Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Media Relations (news@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL researchers earn award for air-conditioning invention from International Hall of Fame

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 24, 1995 — Dr. Fang C. Chen and Dr. Vince Mei of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have earned the Advanced Technology Award from the Inventors Clubs of America's International Hall of Fame.

The two ORNL researchers were presented their awards May 6 in Atlanta for their invention of a liquid over-feeding (LOF) air conditioner. The invention received a U.S. patent in 1993.

The LOF creates between 10 and 15 percent more energy efficient air-conditioning and heat pump systems by evaporating their condensed refrigerant liquids. The LOF can also be utilized in auto air-conditioning systems and vending machines.

Chen and Mei spent four years developing the system. Their project was funded by DOE's Office of Building Technologies, Office of Industrial Technologies and Office of Transportation Technologies.

Chen, a group leader in ORNL's Energy Division, is responsible for managing advanced energy research and development programs in thermal sciences and environmental control, including novel thermodynamic cycles and systems, heat pumps, fuel cells and hydrogen storage technologies with applications in industry, building, transportation and utility sectors. He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from National Taiwan University and a doctorate in engineering and applied physics from Harvard University.

Mei is a research staffer responsible for building equipment energy conservation research and development work. He has a master's degree from National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan, a master's degree from the University of Toronto and a doctorate from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, which also manages the Oak Ridge K-25 Site and the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant.