Hutzel honored at Inventor's Recognition Reception
Bill Hutzel, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology, was honored during Purdue’s annual Inventor’s Recognition Reception Nov. 4. The event recognizes those who have been awarded patents in the previous fiscal year.
Hutzel has been working with Eckhard Groll, professor of mechanical engineering, to develop and test a cold-climate heat pump. They received a patent last year for an innovative control strategy for the operation of the heat pump. The project was awarded a patent previously for optimizing the performance of the heat pump cycle.
Heat pumps are designed to air condition a home in the summer and heat a home in the winter. They do so by adding or removing energy from outside air, depending upon the season. Heat pumps usually don’t work well in colder climates. The prototype Groll and Hutzel have created, with assistance from their graduate students, should work at temperatures as cold as -20 degrees.
“This is a great example of collaboration with the College of Engineering,” Hutzel says. “They worked on modeling and design, and I worked on testing of the technology.”
The U.S. Department of Defense has agreed to fund a full-scale field demonstration of the technology at Camp Atterbury near Edinburgh, Ind. After the test, Groll and Hutzel intend to start the commercialization process.
Hutzel and Groll, along with researcher Stefan Bertsch, have been working on the project since 2003.