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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.

Sunthru will establish the fabrication process variables (e.g., pressures and temperatures) for producing small scale samples with the RSCE method. These measurements will be used to establish the process variable to make 8'x8'x0.5' and 10'x10'x0.5' aerogel monoliths. The large scale monoliths will be used to construct prototype insulated glass units for testing Sunthru's ultimate product.

This project will evaluate the effectiveness of luminscent solar concentrators with PV materials. RPI will determine the extinction coefficients for candidate LSC materials. The extinction coefficient will be used in Monte Carlos simulation, along with other experimental parameters such as quantum efficiency and absorption and emission spectra, to predict optimum shape and species concentration that will lead to LSC-PV systems with enhanced system level efficiency. The most promising designs will be fabricated into coupled LSC-PV systems and their performance will be characterized with laboratory testing.

Vertex Companies investigated the commercial usefulness of LIPA tracer gas technology in providing a quantitative assessment of air distribution in buildings. The LIPA System's capability to track indoor to outdoor, within zone and between zone air distributions was also be evaluated. The use of the LIPA System as a real-time, quantitative instrumental detection with a hand-portable device was also confirmed.

UoR shall evaluate a new manufacturing process for producing lower cost superwicking materials. The wicking performance of the material produced with the new manufacturing process will be tested and compared to a wicking material produced using a laser surfacing technique.

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

Lumileds, LLC will reduce LED manufacturing costs by eliminating some of the complex processes associated with current flip-chip technology and enabling lower-cost packaging methods. This project looks to address the needs of the indoor and outdoor illumination markets, which demand the most competitive Lm/W and Lm/$ characteristics in small footprint components.

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

The project will seek to develop a residential and commercial logwood-fired boiler with the ability to modulate firing rates down to

SWA will work with NYCHA to identify a subset of building typologies that represent its broader portfolio and are also relevant to other NY housing stocks. SWA will assess the representative properties and identify pathways for achieving DERs. SWA will review existing physical needs assessments plans (PNA) and meet with the NYCHA capital planning team to understand the existing long term capital needs and approach to capital planning. SWA will develop potential long term plans for each building typology to realize deep energy reductions that build on existing capital plans and needs.

In this project, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will expand on preliminary studies it has already completed into LED reliability to develop a cost-effective, accelerated test method for LED Lighting products that will allow accurate projection of system life for any given environmental temperature and use pattern.

Project will develop the mechanical and electrical OLED integration technologies to enable large area ceiling or wall mounted fixtures to be fabricated. These OLED array fixtures will provide contiguous panels of light with minimal gaps between OLED sections and very low profile to be readily mounted on walls, ceiling or office furniture components. The project will focus on innovations in the following areas to integrate OLED into effective products and applications: A power and wiring architecture that efficiently down converts voltage level, conforms to safety standards, and facilitates OLED fixture installation. "Thin and compact" constant current driver architecture to complement the OLED panel construction "Thin and compact" mechanical and electrical connection scheme to combine an array of panels to attain a contiguous light source

The project effort is a two-year development program focused on isocyanurate-based nanofoam for building and industrial applications. The main target of this early stage innovation project is to develop a PIR-based super insulation at atmospheric pressure (SIAP) that (1) can attain an R-12 hrft2F/Btuin (_=12 mW/mK) via creating nanoporous morphology, (2) is mechanically robust and (3) is cost-competitive to the conventional rigid foam boards.

The goal of this project is to develop laboratory test methods for performance verification of low-cost IAQ sensors and provide technical support to industry stakeholders during the development of an ASTM standard based on these test methods.

Under this project, OLEDWorks will develop the quality and reliability system for a high efficiency white OLED light product (greater than 60 lumens per watt) that will serve as platform for a wide variety of lighting applications and solutions. The project will develop the fundamental platforms for process robustness, end of line reliability, and part tracking required for manufacturing scale commercialization, and market adoption of white lighting panels. The focus of the process development is reliability and overall quality of affordable OLED lighting products. Processes that will be developed and delivered include manufacturing process robustness for product reliability and quality control reliability testing strategy, product grading or binning, end of the line test at high throughput, packaging and shipping strategy, and product traceability.

Hudson Fisonic will develop, design, manufacture, and install FDs for space heating and domestic hot water at the Woolworth building (57 stories, 900k ft2). The performance of the FD will be monitored for 12 months to determine the steam and potable water savings from use of this technology. Hudson Fisonic will start the commercialization of the FD technology by engaging the manufacturer - Division LLC Corporation, located in Long Island City, New York, in fabricating and preparing the necessary facilities and equipment for commercial manufacturing of FDs

Newport Partners, in partnership with Broan-NuTone, will develop and validate a smart range hood that senses pollutants and automatically operates to remove the contaminants efficiently. The proposed smart range hood will be quiet (

Newport Ventures will evaluate the potential to make metal buildings more energy efficient by researching the market for a high R-value vacuum insulation product adhered to metal wall or roof panels. Newport Ventures, NanoPore (a MAI manufacturer),and Oak Ridge National Laboratory will investigate promising applications and possible manufacturers identified by the Metal Buildings Manufacturer Association (MBMA) and other relevant industry associations across NYS. Research will be conducted with respect to the optimum profile of the metal panel, method and material for adhesion, edge and seam detailing, fastening method, and trim pieces.

Multifamily (MF) is hugely underserved in Residential energy efficiency (EE) Programs and part of our MF ductless heat pump (DHP) strategy is to look at different MF use cases and identify which MF use cases provide a higher EE potential. So far DHP results in MF are mixed and this project will assess the energy use and savings of ductless heat pumps in mid-rise MF buildings. This study offers a unique opportunity for a side by side comparison of heat pumps and electric resistance heat within a single apartment building with 278 apartments. The project would collect billing data on all the individual units, conduct an analysis to disaggregate heating, cooling, and baseload energy use, and compare the two types of heating systems.

Seven alternative ductless heat pump (DHP) solutions were identified during the 2014 Washington State University (WSU) Assessment Study, including multiple internal heads, ducting between rooms, etc. Two solutions were recommended for further research. Technology and research plans need to be developed for these alternatives. Research plans will need to be developed for this project.

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.

The project is designed to test the ductless heat pump (DHP) in different applications. Fifty-one sites were installed to test different applications including single family, multifamily, manufactured homes , and small commercial across different climate zones. As part of the study, one year of data was collected through sub metering; and pre- and post-billing data were completed and analyzed for each site. Preliminary results have been promising for manufactured homes and single family homes with forced air furnace applications. The study was completed during the spring of 2013. Based on the findings of the study, Single Family and Manufactured Home applications provided sufficient energy savings to warrant presentation to the Regional Technical Forum as new measures in 2015. Both were given a provisional UES (deemed) measure status. DHPs in Manufactured Homes with zonal heat were given a Small Saver measure status.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will develop a low-cost window coating that allows infrared (heat) penetration in cooler temperatures but switches to reflect infrared waves in warmer temperatures. This coating has the potential to save up to 2.24 quads/year in heating, cooling, and lighting energy use.

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.

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor will develop innovative methods to outcouple the light within OLED devices in order to increase external quantum efficiency. This will be accomplished through nanoscale texturing beneath the anode outside the active region, fabricating sub-anode gratings along with microlens arrays, and top emitting structures with a sub-anode grid coupled with a reflective mirror at the base.

The 7th Power Plan has targeted 261aMWs of savings for embedded data centers and BPA would like to develop a series of new measures to acquire these savings. Embedded Data Centers are defined as server rooms located on-site in commercial buildings which are larger than server closets but smaller than enterprise data centers. This project will inform and streamline custom projects for future Data Center Air Flow Management retrofits which may include multiple data center HVAC retrofits, including blanking panels, raising space temperatures, containment and air flow management. Up to two grants will be awarded to participate in this field study to test Data Center Air Flow Management retrofits and other HVAC solutions for Embedded Data Centers. This field study will also demonstrate and verify a Data Center Air Flow Management (AFM) energy savings calculator developed by Seattle City Light in the Data Center Track and Tune Project.

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.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA) propose to carefully evaluate opportunities for energy, emission, and cost savings and non-wires solutions, including alleviation of transmission bottlenecks and fast-ramping supply capabilities with greater use and better design of combined heat and electric power (CHP) distributed generators (DGs); combined cooling, heating, and electric power (CCHP) DG; and energy storage installed on-site at energy-intensive food processing facilities.

This project will assess the DC power market to understand distribution opportunities, technical and analytical gaps for residential and commercial applications, and inform the analysis, design, and planning capabilities of these loads. The team will extend DOEs open-source whole-building energy modeling tools platformthe EnergyPlus engine and OpenStudio software development kitwith power distribution system modeling capabilities to enable evaluation of energy and economic benefits of AC, DC, and hybrid power distribution systems.

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.

The Gas Technology Institute will develop a systems approach for managing air sealing, ventilation, and air distribution to improve a retrofitted home's energy use while maintaining indoor air quality. Ventilation energy savings of up to 30% are possible.

GE Global Research will design, build, and demonstrate a highly efficient residential electric clothes dryer. This technology could lead to more than 20 billion kWh of energy savings per year.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory will develop system-level architecture for a plug-and-play multi-sensor platform, which can utilize peel-and-stick sensors less than a quarter of an inch thick and powered by indoor, high-performance, flexible photovoltaics. By developing sensors that are multi-functional and self-powered, this innovative platform can be adopted and deployed for wider spread energy efficiency of buildings.

An engineering study will be undertaken to determine the necessary specifications for the district heating loop. A site survey will be conducted to identify the ideal site for the central biomass plant. This will ideally be a location that has a significant load in close proximity as well as other loads reasonably close. The plant will be sized to meet some initial loads. Some of the initial major loads identified include the Wild Center Museum, the Sunmount Complex and an elementary school. A detailed analysis of the heating and cooling loads will be undertaken to determine the size of the initial plant. The piping route and specifications will be determined as well. As all of the characteristics come together, the work will be put out to bid to the relevant contractors. The project will also involve determining the source of funding of the district heating loop.

Iowa State University will demonstrate a way to increase the outcoupling of simple white OLEDs while maintaining a high color rendering index, by disrupting the internal waveguiding, using a unique and innovative corrugation pattern.

Provide enhanced residential efficiency analysis tools tailored for the Pacific Northwest.
1. A residential building energy analysis tool based on BEopt/EnergyPlus, used to identify cost-optimal efficiency packages
2. A regional residential efficiency analysis tool driven by BEopt/EnergyPlus simulations/optimizations and calibrated to Residential Building Stock Assessment (RBSA) data, used to assess residential building energy conservation potential
The project has been completed and additional Technology Transfer activities are being explored to promote the use of these tools throughout the Pacific NW.

Envision Charlotte will expand its energy management approaches to more than triple the number of participating buildings. By adding additional participants, Envision Charlotte will continue to foster innovation in conserving energy and reducing operating costs.

Optimize heat pump water heater (HPWH) next generation project for both energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR). In recent years, heat pump water heaters have reemerged as a potentially high impact energy efficient technology. Hybrid heat pump water heaters have been shown by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to provide high efficiency electric water heating. The EPRI Energy Efficiency Demonstration has shown energy savings of 20-40% over conventional water heaters in preliminary analysis. The project will address: the feasibility of variable speed compressors to eliminate electric resistance backup; alternative refrigerants and system configurations; demand response and ancillary service opportunities and strategies, and whole building impacts of heat pump water heater systems.

This project will apply the framework created in the prior research to develop early deployment plans for three additional technologies and to guide early deployments with multiple utilities for five technologies, two of which were planned in prior research. The three technologies being deployed are heat pump water heaters, led menu boards, and engine generator block heaters.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory will develop a monitoring system capable of identifying opportunities for energy efficiency improvements in buildings. The technology could improve the energy efficiency of buildings by 15% - 25%.

FXFOWLE Architects will undertake a research study to determine the viability of implementing the Passivhaus standard on tall residential buildings in New York State. Using a 25 story multifamily project currently in design as a base building, the study will investigate the detailed implications of adapting a typical tall residential building to meet the Passivhaus standard. This work will analyze the impacts from architectural, structural, enclosure detailing, materials, mechanical, zoning, financial, marketability, and constructability perspectives. Market barriers and opportunities will be identified and addressed. In addition, the study will evaluate how applying the Passivhaus standard to a tall multifamily residential building can affect resiliency and security issues

CNSE and EYP Architecture and Engineering will evaluate the energy and demand benefits from smart controls that integrate various systems to enable more holistic operation of a building. The systems to be controlled include digital addressable LED lighting system with day-lighting controls, automated window covering system, occupancy RFID tracking system, submetered energy monitoring and utility meter data, PLC-based HVAC controls, fuel cell, PV array and task lighting.

This project is intended to inform both utilities and the public of the potential energy saving benefits of smart thermostats. For utilities, it may provide a measure of how these thermostats fit into their programs and how customers use them to enable energy or demand savings. Utilities will get an opportunity to gauge cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs for smart thermostats. Demand response from residential air-conditioners has been a target of many utility programs, but the cost of installation of load control devices and the resulting perceived compromise in customer comfort have been large barriers.

Taitem Engineering will evaluate the Dutch program for deep energy retrofits of residential buildings known as Energiesprong. The objectives of this study are as follows: gain an in-depth understanding of the solutions implemented under the Energiesprong program, confirm the cost and performance of the implemented retrofits; assess transferability to NYS building stock (e.g. wood-frame vs. concrete frame) and assess transferability to NYS different climate zones.

Brookhaven National Laboratory will evaluate a DC system directly-coupled to a solar energy system that enables the use of DC power directly for office lighting. This system will use equipment developed by Nextek Power Systems and will being installed in a Suffolk County office buildings. BNL will document the energy savings and value propositions available from this type of system compared to a conventional DC to AC lighting system powered a solar photovoltaic system. This work will provide information that can be used to determine the value propositions for installing this type of system at larger scale in buildings throughout New York State.

The project will evaluate alternative defrost methods for use in residential and light commercial Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) in order to reduce the negative effects conventional defrost methods create and improve energy efficiency and overall system performance. The use of a hot gas bypass method, similar to that employed in commercial refrigeration systems, will be investigated, as well as frost-preventing coil coatings. Heat pump prototypes will be constructed in order to enable future design and optimization of heat pump products and their associated control strategies.

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