Fall 2023 Cycle

Alternative Piping Systems with Munters

Copper alternatives
Piping systems
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Munters is on the lookout for novel or existing materials that can serve as substitutes for copper piping in low-pressure refrigeration systems for data center cooling, to keep up with evolving industry needs.

Opportunity Overview

Munters provides data centers with efficient cooling technology based on a thermosiphon cooling loop system. This solution cools data centers without requiring refrigerant pumps or compressors for a substantial duration each year. However, using copper pipes to connect the condenser and evaporator poses challenges due to their high cost as a material and the installation process involved. With the rapid growth of data centers, finding ways to improve operational efficiency and prevent pipe installation from becoming a bottleneck is crucial.

Copper has long been the standard piping material for refrigeration and air conditioning systems. It offers several advantages, including excellent strength and pressure limits, a well-established supply chain, zero permeability of refrigerants, and tolerance to lubricant oil. Furthermore, copper is 100% recyclable, making it an environmentally friendly choice. However, copper pipes must be welded or brazed together during installation, requiring a high skill level to ensure proper connections and system integrity. Adding this to the high cost of materials significantly impacts project budgets.

Now, we are looking for piping systems with lower product costs and easier installation than copper pipes. The system must operate up to a maximum working pressure of 20 bar, have an operational temperature of -40 to 65 degrees celsius, and be suitable for refrigerants such as HFCs and HFOs. The initially required sizes are 2-1/8" OD and 4-1/8" OD. It should seamlessly transition to equivalent-sized copper pipes using a Victaulic coupling or other suitable means. Solutions for 90-degree and 45-degree elbows are needed, and the system should weigh less than equivalent-sized copper tubing. Also, it should be suitable for both exterior and interior installations.

Your Opportunity with Munters

Munters seeks a partner to join forces in developing a product that addresses this growing market need. The collaboration holds the potential for a co-development partnership, enabling the partner to scale alongside Munters' expanding business while gaining direct access to its extensive customer base. This cooperative effort can evolve into a licensing agreement in the long term, leveraging Munters' well-established sales channels to drive substantial business growth and achieve broader market penetration.

Focus Areas

Examples of solutions we’re interested in

Material Science

The piping system can incorporate innovative materials with improved properties, such as a higher strength-to-weight ratio, enhanced corrosion resistance, and increased flexibility compared to copper.

Material Coatings

These coatings can protect against environmental factors, chemicals, and moisture, ensuring the system's integrity and reducing maintenance needs.

Operational Efficiency

Optimizing the design and configuration of the piping system can improve its operational efficiency. This includes streamlined flow paths, alternative coupling, reduced pressure drops, and minimized heat transfer losses.

Submit your solution

Take your first step in signing your new partnership. Get in touch by October 8th!

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