Since its inception, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) has prioritized advanced research, innovation, and cutting-edge technology. Much of our extensive product innovation has stemmed from government SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs. These highly competitive programs are funded by the U.S. government to encourage small businesses to perform high-tech research that has the potential for commercialization. Commercialization is an important aspect of the program, connecting industry and end-users with critical technologies which are required to advance significant national and global initiatives such as renewable energy, space exploration, and national security. When asked, Dr. Richard Bonner, Vice President of R&D, stated his opinion that “the goal of research is to help make a difference, and commercialization is perhaps the most meaningful evidence of impact.”
In 2011, ACT received a Tibbets Award from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Tibbets Award is given to the top tier of SBIR/STTR participants that have best exemplified the use of the government-funded program. Recognized achievements include societal impact, commercialization, and U.S. job creation. Since receiving the Tibbets Award, ACT has continued to expand product sales based on SBIR/STTR technologies and has now reached a milestone of $100 million in commercialized product sales since 2003. “We are humbled by the milestone, and grateful our researchers are surrounded by a diverse and talented team to help transition our new technologies to the market,” added Dr. William “Bill” Anderson, Chief R&D Engineer.
Commercial products included under the $100 million in sales revenue:
- Constant Conductance Heat Pipes (CCHPs) for Spacecraft Thermal Control (NASA funded): In 2005, ACT developed a heat exchanger to transfer heat between a water loop on the inside of a crew cabin, and an ammonia loop on the outside to reject heat to space. To protect the astronauts, CCHPs were used to provide two layers of isolation between the ammonia and the crew. ACT decided to commercialize CCHPs for satellite thermal control and invested more than $1 million to develop a CCHP manufacturing facility. More than 750 CCHPs are now in orbit on NASA, DOD, and commercial satellites, with more than 50 million hours of operation on-orbit.
- Pumped Two Phase Cooling (NSF funded): On a National Science Foundation-funded SBIR, ACT developed Pumped Two Phase (P2P) Cold Plates that use mini-channels with porous coatings to remove very high heat fluxes (500W/cm2). These have much lower pressure drops and pumping power than single-phase systems, which require micro-channels to remove high heat fluxes. ACT now offers a complete line of P2P cooling solutions used in industrial and defense power electronics, energy conversion and high heat flux laser cooling applications.
- Phase Change Material (PCM) Heat Sinks (DOD funded): On a program with the Missile Defense Agency, ACT developed a refrigeration system with a PCM heat exchanger for laser systems, greatly reducing the overall system mass. The expertise developed on this program was then applied to ACT’s line of PCM heat sinks, which allow critical electronics to survive during temporary loss of coolant.
- Other SBIR/STTR technologies that have been successfully commercialized by ACT: Spacecraft Copper/Water Heat Pipes, Space & Ground Nuclear Power Systems, Pressure Controlled Heat Pipes (PCHPs): providing extremely precise temperature control (±5 mK) for National Laboratories temperature calibration, and Loop Heat Pipes and Variable Conductance Heat Pipes for Lunar Landers and Rovers.
For more information about ACT’s other R&D programs, including SBIR/STTR programs, see https://www.1-act.com/innovations/.
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) is a premier thermal management solutions company, providing design and manufacturing services to meet our global customers’ needs across all points of the product lifecycle. We serve our customers’ thermal management and energy recovery needs in diverse markets including Defense, Aerospace, Electronics, HVAC, Medical, Enclosure Cooling, and Calibration Equipment. ACT specializes in providing performance and cost-optimized thermal management technologies and solutions.
Research & Development remains the essential ingredient for our continued success. R&D continues to lead the product and market diversification efforts and shapes the innovative solutions provided to our customers. A snapshot of current R&D programs reveals diverse activities ranging from developing thermal protection materials for space reentry vehicles to investigating nanoscale heat transfer in next-generation electronic devices to designing mega-watt class cooling systems for power plants.