An Odessa company is one of five nationwide receiving a military grant to find new ways of conserving energy on the battlefield.
Dais Analytic Corp., which provides “industry-changing, nanotechnology-based applications for heating and cooling, water treatment, and energy storage,” according to the company Web site, will receive an $800,000 grant to “develop an energy-efficient, compact dehumidification system” for the military, according to a media release.
The grant is part of an $8.5 million program by the Department of Defense, Navy and Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to “help foster advances in energy performance for military equipment,” according to the Department of Defense.
Thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan “have been killed or injured moving fuel in dangerous supply convoys around the battlefield,” according to the Department of Defense.
To improve efficiency, the department established the Operational Energy Capabilities Improvement Fund last January, according to the release. The fund is particularly interested in accessing advances created by small businesses, an important source of energy innovation for the Department.
A 2010 Marine Corps assessment estimated that nearly 25 percent of fuel used in Afghanistan goes to heating and cooling structures. The Navy and ARPA-E aim to reduce this demand by investing in next-generation deployable HVAC technologies.
The objective is to advance heating and cooling technologies to achieve 20 percent to 50 percent less fuel usage than currently deployed systems. Advances made under the program leverage the Department of Energy’s expertise and on-going work on commercial HVAC systems and have the potential to accelerate the availability of those technologies to homeowners and businesses to reduce their energy bills.
The Dais Analytic Corp. system, according to the Department of Defense, utilizes a polymer membrane that allows moisture - but not air - to pass through it. This membrane allows for water vapor to be efficiently removed from humid air, and enables high-volume, low-cost mass production of the dehumidification system. The resulting dehumidified air can be cooled using far less fuel with evaporative cooling. It is estimated that this could decrease the amount of fuel needed at forward operating bases by 20 percent to 50 percent in hot, humid environments.