Using Proton Exchange Membranes (PEMs) to Revolutionize Refrigeration

B. Bahar
Xergy Inc, US

Keywords: HVAC, fuel-cell, compressor, proton pump, water, sustainability


Xergy utilizes proprietary technology to create the most efficient and greenest compressor system for refrigeration applications. Kuel-Cell(TM) technology has it’s roots in fuel cell technology and biomimicry and utilizes the greenest possible refrigerant, water. With the exception of very low levels of Platinum catalyst Kuel-cells use no magnets, rare earths or other strategic materials. Kuel-Cells are throttlable, scalable, silent, and modular with 15% to 40% higher efficiency over mechanical compressor systems. Scalability and modularity allows highly efficient small compressors and micro climate control leading to higher comfort and improved efficiency. Conversion to Kuel-cell based systems would have a major positive environmental impact from reduced energy, rare earth and metal consumption. Xergy utilizes ionomers similar and protonic pumping to drive water through a membrane, providing pressurized water vapor to a standard Carnot type refrigeration-cycle. Currently Xergy is in the concept prove-out stage, optimizing membranes and working fluid transport. Our target is to have a full scale commercial working prototype within the coming year. This paper will provide general design criteria and quantify the expected environmental impact of Kuel-Cell commercialization in various market segments.