US rivals contest thermal wheel patent

3764494_sUSA: Two rival US companies have become involved in a patent infringement lawsuit over the use of thermal wheels in the cooling of data centres.

Air Enterprises Acquisition LLC, of Akron, Ohio filed a lawsuit against its competitor Nortek Air Solutions alleging infringement of US Patent No 7,753,766, which pertains to innovative uses of heat wheels to cool data centres. Air Enterprises is the exclusive licensee of the patent, which is owned by KyotoCooling North America, LLC who is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

According to Air Enterprises, the revolutionary heat wheel technology in the patent provides up to 98% effectiveness in heat rejection to produce and maximise free cooling hours for data centres.

“Air Enterprises is the exclusive licensee of KyotoCooling’s technology in the United States, and as such, we feel it necessary to vigorously protect our rights when competitors offer infringing heat wheel solutions,” Joe Miketo, CEO of Air Enterprises, said in a statement.

Nortek Air Solutions has denied that its data centre cooling solution, including its Cool3 indirect/direct evaporative cooling (IDEC) unit, infringes the patent.

“Their lawsuit is without merit,” said Mark DeVincent, president of Nortek Air Solutions. “It indicates that Air Enterprises and KyotoCooling do not understand the unique technology employed by Nortek Air Solutions Cool3 IDEC unit. The product was developed based on heat recovery technology used in earlier versions of the company’s heat recovery products.”


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