Oak Ridge National Lab Wins R&D Award for AC-Dehumidification System

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff August 1, 2006

The R&D 100 Awards, which have been described as the “Oscars of invention,” are presented each year by R&D Magazine in recognition of the year’s most significant technological innovations.

Researchers and engineers at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have won six R&D 100 Awards this year, with winners to be presented in the Sept. issue of the magazine.

Among this year’s winners is the Trane CDQ air-conditioning/dehumidification device, which controls the temperature and humidity of buildings’ interiors, developed by Jim Sand, formerly of ORNL’s Engineering Science and Technology Division, in collaboration with the Trane Company.

The CDQ controls the ambient air to a desired 45% to 60% relative humidity, which is important for libraries, schools, offices and most importantly hospitals. Because regulating humidity limits the spread of infection, the CDQ can maintain the needed moisture content and is said to function more efficiently than its competition. Medical institutions, including St. Vincent’s Hospital in Alabama and FranklinMemorialHospital in Maine, have installed the device. Unlike other air conditioning/dehumidifying units, the system is claimed to effectively control the humidity without adding heat to the system.