ACT Awarded $1.5M Funding for DOE Solar-Thermal Desalination Technologies

Lancaster, PA  July 10, 2018 – Advanced Cooling Technologies (ACT) announces that it was selected to receive a $1.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to advance solar-thermal desalination technologies, which can reduce the cost and expand the market for creating freshwater from otherwise unusable waters.

ACT’s Solar Desalination Design for DOE

In this project, ACT will work with the University of Maryland to develop a loop thermosyphon solar collection system for efficient, low-cost solar-thermal desalination that does not require fluid to be actively pumped throughout the system. Current solar thermal systems have high costs due to the material, installation, operation, and maintenance requirements of the systems, which also increase the fresh water price from solar desalination.  This project aims to solve this problem by lowering the material and installation cost, thereby eliminating the major need for active system operation and maintenance by the new technology.

According to Dr. Fangyu Cao, PI of this project, “With our strong heritage in heat pipes and loop thermosyphon products, ACT is uniquely qualified to satisfy the needs of solar desalination market. We are very excited to work with SETO and bring our technology to this sector.”

The system will take advantage of nanofluids with higher solar absorptivity to improve the system’s efficiency and simplify the collection and conversion of solar-thermal energy used in desalination processes.  ACT’s two-phase thermosyphon technology will be used to transfer the thermal energy for steam generation passively and effectively, with minimal additional costs after the system is installed.

Dr. William Anderson, Chief Engineer at ACT, said, “We are excited to work with the University of Maryland to extend our desalination expertise into low cost solar desalination systems.”

SETO has selected 14 projects in its Solar Desalination program to reduce the cost of solar-thermal desalination by performing integrated tests on best-in-class, near-commercial desalination systems that produce repeatable results with clear and quantifiable objectives. Electricity costs account for up to half of the operating expenses for today’s desalination operations and require plants to be grid-connected. Using solar-thermal power and low-cost components for integrated designs can enable smaller, more portable systems and expand access to desalination technologies.

ACT’s innovative Research and Development group continues to seek out novel and diverse opportunities in new markets beyond common thermal management applications, including desalination, combustion, advanced coatings, and advanced modeling at multiple scales.  For more information on ACT’s R&D group and their innovations, please visit

About the Solar Energy Technologies Office

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at

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, 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.

The R&D team at ACT has engineers with backgrounds in mechanical, electrical, chemical, aerospace, nuclear, materials, manufacturing and physics. Their expertise assures we can serve wide variety of material, thermal and modeling challenges in diverse applications.

ACT’s Facility measures more than 50,000 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, cost effective, thermal management solutions for dozens of mission critical satellite, and military programs as well as for numerous commercial applications. Simultaneously ACT’s broad and diverse R&D efforts are developing thermal solutions for tomorrow’s emerging technologies.

For more information about ACT, please visit

Media Contact

Amanda Hershey
Marketing Specialist
Phone: +1 (717) 205-0625


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