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HVAC Revolution: Phononic Transforms Refrigeration with TTAP Installation

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Phononic Introduces a Truly Sustainable TTAP (Terminal Treatment of Air with Peltier) Installation

Article by Tony Atti, Phononic Co-founder and CEO

Project Drawdown (Refrigerant Management | Project Drawdown) notes that preventing 100% of refrigerant leaks over the next 30 years would avoid the emission of 57.15 gigatons of CO2e.  Marrying this with the fact that the building and construction sector accounts for nearly 40% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, it is clear that achieving net-zero building status is important, not only today but growing into the future.

For many, the complication is not the desire or even alignment behind the broader objective, but rather the balancing of the trade-offs.  For example, a step down in on-site fossil fuel reliance can translate into a step-up in electricity consumption, which, depending on its energy source, may not be net beneficial to the environment.  Given the nascency of many net-zero building solutions, design choices that are energy efficient may leave building owners wanting in regard to fiscal efficiency and/or occupant comfort.  With growing climate, and societal and regulatory pressure to transition to zero carbon building standards, the world at large is in search mode for a solution that is viable in new builds as well as retrofits and meets fiscal, environmental, regulatory, health, and occupant health standards.

TTAP [Terminal Treatment of Air with Peltier] unit in cooling mode

This challenge drove the team at Phononic forward, seeking to fundamentally change the way the world cools.  Specifically, the Phononic team sought to address head-on the critical stumbling blocks identified in the market, including cost, environmental impact, electrification potential, and occupant health & safety, as well as installation considerations.  Leveraging Phononic’s solid-state heat pump cooling components, the team was able to capitalize on its industry-leading heat transfer efficiency to enable commercial-scale solid-state heating and cooling, relying on the long-known Peltier principle.

Meeting the Challenge Head-On in Paris

Together with Halton, a global leader in HVAC innovation and indoor air comfort solutions, Phononic is bringing to life what the world desperately needs right now – an HVAC solution that reduces the volume of refrigerants needed.  The TTAP (Terminal Treatment of Air with Peltier) product was developed using Phononic’s solid-state platform and combined with Halton’s expertise in optimized air handling product design.  280 TTAP units were installed in an 8,500 m2 commercial office building in Paris and unveiled to the world in December 2023.  Not only did this installation exceed all comfort objectives, but it also provided third-party-verified environmental impact reductions along with cost savings for the building owners and occupants.  Specific advantages over traditional cooling systems are highlighted below.

  • Zero refrigerants drive significant system-wide emissions reduction: Lab testing and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) analyses of TTAP production and installation have shown at least a 15% decrease in building-level embodied CO2e. Analysis of ongoing HVAC operations show a 16% reduction in operational CO2e, through a combination of an all-electric operation that uses no fossil fuels, is energy efficient and eliminates toxic HFC refrigerants.
  • TTAP is both environmentally and financially sustainable: Over its lifetime, a TTAP system can unlock an 18% total cost of ownership (TCO) savings, through its improved operating efficiency realized by downsizing central HVAC equipment and by reducing maintenance and energy consumption.
  • Seamless installation unlocks full design flexibility: The modularity of the TTAP unit enables easy HVAC integration into existing building retrofits or new build construction. In existing buildings, the TTAP unit leverages the existing ductwork, ensuring the preservation of the building’s existing character while saving cost, time and CO2e. For new building construction, the all-electric TTAP unit eliminates the need for hydronic plumbing, allowing for design flexibility without typical HVAC system demands.
  • 100% on-demand heating and cooling with TTAP Platform: On-demand heating and cooling, delivered room-by-room, provides a level of customized temperature control never before seen in the industry. With a sleek, minimal design, the TTAP unit blends into its surroundings. The TTAP unit is virtually silent during operation, delivering comfort to room occupants.
  • All-electric path to carbon zero: The moment is finally here with TTAP. Zero carbon is truly within reach with the all-electric TTAP platform that meaningfully decreases or eliminates fossil fuel reliance for the building. Plus, with onsite renewables such as wind, solar, or fuel cells, electricity can be produced when needed the most by the TTAP platform  – delivering a much lower carbon footprint and a path to net zero.

Recent conversations with building owners, developers, and MEP firms echo the excitement of the potential of Phononic’s building cooling solution for the industry, especially in light of net-zero commitments being made by many Fortune 500 companies and increased regulatory pressure for decarbonization, like Local Law 97 in New York.   At Phononic we believe we are just at the beginning of the sustainable cooling revolution.  Together we can fundamentally change cooling to reduce and/or eliminate refrigerants and support the world’s decarbonization objectives.

Rendering of TTAP units in a commercial application

Tony Atti

At Phononic we believe we are just at the beginning of the sustainable cooling revolution.  Together we can fundamentally change cooling to reduce and/or eliminate refrigerants and support the world’s decarbonization objectives.