PARC Secures Two CalSEED Awards to Improve Energy Storage and Air Quality

Press Release

Palo Alto, CA: PARC, a Xerox company, today announced it won two awards from the California Energy Commission through the California Clean Energy Fund’s CalSEED grant program earlier this year. PARC will develop 1) a desalination battery for simultaneous desalination and electrical load-shifting, and 2) membrane-based electrochemical CO2 removal system for HVAC savings and increased occupant health and productivity.

In June, the CalSEED program selected applicants for funding of up to $1.2 million to support entrepreneurs working to bring early-stage clean energy concepts to market. “The ultimate goal of these discovery projects is to help make a dent in our energy crisis, right here in California, and hopefully, around the world,” said Jessy Rivest, manager of the Energy Materials & Systems group in the Hardware Systems Laboratory at PARC. “To be able to apply our energy innovation technology to these projects is exciting, and we’re thrilled to work with the California Energy Commission to develop technologies that address difficult problems like energy-efficient indoor air quality, desalination, and grid energy storage.”

Desalination BatteryPARC is developing a novel desalination battery that combines the ability to desalinate highly saline waters with the ability to store electrical energy. PARC will develop and demonstrate a novel desalination battery for electrical load shifting, a low capital cost approach to grid arbitrage. The battery produces desalinated water during discharge; a desalination process without need for high pressure or expensive maintenance; reduced pretreatment requirements; and the ability to realize high water recovery ratios. This desalination battery enables high renewables penetration on the grid.

Membrane-based Electrochemical CO2 Removal System: PARC is developing a simple retrofit to existing HVAC systems to improve indoor air quality while greatly reducing energy use and increasing occupant productivity. The proposed approach reduces the need for thermal and humidity conditioning of building air by removing CO2 directly.  This is accomplished by using PARC’s polymer electrolyte membrane in an electrochemical cell to function as an electrochemical pump for CO2. Given the expected energy savings, the estimated per-occupant capital cost has an economic payback period of less than 3 years.

“Innovators at PARC are developing breakthrough technologies to address critical issues of our time.  We look forward to supporting them through CalSEED’s financial and professional development resources,” said Deepa Lounsbury, CalSEED Program Manager at the California Clean Energy Fund. “These innovations were selected by experts out of hundreds of applicants because they have a high potential to help us reduce our energy consumption, create a smarter electricity grid and achieve a sustainable future. “

Global warming, population growth, improving lifestyles in the developing world, commodity shortages, and more are driving a strong need for innovation in energy. PARC’s Energy Innovation Program, started in 2002, is focused on delivering scalable, cost-effective solutions that draw on a unique combination of multi-disciplinary competencies, technologies, and experiences. PARC is working on a wide range of initiatives, from energy storage and efficiency, to renewable energy, to cleaner air quality, and more.

About PARC
PARC, a Xerox company, is in the Business of Breakthroughs®. Practicing open innovation, we provide custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government agencies and partners. We create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for our clients. Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC today continues the research that enables breakthroughs for our clients’ businesses.


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