WASHINGTON — Hotel engine cooling may be on the rise, but the cooling system is not as hot as the hottest gas in a gasoline engine.
In fact, engine coolantes may be as costly as gasoline engines, according to industry experts.
The average engine coolante costs about $1,200, but some have prices up to $1.5 million, according a new report from consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
The cold-air compressor, a compressor that cools air to the point of bursting when compressed, is the hottest hot item in an engine, according the report.
The compressor is so hot, it can cause overheating, according Frost < Sullivan, which surveyed more than 1,000 business leaders.
The average cold-area compressor will run at nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius), said the report by Frost &am; Sullivan’s research group.
Coolant prices can rise because of new regulations on the refrigeration industry and a desire for cleaner air in hotels.
That could make coolants more affordable, said Mark K. Stumpf, a Frost & am; Sullivan vice president.
He cited the need for better air conditioning systems in hotels, where the heat is typically generated from the hotel rooms’ air conditioning units.
“You have a lot of different air conditioners that are designed to be in one room and cool down,” he said.
“If you have two or more, they may be working in tandem.
The thermal efficiency of each one of those is probably higher than the thermal efficiency in a gas engine.”
Stumpf said there are many coolant manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe.
Some are making cold-applied air conditioner coolant with refrigerant to reduce the heat generated in the compressor.
However, he said most are too expensive to buy and too expensive for consumers to use.
Stump f irst mentioned that most hot-air compressors are not as efficient as gas-fired engines.
That is because a gas-powered engine produces more power than a diesel-powered one, said K.R. Hester, vice president of engineering for air conditioning firm Hester Appliances.
Hesters is also a certified engineer.
“A lot of those compressors have been around for quite a while and the heat-management is not necessarily the best,” Hester said.
Hester Appliance sells coolant for cold-weather use and for use in hotels and condominiums.
The company sells its coolant in two main forms: compressed and liquid.
The liquid is less expensive than the compressed form, but is more costly.
A compressor in liquid form can run for $1 per cubic meter (1,000 cubic feet), compared to $3 per cubic foot for compressed, said Hester.
Liquid cooling coolants are generally more expensive because they use less energy, said Jeffery M. Crouch, a senior manager for automotive product marketing for the American Fuel &.
Liquid coolants run hotter than compressed ones, and so they require larger compressor housings, he added.
Coolants for cold air compressors can run $5 per cubic meters for a typical model, compared to a $2.25 per cubic feet for compressed.
Liquid is also more durable than compressed.
Liquid coolants can be reused, Crouch said.
But liquid coolants use a lot more energy than compressed coolants, he noted.
The heat produced by a liquid coolant coolant can cause problems in buildings that use air conditioning, and could increase the cost of an air condition and hot water system, Cvert said.
Stumps research found that the average cold air compressor has a thermal efficiency rating of only 63 percent compared with a thermal effectiveness rating of 95 percent for compressed coolant.
A heat-emitting device is used in the cold-application unit to measure the temperature of the coolant inside the compressor, but that device is only good for about 10 percent of cold-coolant applications, said Crouch.
Some companies sell refrigerant coolants for their cold-and-hot applications.
Coolant manufacturers are testing refrigerant-cooled vehicles to reduce heating costs, said Robert A. J. Schulman, an energy consultant and owner of The J.P. Schuylers, an Indianapolis-based automotive consulting firm.
The company sells refrigerant for use as cold-temperature air conditionors in cars, trucks, buses and trailers, Schulmans company said in a news release.
Cool-applicant coolantes are also being used in buildings as cooling systems for the cooling systems of hotels and apartments.
The technology can save on energy, he told CBS News.
“We’ve been able to use the same technology in cooling units as we have in refrigerators and we’re seeing the results,” he added, citing an example of a hotel that uses cooling in an elevator and hot air in a kitchen.