environmental benefits. Even the single use mode, utilizing only heating or only cooling power, is comparable or better (with respect to energy utilization) than any conventional technology.
The underlying technology, which is protected by international patents, constitutes a novelty in the areas of refrigeration, air conditioning and heating. No other process offers similar advantages as the sorption technology based on water/zeolite.
A recent development of Zeo-Tech GmbH is a self-cooling keg (see photo). This innovative application of the zeolite-technology makes it possible to drink cool beer anywhere you want. Without electric power supply! Currently Zeo-Techs licensee Coolsystem GmbH, Nuremberg is marketing a 20-litre self-cooling keg (CoolKeg®) in Germany.
The Ice-Quick is a small device to demonstrate the adsorption technology with the sorption pair water/zeolite. It consists of a zeolite filled cartridge, connected via an adaptor to a plastic cup, which contains some water, and which is evacuated by means of a hand-vacuum pump.Order online
The Overall System Design of the Micro-Climatization System MiCS has been conducted by SD&E System Design & Engineering GmbH. The design incorporates the conditioning module as core module, which is based on ZEO-TECHs zeolite / water adsorption technology.
ventilation module for air ventilation
air conditioning module based on zeolite / water- technology containing - a heat exchange section, and - a sorber section
power supply module (incl. control box), providing rechargeable high capacity for the conditioned air ventilation unit, and the sorber ventilation filter module for air cleaning (optional).
Performance and Dimensions
The endurance of operation, performance characteristics and resulting volume, size and weight are dependent on operational / customer requirements. The MiCS configuration shown above provides the following performance and dimensions:
Air flow 300 l/min for > 3hours
Cooling from 35° C down to 25° C for > 2.0 hours
Weight < 6.0 kg (13.2 lbs.)
Sorber section size: 32 cm (H) x 27 (L) cm x 4 cm (W) (12.5 in x 10.5 in x 1.5 in)
Heat exchange section size: 30 cm ( H, incl. blower) x 18 cm (L) x 6 cm (W) (11.8 in x 7.1 in x 2.4 in
The equipment consists of a refrigerator (in this case a 55 liter box-shaped cooler), powered by solar energy, with a built-in evaporator, one or more zeolite containers and a parabolic, concentrating solar collector, developed by E.G. Solar.
After coupling the trolleys to the system the freezing of 5 ltrs. of water takes nearly 30 minutes. After that the trolley can cool its content at temperatures of 3 ± 2 °C at an outside temperature of 27 °C.
In the kitchen the trolley will be connected to a stationary adsorption system. A water filling device replaces continously the water which is removed in the evaporation process.
The Standard-Colling system is used for the trolleys, for beverage dispensers and for food refrigerators. It consists of two adsorbers, one condenser and one evaporator.
The two adsorbers with 8 kg zeolite granulate each operate in alternating fashion. Via heat exchanger loops the heat available after desorption and also the heat produced during adsorption is removed. Adsorber and evaporator are coupled by one-way valves which are opened or closed depending on the pressure in the two vessels. The desorbed water vapour flows to the condenser and (after condensation) through a capillary pipe (which also contributes to the heat removal) back to the evaporator. The water charge in the evaporator is about 5 ltrs. For optimisation of the evaporation the surface area in the evaporator is enlarged considerably by constructive means. The »cooling power« is transferred by a heat transfer medium pumped in a closed cycle through flexible hoses between evaporator and the cabinet to be refrigerated, where the cooling effect is achieved through a heat exchanger.
Monitoring and control of the system are performed by a programmable electronic controller. For a heating power of 6.6 kW maximum the cooling power of this system, which is available as protoype, amounts to about 2.8 kW. This covers a cooling temperature range of down to 0 °C.
In order to accomplish temperatures of down to –18 °C and even lower a second system has been built which corresponds to the construction of the regular adsorption cooling system, but is smaller in size and has a lower mass. The zeolite charge in the adsor- ber/desorber units was reduced to 4 kg each and an anti-freeze agent was added to the water in the evaporator loop.
Further, the 3.5 dm³ evaporator fluid are directly pumped to the heat exhanger in the deep freezer compartment instead of using an intermediate loop. The required temperatures have been accomplished without problems during the first tests. A cooling power of about 500 W was measured.
The aim of the project "Zeolite: A Mineral for Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling" is the development of an innovative technology which is a successor technology to the state of the art condensing boilers. In this project a zeolite heatpump with an integrated ice-storage for water heating, space heating and air conditioning purposes will be developed. The device is a combination of a state of the art condensing boiler and a solid-state sorption heat pump fired by a gas-burner using the environmentally friendly working pair: water and the mineral zeolite. This innovative heatpump system with ice-storage heats and cools simultaneously!
On May 26, 2008, Dr. Ralf Schmidt of Zeo-Tech GmbH wrote:
Here are some key data about the zeolite technology:
Specific cooling energy: 100 Wh/kg(zeolite)
Specific energy for regeneration: 330 Wh/kg (zeolite)
zeolite cost range: 0,1 Euro/kg (natural zeolites)...0,5 Euro/kg
(synthetic powder)...3 Euro/kg (special synthetic zeolite types)
On May 26, 2008, Dr. Ralf Schmidt of Zeo-Tech GmbH wrote:
It is very hard to give you technology costs, which can vary in a wide
range (depending on system design, number of units produced, product
specifications, disposable or re-usable etc)
Typical ranges are:
technology costs: 7..10 Euro/kg(system weight)
energy (cooling) storage costs: 100..300 Euro/kWh
Significant energy savings – referring to the state of the art technologies (e.g. condensing boiler): approx. 25 % at hot water temperatures of 60 to 70 ºC approx. 75 % less heat from the ambient needed compared to an electrical heat pump
Ambient heat can easily be provided, for example with CPC collectors also in the autumn and in the winter possible ambient heat sources are: heat recovery systems flue gas can be cooled down below 0 ºC, therefore a significant cleaning of the flue gas due to condensation of harmful substances is more easily possible than with conventional condensing boilers
Add-on capability: gas-fired air-conditioner supply of considerable electrical power for the functioning of the air-conditioner is not needed
Zeolite heatpump with integrated ice-storage is very easy to maintain and a long system lifetime
Cost savings due to the use of small ambient heat exchanger
Fields of application are, e.g.:
domestic heating and hot water boilers
food and beverage cooling
domestic airconditioning as well as airconditioning of vehicles
Currently over 50 patents for the zeolite sorption technology are held by Zeo-Tech, most of them with multi-national coverage. Zeo-Tech is constantly expanding its basis of patents and is working with a considerable number of licensees. Extensive know-how and a wide range of consulting services are offered by Zeo-Tech under exclusive license agreements for specific areas. Where desired by the licensees, external developments are supported during the whole development cycle up to the production prototype.
Today 15 engineers and technicians are working at Zeo-Tech, generating a turnover of about Euro 1.0 Million in 2004.
Resting upon the scientific research of Peter Maier-Laxhuber performed at the Technical University of Munich during his PhD-work, Zeo-Tech was founded in 1988 by four private entrepreneurs with a capital of Euro 0.6 Million.
D-85716 Unterschleissheim / Germany
Tel.: +49 89 3 10 44 84
Fax: +49 89 3 10 44 85
E-Mail: [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Zeo-Tech_featured_at_PESWiki.com email@example.com]