Date: Dec 07, 2011 Source: Green Car Congress (
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Sheetak Inc. has been awarded a $4.7-million contract by the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop a thermal energy storage system for supplemental heating or cooling for electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). (Earlier post.) Delphi Automotive will partner with Sheetak to accelerate systems integration and commercialization.
The project, Thermoelectric Reactors for Efficient Automotive Thermal Storage (TREATS), is part of ARPA-E's High Energy Advanced Thermal Storage (HEATS) program. Currently in development, the system will be lightweight and operate without the need for air conditioning refrigerant. The system will significantly reduce electrical power draw from batteries, thereby extending the fuel economy and driving range of electric and hybrid vehicles.
The new system will utilize Sheetak's high-efficiency solid-state energy converters and thermal storage systems to supplement compressor-based HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. Integrating a traditional HVAC system with the supplemental system can increase the range of electric or hybrid vehicles.
Sheetak's hot and cold thermal storage in TREATS has volumetric energy density greater than that of electrical batteries. Charging and discharging of the TREATS thermal storage will be achieved via the solid state converters.
TREATS is the second ARPA-E collaborative agreement signed by Sheetak. The earlier project was funded to develop advanced thin film thermoelectric coolers that can replace traditional compressor systems in refrigerators.
Sheetak Inc. is a provider of breakthrough solid-state energy conversion technology to the refrigeration, HVAC, and power generation markets. Sheetak has developed electronic cooling engines for refrigerator OEMs in the US and India and commercialized low-cost refrigerators viable for the "bottom billion" in developing countries. Sheetak's mission is to replace compressors and provide a clean, efficient and affordable solution for a variety of cooling applications. The same technology platform can be utilized for developing efficient and cost effective solar generators and combustion power generators.