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Research Tracker

This tool is intended for researchers and program managers to quickly find research projects around the country that are relevant to their work. The four organizations who provided content for this purpose represent the largest energy efficient buildings research portfolios in the country. These organizations each provided the content that they were comfortable sharing publically. Therefore, upon clicking on a particular project, it is possible that certain pieces of content are not present. Where possible, a point of contact is provided so that specific questions can be directed to that person. We welcome your comments! If you would like to provide any feedback on this tool (positive or constructive) please email basc@pnnl.gov.

This renewable-based direct current (DC) microgrid will connect on-site generation with loads and provide a low cost, energy-efficient solution to save costs. Solar PV will be directly connected to energy-efficient DC lighting, DC energy storage systems, and ventilation on a 380 V DC bus to form a DC building microgrid. This microgrid system proposed for the Honda Distribution Center in Chino, California reduces the need for inverters for PV and rectification equipment in the loads, thus improving the overall utilization of solar energy by 7-10% as compared to conventional AC systems, while lowering component complexity and costs.

This project will demonstrate the potential of breakthrough electric water heating and space conditioning technologies as a pathway to zero net energy. The project will explore the complex, interdependent systems in multifamily buildings and how they work together to achieve zero net energy status for the buildings in a cost-effective manner. Four multifamily buildings, designed to be affordable, will be evaluated in various stages of design and development. These buildings will share a goal of all electric zero net energy construction with 100 percent renewable energy generation, and will utilize innovative new heat pump technologies to serve the buildings water heating and/or space conditioning needs.

This project deploys APMD technology over a large sample size, at approximately 55,000 computer workstations at several Community Colleges, and focuses on integrating the technology with facility operations to ensure that they meet the needs of the sites and staff. Key features of the proposed project include outreach and individual education programs to California Community College Districts, evaluation of sites for participation in the project, purchase and installation of APMDs at approved sites, measurement and verification (M&V) activities both pre- and post-APMD implementation at the selected demonstration sites, and stakeholder satisfaction information from demonstration facilities staff and APMD end-users through interviews and surveys.

The Automated Cloud-based Continuously Optimizing Building Energy Management System (ACCO-BEMS) overcomes limitations of existing energy management systems by automating optimized control of building systems and devices. The technology overcomes limitations of existing energy management systems and eliminates the need for expensive reprogramming needed to implement optimization measures. As such, the technology can co-exist with existing systems in retrofit applications, or it can be implemented as a new installation.

This project will develop test procedures for alternative refrigerants for flammability and energy savings characterization and to develop a “favorability” index of end-use market segments and equipment types based on potential GHG savings impact and commercial feasibility and adoption.

This project optimizes and simplifies control upgrades to demonstrate energy savings while improving occupant comfort. This demonstration uses automated fault detection and diagnostics and continuous commissioning with the use of advanced measurement and verification procedures. The agreement includes recommendations for strategies, tools, and initiatives to address market barriers and promote large scale market adoption.

The project uses climate change simulations to produce modeled conditions that disrupt electricity system generation, renewable capacity potential, and demand for the years of 2030, 2040, and 2050. The combined effect of these impacts is then simulated on the electricity system using an integrated electric grid modeling platform.

The researchers developed long-term energy scenarios for California that comply with GHG emission targets and goals. The scenarios provide new insights about technology options and by when some of this options should be implemented.

The purpose of this Agreement is to develop a holistic community action plan to achieve climate benefits and air quality improvements through energy efficiency measures, electrification, and distributed energy resources in the residential building and light-duty and medium-duty transportation sectors in the city of Fresno.

This project demonstrates three innovative bundles of pre-commercial technologies. The technology bundles were strategically developed through a systems-level approach to address the most energy-intensive areas in commercial buildings. These include: (1) Chilled Water Plants: Optimized all-variable-speed chilled-water (CHW) plants utilizing alternative refrigerant chillers. (2) Office and Exterior Space LED fixtures with integrated advanced controls, advanced building management system (BMS), and plug load controls controllable for demand response (DR), and off-grid, exterior, LED lighting in the parking lot, and lastly (3) Advanced laboratory ventilation, fume hood exhaust, and direct current (DC) lighting systems.

This project will develop and demonstrate a Climate Appropriate Air Conditioning system for commercial buildings. The heart of this system is an intelligent HVAC controller that processes signals from building sensors and system feed-back to maximize system efficiency. This control system will manage two technologies to optimize building energy and peak demand reduction. Getting fresh air into commercial buildings is a code requirement. However, the ingress of hot air into a cooling system and vice versa presents an inefficiency problem. This project will evaluate heat-recovery ventilation (HRV) and indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) to decrease the temperature of the incoming air in the summer and increase it in the winter. Both technologies can be intelligently controlled by the building controller to reduce cooling and heating costs. This project will also research low global warming refrigerants for commercial buildings

The project will focus on the performance of different attic assemblies and their associated heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Field measurements of attic and HVAC system performance will be conducted in two new high performance homes in California with sealed and insulated attics. One home will be built to be about 30 percent better than Title 24 and the other will be a ZNE home. The attic insulation approach will be a new lower-cost approach using blown insulation that does not use expensive spray-foam. The results of the measurements will be used directly to provide technical support for potential changes to Title 24 and provide information to contractors and builders on sealed and insulated attic performance and alternative approaches.

This project will develop and pilot-test a complete, low cost, and standards based Retail Automated Transactive Energy System (RATES), and behind the meter energy management solution, that minimizes the cost and complexity of customer participation in energy efficiency programs, while maximizing the potential of large numbers of small loads to improve system load factor, shave peaks, integrate renewable generation and otherwise provide low opportunity-cost resources to the grid.

This project will develop and pilot-test a complete, low cost, and standards based Retail Automated Transactive Energy System (RATES), and behind the meter energy management solution, that minimizes the cost and complexity of customer participation in energy efficiency programs, while maximizing the potential of large numbers of small loads to improve system load factor, shave peaks, integrate renewable generation and otherwise provide low opportunity-cost resources to the grid.

The purpose of this agreement is to fund the full-scale deployment demonstration of the Vortex Process Technology in cooling towers of commercial buildings. This technology has been used successfully in Europe and will be testing in California to address state specific goals for water and energy savings

Three different attic designs will be refined, tested, evaluated, and demonstrated in new home construction. The team will recommend the best of these approaches to home builders addressing cost-effectiveness and energy-efficiency. The baseline for comparison will be current energy efficiency code practices for attic construction involving ventilated, uninsulated attics containing code compliant ducts. The team will evaluate the new design approaches analytically at the start of the project. Researchers will assess approaches that include methods to produce sealed, insulated attics, as well as, standard vented attics, both of which have been demonstrated and are in limited use in the market today but currently add considerable cost to builders. The team will employ new and novel installation methods and materials that have the potential for energy savings on par with ducts in the conditioned space, but at a cost similar to current practice.

This project will assess factors affecting the scale of solar water heating (SWH) installations, such as system cost, performance, and reliability and scale. Such factors impact whether a project is undertaken at the individual or community level. The project team will consider different SWH technologies, installation types and financing mechanisms and develop a model to address questions on investing in solar water heating and how investments can be focused to maximize uptake of SWH. The team aims to quantify state-level energy and emissions impacts of the reduction in natural gas usage from solar water heating installations.

This project will develop and demonstrate an approach to scale residential retrofits for disadvantaged communities that will focus on customer-centric solutions. This project will develop and demonstrate an innovative approach, focusing on energy efficient retrofit packages that are non-intrusive to occupants and have the potential of reducing energy use by 30 to 40 percent.

This project will demonstrate how a large number of small electric loads, each impacted by and tuned to individual customer preferences can provide load management for both utilities and the California Independent System Operator (California ISO). The recipient will work with an extensive spectrum of leading product providers covering all major distributed energy resources (DERs), such as Nest (thermostats), ThinkEco (plug loads), Honda, BMW (auto), EGuana (smart Inverter) and Ice Energy (Thermal Storage). A variety of price signals will be tested for Time-of-Use customers such as Critical Peak Pricing and Demand Rate. The project will use deep analytics to evaluate individual customer preferences for demand management using microdata from devices and aggregate the responses to meet grid needs at different distribution and transmission levels.

The purpose of this project is to improve small and large commercial customer participation in demand response programs by providing a cost-effective energy management system that allows a wide range of hardware and service offerings as well as effective and automated price-based management.

The purpose of this project is to improve small and large commercial customer participation in demand response programs by providing a cost-effective energy management system that allows a wide range of hardware and service offerings as well as effective and automated price-based management.

This project will demonstrate cost-competitive ZNE design strategies that combine occupant needs with technology solutions to create new pathways for residential ZNE communities. The project's goals are cost effectiveness for the customer, affordability, overcoming customer apprehension, establishing a track record of new technology for builders, enabling distribution grid integration, creating a planning process for ZNE communities, evaluating community solar and evaluating the impact of future changes to ZNE cost effectiveness. This project will also aim to understand the operation and energy use of the unregulated loads.

The recipient will develop low-cost lighting components with open communication interfaces that allow seamless integration into whole-building control and automation systems. The project will target future California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24), and establish methods by which the site-specific configuration and operation of networked lighting controls systems can be effectively addressed, and more easily implemented by the marketplace

This project will develop a next-generation residential space-conditioning system optimized for California climates. The advanced efficiency solutions integrated into the HVAC system will include: variable-capacity compressor and variable-speed fans using state-of-the-art inverter technology; integrated ventilation to harness fresh air for "free cooling;" intelligent dual-fuel technology to decrease energy cost and empower consumers to choose between electricity and natural gas; zonal control to prevent conditioning of unoccupied rooms; demand-response interactivity to grid flexibility and reliability; advanced fault detection and diagnostics to ensure proper installation, operation, and maintenance; and alternative refrigerants for improved operation and significant reductions in the potential for global warming. How the Project Lead

This project will research DC and AC-DC hybrid systems in buildings and develop resource information, end-use templates, and building guidelines that could improve the ability to achieve zero net energy buildings. The feasibility, costs, benefits, market barriers, and customer and education needs will be assessed, including guidelines for residential and small commercial buildings.

This project will research and develop new technologies and strategies to eliminate or significantly reduce energy use in standby mode by redesigning the power supply for plug load devices. This research project will also develop and demonstrate strategies to remove plug load devices from grid AC power by redesigning these devices to use DC power from photovoltaic power sources.

This project will research and develop new technologies and strategies to eliminate or significantly reduce energy use in standby mode by redesigning the power supply for plug load devices. This research project will also develop and demonstrate strategies to remove plug load devices from grid AC power by redesigning these devices to use DC power from photovoltaic power sources.

This project will assess the energy reduction potential of electric commercial plug load foodservice equipment at five different commercial kitchens and demonstrate reduced energy consumption through the use of pre-commercial appliance designs and control technologies.

This project will contain three elements to provide data for policymakers and businesses to explore this new market. First, this project will determine prosumer (proactive consumer) interest in a third-party demand response market by testing user acquisition via direct and non-direct engagement strategies. Second, experimentation with behavioral and automated users will allow analysis of user yield under a variety of conditions and extract a set of shadow curves that can inform how much energy load shifting can be expected under various price incentives. Finally, this project will create a novel solution for using residential telemetry to connect prosumers and their Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the market operators.

This project will contain three elements to provide data for policymakers and businesses to explore this new market. First, this project will determine prosumer (proactive consumer) interest in a third-party demand response market by testing user acquisition via direct and non-direct engagement strategies. Second, experimentation with behavioral and automated users will allow analysis of user yield under a variety of conditions and extract a set of shadow curves that can inform how much energy load shifting can be expected under various price incentives. Finally, this project will create a novel solution for using residential telemetry to connect prosumers and their Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the market operators.

This project will develop and demonstrate innovative pre-commercial, cost-effective retrofit packages for cooling and ventilating single family homes. Energy savings, occupant behavior and indoor air quality (IAQ) will be measured for two specific retrofit packages that each includes three innovative technologies: (1) building envelope sealing, (2) two variants of smart mechanical ventilation that include pre-cooling strategies, and (3) compressor-free evaporative air-conditioning. Furthermore, barriers and opportunities towards adoption of such retrofits will be identified through stakeholder interviews.

This project will develop and demonstrate innovative pre-commercial, cost-effective retrofit packages for cooling and ventilating single family homes. Energy savings, occupant behavior and indoor air quality (IAQ) will be measured for two specific retrofit packages that each includes three innovative technologies: (1) building envelope sealing, (2) two variants of smart mechanical ventilation that include pre-cooling strategies, and (3) compressor-free evaporative air-conditioning. Furthermore, barriers and opportunities towards adoption of such retrofits will be identified through stakeholder interviews.

This research investigates how community-scale solar water heating can reduce energy consumption (both natural gas and electricity) and greenhouse gas emissions for communities pursuing highly efficient advanced energy systems that reduce or eliminate reliance on fossil fuels, and the cost effectiveness in doing so.

This project will develop integrated plug load control strategies appropriate for different spaces within multiple types of commercial buildings. The project will implement a flexible energy management system (FEMS) to demonstrate the integrated control strategies for plug loads at pilot sites, including installation of smart power outlets and integration of various plug load control strategies with building energy management and/or lighting control systems. The project is designed to demonstrate and measure the degree of effectiveness of the flexible control strategies developed for integrally managing operation of plug loads to achieve energy efficiency and demand reductions.

This project will design and develop innovative LED lighting solutions for three key general illumination product categories. These solutions are a best-in-class medium, screw-base replacement lamp, linear tubular light emitting diode (TLED) replacement lamps and spectrally optimized, dedicated LED luminaires. Product design requirements will be based on consumer light quality and functional performance preferences determined through a series of unique laboratory-based consumer preference and product characterization studies

This project will design and develop innovative LED lighting solutions for three key general illumination product categories. These solutions are a best-in-class medium, screw-base replacement lamp, linear tubular light emitting diode (TLED) replacement lamps and spectrally optimized, dedicated LED luminaires. Product design requirements will be based on consumer light quality and functional performance preferences determined through a series of unique laboratory-based consumer preference and product characterization studies

This project will provide a detailed market segmentation and baseline energy demand assessment of the gaming market, including development of measurement and benchmarking protocols for gaming software and hardware. Top-selling gaming PCs and games are then cross-benchmarked and retrofitted to achieve maximum energy savings beyond what commercialized products currently can attain.

This project will provide a detailed market segmentation and baseline energy demand assessment of the gaming market, including development of measurement and benchmarking protocols for gaming software and hardware. Top-selling gaming PCs and games are then cross-benchmarked and retrofitted to achieve maximum energy savings beyond what commercialized products currently can attain.

This project will develop, validate and quantify energy impacts of a new generation of high performance facade systems and provide the design and management toolkits that will enable the building industry to meet challenging energy performance goals leading to net zero buildings by 2030. Building envelope technologies can be integrated into a cost-effective system that reduces energy-use associated with HVAC and lighting while improving occupant comfort. Technology development activities include highly insulating (Hi-R) windows, energy recovery-based envelope ventilation systems, and dynamic daylight redirecting systems. Supporting tools, data, and design methods will also be developed to enable widespread, reliable, cost-effective deployment throughout California.

This project will test the effectiveness of innovative designs for demand response programs for residential customers using a behind-the-meter customer engagement platform developed by Chai Energy. Each of these innovative demand response strategies integrates a recent approach that energy researchers have shown to be effective in reducing customer consumption. These strategies include providing households with a) tailored energy-analytic feedback, b) aggregated versus single-period incentive information, c) non-financial environmental health benefit frames and d) social comparisons. An additional strategy will explore how the timing of the delivered demand response information affects the magnitude of household participation and response

This project will test the effectiveness of innovative designs for demand response programs for residential customers using a behind-the-meter customer engagement platform developed by Chai Energy. Each of these innovative demand response strategies integrates a recent approach that energy researchers have shown to be effective in reducing customer consumption. These strategies include providing households with a) tailored energy-analytic feedback, b) aggregated versus single-period incentive information, c) non-financial environmental health benefit frames and d) social comparisons. An additional strategy will explore how the timing of the delivered demand response information affects the magnitude of household participation and response

This project will demonstrate the installation of innovative technologies to retrofit an existing, low-income, mixed-use multi-unit building in a dense urban setting to become zero net energy (ZNE). Innovative strategies include a rapid new technology discovery and assessment approach, to ensure the most current emerging technologies are incorporated, as well as innovative measurement and verification. These approaches and other ZNE design process innovations will be packaged into an advanced ZNE design methodology for use in the demonstration project as well as broad dissemination to the design and innovation community. Numerous technical innovations and pre-commercial technologies are planned for inclusion including dynamic chromatic glass, heat recovery ventilators, variable refrigerant flow, occupancy based plug-load management, advanced light emitting diode lighting systems and a combined photovoltaic-thermal system.

This project will demonstrate the installation of innovative technologies to retrofit an existing, low-income, mixed-use multi-unit building in a dense urban setting to become zero net energy (ZNE). Innovative strategies include a rapid new technology discovery and assessment approach, to ensure the most current emerging technologies are incorporated, as well as innovative measurement and verification. These approaches and other ZNE design process innovations will be packaged into an advanced ZNE design methodology for use in the demonstration project as well as broad dissemination to the design and innovation community. Numerous technical innovations and pre-commercial technologies are planned for inclusion including dynamic chromatic glass, heat recovery ventilators, variable refrigerant flow, occupancy based plug-load management, advanced light emitting diode lighting systems and a combined photovoltaic-thermal system.

This agreement develops a new tool that integrates moisture and thermal analysis. By integrating these two properties the optimal strategies can be determined for improving envelope design for new construction and retrofit applications.This agreement provides building professionals with a user-friendly engineering software tool at no cost.

This project will develop and evaluate cost-effective packages of pre-commercial integrated energy efficiency measures and controls to achieve zero net energy (ZNE) performance for multi-story small commercial offices in San Francisco and Southern California. The packages will target a minimum of 50 percent energy savings when compared to standard building energy use. The packages of energy efficiency measures will be analyzed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's FLEXLAB, an advanced facility for testing whole-building integrated systems, to develop and validate solutions under varied climate and use conditions. The simulation models will be validated through results from FLEXLAB testing and a 3-story whole-building demonstration pilot located in San Francisco. Data on energy, occupant comfort, and occupant behavior will be analyzed and packaged into best practices to be replicated elsewhere in the State.

This project will develop and evaluate cost-effective packages of pre-commercial integrated energy efficiency measures and controls to achieve zero net energy (ZNE) performance for multi-story small commercial offices in San Francisco and Southern California. The packages will target a minimum of 50 percent energy savings when compared to standard building energy use. The packages of energy efficiency measures will be analyzed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's FLEXLAB, an advanced facility for testing whole-building integrated systems, to develop and validate solutions under varied climate and use conditions. The simulation models will be validated through results from FLEXLAB testing and a 3-story whole-building demonstration pilot located in San Francisco. Data on energy, occupant comfort, and occupant behavior will be analyzed and packaged into best practices to be replicated elsewhere in the State.

This project will develop an optimal system configuration for smart comfort controlled ceiling fans integrated with learning thermostats. This system will be tested and evaluated for energy performance and occupant acceptance in low income multi-family residential and small commercial buildings in disadvantaged communities in California. This research and development will advance the solution's technology readiness level and support market adoption acceleration.

This project will develop an optimal system configuration for smart comfort controlled ceiling fans integrated with learning thermostats. This system will be tested and evaluated for energy performance and occupant acceptance in low income multi-family residential and small commercial buildings in disadvantaged communities in California. This research and development will advance the solution's technology readiness level and support market adoption acceleration.

This project will develop a low cost smart thermostat unit that will have simple user interface. Though the test sites are low-income and senior housing, this technology could be adapted to other residential sectors. The smart thermostat will understand user preferences and manage indoor conditions to optimize energy use without requiring internet connectivity. HVAC energy use can be traced to three factors: losses in the ducting system, substandard equipment efficiency and occupant settings. Low income households are mostly renters which makes changes to the duct system or HVAC unit not feasible. By providing automatically optimized thermostat settings this project will determine if smart thermostats are a cost effective method to address HVAC energy use in the low-income and senior housing sectors.

The project team is demonstrating and validating new retrofit package solutions from laboratory pre-testing through field demonstrations in existing government-owned commercial buildings. The solution sets, dubbed "INTER", are comprised of shading products from Rollease Acmeda and lighting and plug load systems and integrated controls, including HVAC systems, from Enlighted. The technologies can be combined and customized to suit a variety of building types and spaces, resulting in an estimated whole building energy reduction of 20 to 32 percent. Beginning in the Los Angeles basin, the team is leveraging existing market connections to increase and accelerate market adoption of these retrofit solution sets to maximize the potential energy and carbon savings, first in the region and ultimately, throughout California.

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