Advanced Thermal Storage


ATB Adsorbent Stack Design

Despite recent advances in electric batteries for sustained power delivery, weight and overall capacity, their energy storage densities remain much lower than gasoline and other liquid fuels. As a result, there is currently a substantial disadvantage to electric vehicles (EVs) compared to their internal combustion engine counterparts, particularly in terms of driving range. In this project an advanced thermo-adsorptive battery (ATB) will be developed to provide both cooling and heating in an electric vehicle with minimal use of the electric battery. This will potentially result in a 30% increase in the driving range versus the use of conventional climate control technology in EVs.


ATB Adsorbent Stack Design

This technology relies on the development of novel, highly porous nanostructured materials which include zeolites and metal organic frameworks (MOF) to enable high water adsorption capacities. Incorporating the nanostructured materials within a carefully designed thermal system will significantly promote both heat and mass transfer, resulting in a compact (30 L) and lightweight (< 35 kg) thermo-adsorptive battery with heating and cooling capacities greater than 2.5 kWht for climate control in EVs. A successful implementation of this technology can also be broadly applicable to residential and commercial buildings including datacenters and telecom facilities, whereby heating and cooling via the proposed technique can significantly decrease electricity consumption during peak demand. Furthermore, with the use of an environmentally benign refrigerant, the global warming potential is also minimized.

The project is funded by ARPA-E's HEATS program and consists of a multi-disciplinary, MIT led team including UCLA, UT Austin and Ford Motor Company.

  1. S. Narayanan, H. Kim, A. Umans, S. Yang, X. Li, S.N. Schiffres, S.R. Rao, I.S. McKay, C.A. Rios Perez, C.H. Hidrovo, E.N. Wang, "A thermophysical battery for storage-based climate control," Applied Energy, 189, p. 31-43, 2016.