2021 AHR Innovation Award Winners

2021 AHR Innovation Award Winners

ACHR article: Products recognized for driving the future of the HVAC industry

Pump-Assisted Heat Exchanger Tops Green Building Technology: Exchanger will allow healthier buildings without sacrificing energy efficiency


AHR Innovation Award WinnerGREEN BUILDING

Winner: Advanced Cooling Technologies – Pump-Assisted Split Loop Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger

ACT Industrial Products Group prepares to deliver large energy recovery HVAC systems

Advanced Cooling Technologies’ Industrial Products Group prepares to deliver Pump-Assisted Split Loop Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger

Innovation: Advanced Cooling Technologies’ Pump Assisted AAHX recovers energy from either the exhaust or supply air stream during all seasons, allowing AHUs to consume less
energy. It works by combining traditional air-to-air heat pipe technology with pumped two-phase systems that take advantage of both operational modes. In passive mode, which activates when the warmer air stream is physically below the cooler air stream, the heat exchanger operates as a heat pipe with no electrical input required. When the seasons’ change and the relative temperature of the two air streams are reversed, a small pump is utilized to maintain the transfer of energy. Since the method of heat transfer inside of the heat exchanger utilizes the latent heat of the working fluid, the amount of flow rate required to transfer larger amounts of energy is a fraction of an equivalent glycol loop. The combination of passive operation for at least half of the year and very minimal energy consumption during active operation for the other half of the year enables such high overall energy recovery from this product.

The heat exchanger is compatible with large systems or distance. Additionally, optional active control valves and pump controls allow the heat exchanger to provide relatively precise temperature control and defrost capabilities without the need for volume inefficient bypass. This innovation solves some of the HVAC’s industry’s issues such as: allowing for clean air with no cross-air contamination; it is highly-efficient and has high-performance ratings using two-phase heat transfer, and it has added reliability
through redundancy and fluid selection. It also removes the restrictions on hardware placement that current system designers struggle with, therefore also removing the need to trade-off system packaging and energy recovery. This innovation will free up designers to develop new system layouts for better building air distribution and return, as well as allow for the optimization of airflow in their application without having to sacrifice energy efficiency.

Read the full article here.

 Advanced Cooling Technologies - Pump-Assisted Split Loop Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger

Advanced Cooling Technologies – Pump-Assisted Split Loop Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger

HVAC system upgrades at the Illinois State University

Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc., a premier designer and manufacturer of pump assisted two-phase heat exchangers, was recently awarded an approximately $500,000 contract from BTU Company, a Chicago, IL area Environmental Control solutions provider, to build eight (8) independent Split-Pump assisted Air-to-Air Heat Exchangers for HVAC system upgrades at the Illinois State University.

Split-Pump Assisted AAHX at Illinois State University

Split-Pump assisted Air-to-Air Heat Exchangers for HVAC system upgrades at the Illinois State University

ISU’s Watterson North & South Towers are two dormitory high-rises on the Normal, IL campus that have old HVAC systems that need to be upgraded, and must be ready for incoming students arriving for Fall semester 2021. An engineer on this project had the bold idea of implementing heat pipe heat exchanger technology to achieve higher HVAC system efficiency through energy recovery via a more passive nature. BTU Company, working with Engineers at the Farnsworth Group and contractors with The PIPCO Companies were instrumental in this process, working with ACT and the university team to provide a superior design and installation plan for this Heat Recovery portion of the overall HVAC package for the ISU campus.

This award builds on ACT’s recent technology success with the Lehigh University STEPS building, which utilizes a pump assisted air-to-air heat exchanger program; however, the Watterson Towers designs have some additional complexities to address.  The Lehigh units were one piece, vertical, over and under designs. The Watterson Towers units will be two independent coils (split system), each 52” x 52” and the coils are placed approximately seven (7) feet apart horizontally and one (1) foot apart vertically.  The heat pipe heat exchangers are placed in each of the air handlers to exchange energy between the incoming air stream and the building exhaust air stream, without contaminating the clean incoming air.  In the summer, the cool air leaving the building is used to pre-cool the incoming outside air such that the active air conditioning load is less.  In the winter, the warm air leaving the building is used to pre-heat the incoming outside air such that the active heating load on the AHU is reduced.

Click here for more information about ACT’s Air-to-Air heat exchangers or call us at 717-295-6061 to set up a learning session with our engineers!



During the renovation of the Mt. Rushmore National Monument’s Visitor Center, an ACT Air-To-Air Heat Exchanger (AAHX) Heat Pipe was selected to provide energy recovery for an existing Air Handler Unit (AHU) by ACT’s regional technical sales representatives, Mechanical Sales South Dakota (MSSD) Inc. The Heat Pipe was chosen by MSSD’s cutting-edge engineering team as the ideal energy recovery method because of the tight mechanical space; the AAHX unit was a perfect fit in the existing ductwork. This addition to the AHU will recover, depending on the season, either the cool or warm air leaving the building to pre-cool or pre-heat the incoming supply air. This allows the unit to provide fresh outside air, not contaminated air that has already circulated within the building, without taking a hit on efficiency or cost!

We look forward to our next visit to the newly upgraded book store, artifact storage rooms, and offices inside of the Visitor center, knowing that ACT Heat Pipes are helping to save them money, reduce strain on the environment, and keep the indoor air clean for a pleasant experience for visitors at Mt. Rushmore!

Mt.Rushmore Visitors Center

Windows of the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center located beneath the Grand View Terrace. NPS Photo https://www.nps.gov/moru/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm



ACT Provides Energy Saving Products to Lehigh University

Steps Building at Lehigh University

Lancaster, PA, October 21 2019 – Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) announced today the signing of a production contract with Energy Transfer Solutions, LLC (ETS), of Kennett Square, PA, to manufacture and install multiple, pump assisted air-to-air heat pipe heat exchangers (AAHX) for the STEPS Building on the Lehigh University Campus in Bethlehem, PA. ACT’s pump-assisted AAHXs offer all-season energy recovery for the building’s HVAC system at a higher reliability and lower maintenance cost than competing technologies.

Integrating energy recovery technologies in the HVAC systems for large buildings such as Hospitals, Universities, and Business Parks is becoming an increasingly common practice. In this case, the expected savings in energy cost from using ACT’s energy recovery products is over $150,000 per year.

Heat pipe heat exchangers provide quick payback and significant annual cost savings. In many cases, these systems can pay for themselves in 2-3 years and operate for 10+ years with minimal operating and maintenance costs.

About ACT
ACT is a developer and manufacturer of advanced thermal management solutions for customers in diverse markets including Aerospace, Defense, Temperature Calibration, Medical Devices, and Energy Recovery Systems. ACT’s Lancaster, Pennsylvania facility measures more than 80,000 square feet and is certified to ISO9001 and AS9100 quality standards. For more information, please visit www.1-ACT.com.

Learn more about ACT’s Pump Assisted Split Loop Air-to-Air Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers

ACT Achieves UL 207 for HVAC Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers

Lancaster, PA August 9, 2018 – Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) announced today that it has received the Notice of Completion and Authorization to Apply the UL Mark to its HVAC heat pipe heat exchanger products.  ACT’s wrap around heat exchangers (WAHX) and air-to-air heat exchangers (AAHX), in both the pipe-to-pipe and split loop thermosyphon configurations, with or without control valves, comply with the applicable requirements of UL 207 – Standard for Refrigerant-Containing Components and Accessories, Nonelectrical.  ACT’s HVAC heat pipe heat exchangers are designed to boost HVAC system performance through enhanced dehumidification, free reheat for neutral air applications, and energy cost savings in building ventilation systems.

This UL Certification is significant because many of the HVAC Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are UL shops; and as such, all of the components used in the assembly of the final product are required to be UL marked.  It is also significant because it demonstrates and quantifies, through a globally recognized third party testing agency, the robustness of ACT’s HVAC products.

Pete Dussinger, a Vice President of ACT, noted, “ACT’s latest UL certification for our HVAC Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger line of products verifies what we have known all along – the quality of our products, the innovative technologies, and the custom solutions that we provide have always exceeded the industry standard.  But now there is an indisputable trust factor that specifiers/customers can count on for delivery of the highest technical quality.”

ACT’s Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers are typically used in HVAC applications.  Wrap around heat exchangers (WAHXs) are typically used in warm, humid locations to enhance dehumidification and/or to provide significant energy savings in neutral air applications.  Air-to-air heat exchangers (AAHXs) are typically used in building ventilation applications to maintain a high level of indoor air quality while conserving a significant amount of energy across all of the seasons.

More information about ACT’s HVAC Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger products, including datasheets, user manuals, and online selection tools, can be found at: www.1-ACT.com/HVAC.

About ACT

ACT specializes in advanced thermal technology development and custom thermal product manufacturing. ACT designs and manufactures cold plates, HiK™ plates, heat pipes, pumped liquid and two-phase loops and thermal storage devices for customers in diverse markets including Aerospace, Electronics, Temperature Calibration, Medical Device, LED, and Energy Recovery Systems.

ACT’s team consists of personnel with established track records in technology development, commercialization and production. Many of them were involved in the pioneering work on heat pipes, loop heat pipes and other single and two-phase heat transfer devices. They are the inventors/co-inventors on numerous U.S. and international patents and the authors/co-authors of hundreds of scientific publications.

ACT’s facility measures more than 60,000 square feet, including office, laboratory and manufacturing spaces. With ISO9001 and AS9100 certified quality system in place, the facility has designed and manufactured high quality and cost effective thermal management solutions for dozens of mission critical satellite and military programs as well as for numerous commercial applications.

For more information about ACT, please visit www.1-ACT.com.

Media Contact

Amanda Hershey
Marketing Specialist
E-mail: Amanda.Hershey@1-ACT.com
Phone: +1 (717) 295-6121

Efficient Summer-Winter Energy Recovery Keeps Correctional Facility Comfortable

Berkshire 2A correctional facility in western Massachusetts has eight (8) Roof Top Air Handling Units (RTUs), circled in red that conditions the air in the facility.  These eight RTUs, in addition to recirculating a significant amount of air, also bring in 4,000 cfm of fresh air and exhaust 4,000 cfm of return air to maintain a favorable indoor air quality.

ACT was asked to review the RTU design and layout and propose a modification enhancement that would allow for recovering energy from the exhausted air stream and deliver that energy to the fresh air being drawn into the RTU.  By doing so, the warm exhaust air in the winter can preheat the cold outside air and the cool exhaust air in the summer can precool the warm outside air.  Preheating and precooling the outside air before it is conditioned by the RTU saves a tremendous amount of energy.

Due to the relative ease of retrofitting, an ACT-AAHX (Air-to-Air Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger) was selected for this application over enthalpy wheels and plate type heat exchangers.  In this environment, there is limited access to the roof for even routine maintenance, so the facilities management wanted to use a passive heat exchanger that does not have any moving parts (belts, motors, bearings, etc) as is the case with the enthalpy wheel.  Furthermore, fixed plate type heat exchangers are very large and bulky, making it difficult and expensive to retrofit onto an existing unit without significant amounts of additional duct work.  The thin, compact heat pipe heat exchanger was the best fit for the application.

ACT- AAHXs were evaluated that utilized six (6) to ten (10) rows of heat pipes.  AAHXs with six (6) rows of heat pipes are typically over 50% effective and have a relatively low pressure drop (less than 0.5 IWG).  Adding rows does increase the effectiveness; however, it is at the expense of additional pressure drop.  In this application, it was decided to select the six (6) row AAHX so that the existing fans/blowers did not have to be replaced with higher horsepower ones.  The ACT-AAHX is designed to recover up to 47,500 BTU/hr in the summer and 162,500 BTU/hr in the winter.

An AAHX that is mounted perfectly level will work equally well in both directions (summer and winter mode).  However in this case, because the AAHXs were fairly large and long (7.5 ft long), a tilt mechanism was provided for each AAHX.  In summer, the AAHX tilts such that the warm outside air passes through the heat pipe heat exchanger’s lowest side.  In this orientation, the warm outside air causes the heat pipe working fluid, R-134a, to vaporize and travel to the higher end of the AAHX.  Here the cool exhaust air causes the vapor to condense, giving up its latent heat of vaporization.  The condensed liquid R-134a then returns to the lower side by gravity flow, where it is available for vaporization again.  In the winter, the AAHX is tilted the opposite direction.  The amount of tilt is approximately one inch.

ACT’s tilting AAHX can be installed in a similar manner to a standard AAHX because the tilting AAHX has a stationary outer casing that can be securely attached to duct work.  Only the internal energy recovery casing moves.  The tilt mechanism can also be used to prevent unwanted preheating during shoulder days in the spring and fall when the RTU is in cooling mode but the outside air temperature temporarily drops below the exhaust air temperature (typically overnight).

Berkshire 3Furthermore, the tilt mechanism can be used to address frosting issues.  Under some conditions, extremely cold outside air and high humidity exhaust air, the exhaust air stream will start to condense water. This water can freeze and block the flow of air through the AAHX preventing it from recovering energy as designed.  In this case, the tilt mechanism can be used to position the AAHX in a non-functioning orientation.  The warm exhaust air, that is no longer being cooled, will defrost the exhaust side of the coil.  A simple algorithm built into the building management system can be used to manage the shoulder day cycle and defrost cycle automatically.

Payback on a dual-season AAHX systems with relatively long cold winter seasons, like in New England, will typically payback in under 1.5 years.


ACT to Demo New Energy Recovery Technologies at AHR 2016


AHRLancaster, Pennsylvania – January 7, 2016.  Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT), is pleased to announce its participation in the 2016 AHR exhibition to be held January 25 – January 27, 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

AHR Expo 2016 presents the drive for greater energy efficiency, greener products and sustainable technologies has accelerated the pace at which new products and innovations are coming to market. In this challenging economy. The expo will feature over 1,800 manufacturers and suppliers of the latest HVACR systems, equipment, products and services.

ACT will be exhibiting at booth #4287.  New live demos of Wrap-Around and Air-To-Air Energy Recovery products will be taking place in the booth.  ACT will also be featuring and introducing the new “ACTIVE” Control Valve, ACT-ACV.  Optimizing heat pipe performance during part load conditions is required in some WAHX installations. The ACT-ACV now makes it affordable and competitive to consider heat pipe control in a variety of applications. This valve compliments 2015’s introduction of ACT’s Thermal Passive Valve.

ACT Recertified for ISO and AS9100 Quality Standards

ACT Quality AssuranceLancaster, Pennsylvania – December 8, 2015 – Advanced Cooling Technologies (ACT), Inc. a premier thermal management solutions company, announced today that it has successfully passed a rigorous full recertification audit for ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100C.  The Quality Management Systems (QMS) audit, performed by accredited registrar Intertek Testing Services, covers the design and manufacturing of ACT’s products and services for the aviation, space and defense industries along with all other terrestrial markets.

Over the past several years, ACT has experienced growth in the aerospace and defense markets as well as a facility expansion for its energy recovery heat-exchange units.  “Successfully passing the AS9100 audit during this exciting growth/expansion period is a testament to our commitment to customer satisfaction, and manufacturing excellence” stated John Hartenstine, ACT’s Vice President of Operations and Quality Assurance.

ACT named a Best Place to Work in PA for Third Consecutive Year

Diane Baldassarre accepts the award on behalf of ACT

Diane Baldassarre accepts the award on behalf of ACT

Lancaster, PA, September 17, 2015 – For the third year in a row, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) has been named a Best Place to Work in PA for 2015. The awards program, created in 2000, is one of the first statewide programs of its kind in the country. The program is a public/private partnership between Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Central Penn Business Journal.

Jon Zuo, President of ACT, was pleased to make the announcement to the over 90 ACT employees. “This is the third time for us to receive this award. I want to congratulate everyone for this important accomplishment, and thank you for your hard work in making ACT an enjoyable and productive workplace. In particular, our thanks go to Diane Baldassarre and the members of the BPTW Committee and subcommittees for their tireless efforts in leading and coordinating the numerous projects, campaigns and events.”

This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Pennsylvania, who are benefiting the state’s economy and its workforce. Employers are categorized based upon the total number of employees they have in the United States, 25 to 249 employees and 250 or more employees.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business
  • Be a publicly or privately held business
  • Have a facility in Pennsylvania
  • Have at least 25 employees working in Pennsylvania
  • Be in business a minimum of one year

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the 100 Best Places to Work in PA. The first part of this process was evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophies, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process.

ACT was also named a Best Place to Work in PA for 2013, listed at number 66, and again in 2014 at number 49.

ACT will be recognized at the Best Places to Work in PA awards banquet on Thursday, December 3, 2015, at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, PA, receiving a ranking of #66 for 2015.

ACT Announces Facility Expansion

HVAC Energy Recovery Manufacturing Facilities and New Conference/Training Center

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – August 24, 2015 – Advanced Cooling Technologies (ACT), Inc. a premier thermal management solutions company, announced today the expansion of its facilities from 40,000ft2 to 50,000ft2 to accommodate its line of energy recovery systems, heat-exchanger units that make buildings’ HVAC systems more efficient.  The 10,000ft2 expansion is in response to ACT’s growing presence in the HVAC/Energy Recovery market and was designed to accommodate both small and large heat exchangers to meet customer demands.

“We designed the area to accommodate a wide range of energy recovery-heat exchanger systems, over 16 feet wide x 12 feet tall,” stated John Hartenstine, ACT’s Vice President of Operations and Quality Assurance. “The expansion will increase ACT’s manufacturing capacity to hundreds of systems annually.”

One local energy recovery project of note was located in Penn State.  The new regional Centre Area Transportation Authority – State College (CATA) bus terminal utilized the ACT energy recovery system which captures the buildings warm exhaust air to then pre-heat incoming fresh air to the facility.

The expansion also includes a 2,000 ft2 Conference/Training Center with the latest AV technology for customer and corporate meetings, planning, education and training sessions, and company events hosted by ACT’s employee-led committees.

New ACT Expansion

Media Contact

Pete Ritt
Vice President, Technical Services
E-mail: Pete.Ritt@1-ACT.com

ACT Receives Lockheed Martin Contract to Support Missile Development

ACT and Lockheed Martin Technology

Photo Courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Copyright 2015.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – July 20, 2015 – Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) announced today that it has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin to help develop, test and ultimately field the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), a joint program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. LRASM is designed to feature a variety of highly sophisticated technologies that will allow it to execute long-range missions with high accuracy and reliability. ACT is supporting the effort by developing an advanced passive thermal management system to replace the actively pumped system. This system aims to reduce the number of parts and system complexity, which in turn would create higher system reliability. This technology seeks to provide critical mission capability by cooling the electronics responsible for dynamic targeting. ACT is responsible for design, thermal and mechanical analysis, prototyping and thermal testing.

Based on the successful JASSM-ER platform, LRASM is designed to meet the needs of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force for advanced precision-guided missile systems. The technology aims to reduce dependence on external platforms and network links in dense electronic-warfare environments.


Media Contact: Bryan Muzyka
Sales Manager

ACT Awarded $3M in R&D Contracts

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – June 29, 2015. Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) announced today that it is continuing its rapid technology diversification through multiple R&D contract wins.  In 2014, ACT was awarded over 15 new contracts, totaling more than 3 million dollars, through government-funded Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) and Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) programs.

The awards are in addition to the previously announced $4.3M wins from the Department of Energy (DOE) for dry cooling technology development.  The funding agencies included the DOE, the Department of Defense (DOD) and NASA.  These R&D contracts will develop innovative thermal management technologies and explore new areas such as corrosion-resistant coatings, combustion and advanced modeling. According to Dr. William Anderson, Chief Engineer at ACT, “In addition to our research on thermal technologies, these awards demonstrate ACT’s continuing diversification into R&D areas such as coatings, combustion and energy conservation.”   Examples of these awards are listed below. More information on ACT’s R&D activities can be found at ACT R&D.

  • Vortical-Flow Direct Contact Air Washer for Corrosion Prevention (Air Force)
  • Dry cooling (DOE, APRA-E)
  • High Accuracy, Turnkey, Minimum Hot Surface Ignition Test Apparatus (Air Force)
  • Highly Efficient, Compact Hydrogen Generator for use in Marine Diesel Engines (Special Operations Command)
  • Vapor Chamber with Phase Change Material-Based Wick Structure for Thermal Control of Manned Spacecraft (NASA)
  • Ocean Thermal Energy Harvesting System (Navy)
  • Hybrid Heat Pipes for High Heat Flux Applications (NASA)
  • An Innovative VOCs Incinerator (DOE)
  • Titanium/Water Heat Pipe Radiator for Spacecraft Fission Power (NASA)
  • Enhanced Dropwise Condensation for Improved Dry Cooling Efficiency (DOE)
  • Environmental Control Unit (Air Conditioner) with Integrated Thermal Storage (OSD)
  • Variable Conductance Heat Pipes for Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators (NASA)
  • Peridynamics Based Multiscale Modeling of Damage in Thick Composites (DOD)
  • Compact Heat Exchangers for Directed Energy Weapons (Navy)

This year, ACT has continued to expand its R&D into new areas such as:

  • Physics based modeling of damage in composites and corrosion phenomena in metals
  • Advanced thermal storage for Directed Energy Weapons and air conditioning
  • Combustion research for air pollution control and basic ignition research
  • Corrosion prevention including coatings and salt removal

Many of ACT’s R&D programs are in collaboration with industrial and academic partners.  Some of the academic partners in the past year included: Bucknell University, Colorado School of Mines, Drexel University, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida State University, Lehigh University, North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, Pennsylvania State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Missouri, Valparaiso University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Southern California.


ACT Delivers Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers for the CATA Facility at Penn State

Figure 1. DLZ Architects Concept of the new CATA Terminal Building

Figure 1. DLZ Architects Concept of the new
CATA Terminal Building

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – June 15, 2015.Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT), Lancaster, PA., was chosen by the Penn State area Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) to provide heat pipe heat exchangers for incorporation into the make-up air units for its new state-of-the-art bus transfer terminal building and maintenance facility, Figure 1. The heat pipe heat exchangers will preheat the incoming cold air, during the winter season, by transferring energy from the exhaust air stream.  The transport authority has a fleet of 92 natural gas engine buses serving 32 routes with over 7.3 million riders annually.  ACT’s energy recovery systems have the ability to save over $2,500/week in heating utility costs.

Project Background: CATA’s fleet of busses, Figure 2, are powered by natural gas, which is significantly cleaner and less polluting than traditional diesel powered busses.  However, when the busses are stored indoors or when they are being serviced in the maintenance bays, the engine exhaust products can still be potentially hazardous to the people that work in these facilities.   Therefore, the make-up air units are designed to provide a significant amount of fresh air to prevent unhealthy concentrations of carbon monoxide and other byproducts of the combustion process. The requirement for numerous air changes per hour puts a high demand on the heating systems during the winter season.

Figure 2. CATA’s busses are powered by natural gas

Figure 2. CATA’s busses are powered
by natural gas

While large amounts of fresh air are being drawn into the facility, a nearly equal amount of air that has already been heated to the space temperature is being exhausted from the building.  ACT’s air-to-air heat pipe heat exchangers are placed across these two air streams.  The heat pipe coil, which is in the warm exhaust stream, extracts thermal energy from the exiting stream.  This energy is transferred to the heat pipe coil that is the incoming air stream through the highly conductive heat pipes.  The heat pipe coil in the incoming stream delivers this thermal energy to the incoming air stream, effectively preheating it prior to passing through the active portion of the air handler (gas burner).   The result is a significant reduction in the amount of energy required to heat the incoming air up to the space temperature.


Figure 3. ACT’s AAHX Energy Recovery System measuring 6.5 ft. tall by 8 ft. wide

Figure 3.
ACT’s AAHX Energy Recovery System
measuring 6.5 ft. tall by 8 ft. wide

The Application: While there are other types of energy recovery devices, for example plate heat exchangers and enthalpy wheels, the heat pipe was a much better fit for this application.  Plate type heat exchangers where too large to fit into the energy recovery section of the make-up air handlers.  Typically, the energy recovery section of the air handler is designed to incorporate a sensible or enthalpy wheel.  However, in this application, with hazardous (exhaust fumes) and potentially explosive (natural gas) gases, the wheel is not an acceptable solution because of the significant amount of exhaust gas recirculation that is inherent to the wheel design.  Therefore, the heat pipe heat exchanger with the same slim profile as a wheel and the near zero leakage between the exhaust and incoming air streams was the best solution.  The heat pipe heat exchanger has the additional benefit of decades of maintenance free service. There are no motors, bearings, drive belts or that require periodic maintenance or replacement.

Project Scope and Payback: The scale of the project involved the engineering and manufacturing of 11 air-to-air heat exchanger (AAHX) systems ranging in size from approximately 4 ft. x 5 ft. all the way up to 6.5 ft. x 8 ft.  Each self-contained AAHX unit was sent to the air handling manufacturer for final installation into the make-up air handlers.

The calculated energy savings versus the cost of the ACT AAHX units results in a payback period of less than two years.  A few other key statistics are provided below.

  • Total energy transferred for the 11 systems is over 3,500,000 Btu/Hr.
  • At design conditions, the CATA ACT-AAHX systems save over $2,500/week.
  • ACT-AAHX reduces Greenhouse gas emissions by approximately Five (5) tons/day
  • The ACT-AAHX units are rated for over 20 years of continuous operation
  • No required maintenance other than replacing the air handlers air filters


Media Contact

Mark Stevens

ACT Delivers Twenty Large Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers to Hospital in South Korea

Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) of Lancaster PA has been awarded a large manufacturing contract to deliver twenty air-to-air heat pipe heat exchangers (AAHXs) for use at a hospital in South Korea.  The AAHXs will be incorporated into the hospital heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.  Ten of the AAHXs are large side-by-side units and nine of the AAHXs are unique, space-saving split and bent design. The remaining AAHX is an innovative, center split, passive loop thermosyphon, measuring over 27 feet long by 12 feet high and will be assembled and charged on-site by the ACT installation team.

Maintaining a high level of indoor air quality requires a significant amount of ventilation air.  Stale indoor air must be frequently exchanged with fresh outside air.  This outside air that is brought into the building must be heated in the winter and cooled in the summer by the active HVAC system to maintain the indoor air temperature at about 70°F.   The heating and cooling of the outside air requires a tremendous amount of energy for a large building like the hospital.

At the same time as outdoor air is being drawn into the building, an equal amount of indoor air at 70°F is being discharged from the building.   These two air streams pass through ACT’s heat pipe heat exchangers.  In the winter, the warm discharge air transfers its heat energy passively to the incoming outside air so that the demand on the active heating and cooling system is significantly less.  The AAHXs for this project have ten rows of heat pipes and are capable of performing approximately 70% of the precooling or preheating required.   The twenty AAHXs will condition over 500,000 cubic feet of ventilation air per minute.  The energy recovered by the AAHXs will save the hospital approximately $200,000 per year in energy costs.


ACT’s Energy Recovery Production Group in Front of One of Twenty Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers to be Delivered to an International Hospital in South Korea

Media Contact:
Mark Stevens


ACT Launches New Web-Based Selection Tool For Air-to-Air Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers

Air to Air Heat Exchanger Selection Tool

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – June 17, 2014.  Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT), Lancaster, PA., has released an easy-to-use, registration free, web-based selection tool for its energy recovery line of Passive Heat Pipe Air-to-Air Heat Exchangers (HP-AAHX).

Heat Pipe Air-to-Air Heat Exchangers:
The ACT HP-AAHX system recovers energy from a building’s entering or leaving air ventilation system.  Depending upon geographical location, cold winter incoming air is tempered by the warm building air being exhausted.  In summer time, the hot entering air is cooled by the cool building air being exhausted. The ACT HP-AAHX system can be installed with entering and leaving air ducts situated side-by-side or separated. The ACT HP-AAHX system is passive and transfers energy with no moving parts. The ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings calls out specific geographical regions where air-to-air energy recovery systems should be installed. Application factors like climate, air flow rates and the percentage of outside air drive the selection.  The ASHRAE 90.1 Standard application recommendations have been mandated by many local and municipal building codes.

Selecting a Heat Pipe Air-to-Air Heat Exchanger System:
This ACT AAHX Selection tool, located at www.1-ACT.com/HVAC/AAHX, is intended to provide the HVAC designer with the capability to perform a system design selection and to evaluate energy recover performance at various design points. It is also intended as a system design collaboration tool to clearly communicate project requirements, goals, and preliminary selections with ACT applications engineers.

Initial Selection of Design Conditions and Choice of Variables:

  • SOLUTION PARAMETERS: There are two modes (SELECT) or (RATE).  In SELECT mode, the calculator will provide the number of rows and fins per inch required to meet your input conditions.  In the RATE mode, the calculator will provide the output temperatures of the air streams based on the input conditions.
  • CALCULATION UNITS: Under PROJECT INFORMATION select either IP for ºF or SI for ºC.
  • LIMIT FIN RANGE: Under SOLUTION PARAMETERS there is a slide bar.  Simply slide along the bar to select the range of interest.

User Selectable Variables:

  • OUTSIDE AIR DB/WB: Enter (if known) or select the nearest city under the PROJECT INFORMATION tab.
  • RETURN AIR DB/WB: Enter the conditioned space return air DB/WB values.  (75°F/62.5°F is a good starting point if the exact conditions are unknown).
  • SUPPLY AIR DB / EFFECTIVENESS: In the SELECT mode, enter the desired supply air DB temperature or the desired effectiveness of the HP-AAHX. In the RATE mode, these values are calculated.
  • SUPPLY AIRFLOW : Enter the supply side airflow (SCFM).  Note: Supply and return airflows values do not need to match.
  • RETURN AIRFLOW: Enter the return side airflow (SCFM).
  • FIN HEIGHT AND LENGTH: On the supply side, enter both the fin height and the finned length.  On the return side, enter only the finned length.  The fin height will be equal to the supply side.  The finned lengths do not need to match.

Documenting and Evaluating Your Work…There are two useful output options.  One is a “Print to PDF”, which will capture all of the on screen data in a PDF format.  The other is a “Submit to ACT” which again captures all of the screen data, including your optional project information. The PDF arrives at ACT where it can be evaluated and potential recommendations can be made for system design optimization. The final selection can be the basis for a quotation.   Please visit www.1-ACT.com/HVAC/AAHX and give this new selection tool a try! Call ACT to review your application or provide comments on the new HP-AAHX Selection Tool.



ACT Launches Web-Based Selection Tool For Wrap-Around Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers

Screen capture of WAHX selection software

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – January 6, 2014 – Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT), Lancaster, PA., has released an easy-to-use web-based selection tool for its energy recovery line of Wrap-Around Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers (WAHX). WAHXs change the sensible heat ratio of an active cooling coil (DX or Chilled Water) resulting in passive pre-cooling with enhanced dehumidification while delivering free, passive reheat.  The WAHX selection tool calculates the number of heat pipe rows and the fin count required to meet the input design conditions.  The selection tool also provides the tons of cooling saved relative to a system without a WAHX and the free, passive reheat savings.    

Benefits of the WAHX System
ACT’s WAHX product is typically installed in air handlers that draw the majority of the supply air from outside the building, for example dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS). A DOAS system, or any system with a high percentage of outside air, is burdened with higher latent and sensible loads compared to an air handler that recycles the majority of the air. The WAHX provides enhanced dehumidification by changing the sensible heat ratio of the active cooling coil.  The first section of the WAHX precools the incoming air stream.  Accordingly, more of the active cooling coil capacity can be utilized for latent cooling (moisture removal).  The second section of the WAHX, the reheat coil, returns the energy extracted from the air stream by the precool coil, providing passive, free reheat for applications that currently use electric or natural gas reheat.   The WAHX does add a relatively small amount of additional static pressure drop to the air handler, which is also provided by the selection tool.

WAHX Selection Tool Capabilities
This WAHX Selection tool is intended to provide the designer with the capability to perform a preliminary design selection and to evaluate performance at various design conditions. It is also intended to be a tool to communicate engineering requirements and design targets to ACT for additional calculations and/or for preparing a quotation.  

There are two useful output options for the selection tool. One is a “Print to PDF”, which will capture all of the on screen data in a savable PDF format.  The other is a “Submit to ACT” which will capture all of the screen data, including the project information that the user enters, and sends it to an ACT engineer for further assistance or quotation.   Please visit www.1-ACT.com/HVAC/WAHX and give this new selection tool a try.


ACT Delivers Cost Effective Air-to-Air Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger (AA-HPHX) Air Handling System for International Hotel

Air-to-Air Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger is 8.5 high with ten individual heat pipe rows and 540 individual heat pipes. The unit is pictured on its side but will be installed vertically when in operation.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – June 25, 2013 – Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) announced a well-established Asian air handling company choose ACT to provide a cost saving energy recovery solution to a KAL resort hotel. An air to air heat pipe heat exchanger (AA-HPHX) was designed and built to pre-cool the incoming ventilation air with conditioned exhaust air.  Up to 10,000 cfm of incoming outside air at 95°F was pre-cooled to 67.6⁰F prior to being processed by the active air conditioning system. The targeted temperature effectiveness was 80%.  In other words, the AA-HPHX was designed to transfer 80% of the temperature difference between the incoming air and the exhaust air streams.The overall size of the AA-HPHX was approximately 6ft. wide x 8.5ft tall. ACT’s AA-HPHX is installed vertically with the warm incoming airstream ducted through the lower section and the cooler exhaust airstream ducted through the upper section. The two airstreams are completely isolated, by a sealed partition, with no potential for cross contamination.

Energy Recovery: Based on the 80% sensible effectiveness, the incoming warm airstream can be pre-cooled from 95°F to 67.6°F. This reduction in entering air temperature generates a saving of over 295KBtu/hr at the system design point of 95° F.  See the specific calculations below:

Effectiveness = 0.80 = 10,000 cfm * (95°F – X°F)/10,000 cfm * (95°F-60.8°F) X = 27.4° F (warm stream ∆T) 95° – 27.4° = 67.6 °F Sensible Air Cooling (Btu/hr) = 1.08*Flowrate (cfm)*∆T(°F) 1.08*10,000 cfm*27.4°F = 295,920 Btu/hr

Savings Potential:

Let’s convert the 295,920 Btu/hr energy savings to dollars. The hotel is located in a major metropolitan area, with an estimated cost of electricity at $0.15/kWh.  At the design point, energy recovery savings are approximately $104.40/day.    A 24 hour/day system operation daily savings calculation is shown below.

295,920 Btu/hr = Energy Savings 295,920 Btu/hr *.2931 W/Btu/hr / 3 (COP of active cooling system) ≈ 29 kW x 24hours/day *$0.15/kWh = $104.40/day

The estimated payback period for the AA-HPHX heat pipe heat exchanger, depending on probable hours of operation, is under one (1) year.

Meeting the Design Specification:

ACT performed a prototype study to meet the design requirement of 80% temperature effectiveness. The physical dimensions of the heat exchanger, airflow rates, entering and exiting temperatures, and the maximum allowable pressure drop were provided by the customer.  Parametric studies were run to determine the effectiveness as a function of number of rows, fins per inch, and fin type.  Based on the analysis, a final design was selected that best met the customer requirements.

Additionally, a full scale demonstration heat pipe was built and tested to determine the optimum fluid charge for the heat pipe heat exchanger.  The power transfer capacity and the associated heat pipe ∆T are a strong function of the fluid charge in long, vertically oriented heat pipes. The test pipe was charged with various amounts of R-134a refrigerant and the optimum charge was determined to achieve the highest level of energy transfer at the lowest ΔT.

The final design was an AA-HPHX the contained 540 individual heat pipes, ten (10) rows deep, with aluminum corrugated fins spaced at 14 fins per inch.  The pressure drop of the air through the heat pipe heat exchanger was approximately 1.0 inch of water. The ACT AA-HPHX was delivered in early August. Additional units are specified and planned for the KAL Resort.

Heat exchanger business helps drive expansion at Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.

Back in late 2011, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. launched a line of energy recovery systems, heat-exchange units that make buildings’ HVAC systems more efficient. That initiative is a major reason for the 10,000-square-foot expansion underway at the company’s site in Burle Business Park in Lancaster. About 40 percent of the new space will be devoted to the energy recovery product line.

Read more about the expansion Central Penn Business Journal.

ACT Introduced New Controllable Air-to-Air Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger at Dallas 2013 AHR Expo

February 7th, 2013 – Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) exhibited its new energy recovery Air-to-Air Controllable Heat Pipe Heat Exchanger (AAHX) at this year’s AHR Expo. The ACT-AAHX recovers the energy from the conditioned exhaust airstream  and transfers the energy to the supply airstream to reduce heating or cooling plant loads.  The captured Btu’s can save thousands of dollars per year in heating and cooling costs. Payback on larger units, 10.000 cfm and up, is typically under eight (8) months. The ACT-AAHX features an integrated pivot that allows the unit to shift from summer favorable tilt to a winter favorable tilt so that energy can be recovered year round.  Depending upon airflow and regional location, ASHRAE 90.1, 2010 highlights applicable system sizes  where the ACT-AAHX product is most beneficial.

For more information about ACT new energy recovery products please visit: https://www.1-act.com/hvac

About ACT:  Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT), is a premier thermal management solutions company. Under our ISO9001 and AS9100 certifications, we design and manufacture products for diverse applications including HVAC systems, satellite thermal control, commercial/military electronics cooling, and energy recovery and temperature calibration. In addition, our responsive, customer-focused team provides innovative engineering and advanced research and development services for clients worldwide.

Commitment to Quality: Our goal is to provide a superior standard of service to our customers through responsiveness, competitive pricing and most importantly, the quality of our products and services. One element demonstrating our commitment to quality was the achievement of ISO 9001:2008 international quality certification, Certificate Number US-3364a, in December 2005 and the receipt of AS 9100 aerospace certification in December 2006.  Please visit us on the web: www.1-ACT.com/HVAC.



ACT Develops and Builds an Environmental Test Chamber for New Heat Pipe Based Energy Recovery Product Line

May 22, 2012 – Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) has announced today that it has developed and built an environmental test chamber for its line of Heat Pipe based Energy Recovery products. The test chamber creates psychometric conditions that fully test the capabilities of ACT’s HP-WA Wrap-Around Energy Recovery Dehumidification Systems. For air handling applications requiring a significant amount of Direct Outside Air (DOAS), ACT’s HP-WA Wrap-Around Dehumidification Systems effectively pre-cool the incoming air stream, allowing the active cooling coil to condense more moisture and then passively re-heating the air to a near neutral condition prior to discharging into the conditioned space. The system can save thousands of dollars annually.

The ACT HP-WA Wrap-Around Unit under test is subjected to variables in airflow rate up to 1,200cfm and can generate outside air temperatures and humidity characteristic of Southern and Northern US climates. The purpose of the testing is to record the performance of the system (temperatures, relative humidity’s, and pressure drops) based on incoming temperature, humidity, and airspeed. Tests are performed in accordance with AHRI standards. The testing results are then used to calculate the benefits of pre-cooling and reheating. Savings are estimated with gas & electric reheat methods compared to transfer capabilities of the ACT-HP-WA Wrap-Around System.

ACT-HP-WA Enhanced Dehumidification System Operation:

The system is designed in a “U” shape to wrap-around the existing evaporator coil of an HVAC system. By adding a pre-cool heat pipe the system now functions more efficiently and can perform higher levels of latent cooling and increased dehumidification. Smaller capacity air conditioning systems can be designed with enhanced performance due to increased latent and sensible cooling performance.

The design passively pre-cools return or direct outside air prior to the evaporator coil and then reheats the air (also passively) after the coil. The result is reduced system energy/operating costs in the thousands of dollars per year. The ACT-HP-WA wrap–around design adds a small but manageable increase in static pressure which moderately increases the fan power requirement; however, this small increase in fan power is nearly negligible compared to the sizable reduction in power consumption of the total system.

ACT-HP-WA Wrap-Around systems can be specified for existing equipment in a variety of coil configurations. Each system is optimized for the region of installation. Cost benefits can be projected prior to installation. Installations from Northern States to typical high humidity Southern States can take advantage of ACT-HP-WA Wrap-Around performance. Agricultural and food processing are additional markets that can benefit from ACT-HP HVAC systems.

ACT-HP-WA Wrap-Around and ACT-HP-ERS System Advantages:

  • No moving parts or maintenance
  • Space efficient
  • Equipment capacity can be potentially reduced
  • Enhanced humidity/latent load performance improvements
  • Easy to retro-fit to increase the efficiency of existing systems
  • ROI 1-3 year from saving in electrical or gas reheat energy


ACT Exhibiting New Product Line at the 2012 AHR Expo, Chicago

Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) will be exhibiting its new energy recovery products at this year’s AHR Expo, booth number 5695, at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL.  ACT has formed a new design and production team to launch a series of Energy Recovery/Dehumidification systems that utilize highly efficient passive heat pipe technology. The initial product offering features both the ACT-HP-WA Wrap-Around unit for dehumidification/free reheat applications and the ACT-HP-ERS heat exchanger systems for energy recovery in numerous air exchange applications.

ACT energy recovery systems can be installed in new or existing air handlers. Systems are designed to optimize an air conditioner’s ability to perform latent and sensible cooling. Dedicated Outside Air Systems can take major advantage of this technology as the system passively pre-cools incoming airstreams. The enhanced performance often allows for smaller compressor systems and/or enhanced dehumidification with free reheat.  Typical installations, can expect to save thousands of dollars on annual operating costs and can realize payback periods of 1 to 2 years, depending upon size,

Asked why ACT has decided to create this new product area: “Rising fuel and energy costs are driving building owners to investigate all avenues of energy savings.  Wrap-Around heat pipes meet this challenge with relatively short payback periods. Additionally there are many “Green Building” incentives” reports ACT Mark Stevens, Business Development Manager.

Direct Outside Air Systems (DOAS) take advantage of ACT- HP-WA Wrap-Around Dehumidification Systems

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – January 23, 2012. Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) launches a new line of Energy Recovery/Dehumidification systems that utilize highly efficient passive heat pipe technology. ACT-HP-WA Wrap-Around dehumidification systems can be easily installed in existing or new vertical or horizontal air handlers. Direct outside air is a requirement for many new and existing buildings to increase the overall comfort and health of the building.

How does it Work?
The system is designed in a “U” shape to wrap-around the existing evaporator coil of an HVAC system. By adding a pre-cool heat pipe the system now functions more efficiently and can perform higher levels of latent cooling and increased dehumidification. Smaller capacity air conditioning systems can be designed with enhanced performance due to increased latent and sensible cooling performance.
The design pre-cools return or direct outside air prior to the evaporator coil and then re-heats the air (passively) after the coil. The result is reduced system energy/operating costs in the thousands of dollars per year. The ACT-HP-WA wrap–around design does have a small impact on static pressure but is compensated by a sizable reduction in power consumption by replacing electric or hot gas reheat.

ACT-HP-WA Wrap-Around System Advantages:

  • No moving parts or maintenance
  • Space efficient
  • Equipment capacity can be potentially reduced
  • Enhanced humidity/latent load performance improvements
  • No cross-contamination between airstreams
  • Easy to retro-fit to increase the efficiency of existing systems
  • ROI 1-3 year from saving in electrical energy

ACT-HP-WA Wrap-Around systems can be specified for existing equipment in a variety of coil configurations.  Each system is optimized for the region of installation.  Cost benefits can be projected prior to installation.  Installations from Northern States to typical high humidity Southern States can take advantage of ACT-HP-WA Wrap-Around performance. Agricultural and food processing are additional markets that can benefit from ACT-HP HVAC systems. wrap-around system can be designed with an integrated evaporator coil or fitted to your existing coil.

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