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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.

SWA will evaluate the opportunities, savings potential, and limitations of ccASHPs in New York State homes. Improved energy modeling techniques will be developed for various tools. Guidelines will be developed describing ccASHP opportunities in NYS homes, including operating costs, installed costs, climate-dependent factors, low-temperature limitations, integration issues and possible limitations. Guidelines will also be developed for energy modelers to help accurately predict ccASHP performance with common modeling tools.

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.

Evoworld will complete the necessary development work resulting in a new user interface that provides end-users with a simple layout, quick access to operating data, and appliance performance feedback. Evoworld will also revise their Installation, Maintenance, and Operating manuals. The project will conclude with the development of a commissioning report and installer training curriculum, which should improve the quality of installations of Evoworld products within NYS and elsewhere.

The project will produce a standardizable, transferable, climate zone-specific net zero energy ready retrofit system. This system will be tested at a multifamily affordable housing pilot site.

The New Buildings Institute will work in a variety cities around the country to systematically identify how energy codes and other policy measures influence energy consumption patterns in municipal buildings. The New Buildings Institute will develop a methodology to measure the impact of codes on municipal building portfolios, and provide local governments with tools to identify which buildings are ripe for energy efficiency-related investments.

PPG Industries, Inc. will develop a process to produce cheaper, stronger vacuum insulating glazings (VIGs), which are used to make windows more energy efficient. This process could lead to increased adoption of VIGs in windows, which would lead to significant energy savings.

This project will study selected software and hardware platforms that apply algorithms to identify, diagnose, and sometimes fix broken electric cooling, ventilation and refrigeration systems in buildings. If widely used, the fault detection and diagnosis tools validated in this project could have savings of 927 Tbtu per year.

The goal of this research project is to determine if it is possible to pre-heat water for swimming pools to save energy. The study is designed to show the efficacy of this application as well as the associated energy savings. In 2016, BPA engineering collected baseline operation data on the existing electric resistance water heater for a residential swimming pool. Early in 2017, the CO2HPWH was installed and monitored. The initial results showed that the system was under performing and a number of modifications are being considered. The current plan is to implement the modifications and monitor the new design through December 2017 to allow for warm and cold weather operation. A final paper will be prepared by February 2018. While this study is focused on the residential sector, the nature and results of this study are also applicable to water heating EE projects in the commercial sector. BPA will generate a summary brief which will inform the region of the results. Its important to build the body of knowledge for CO2 heat pumps and demonstrate the efficacy of a new use case.

This supplemental project has been designed to provide utilities a means of working together in a coordinated fashion to test this concept in field environments. The goals of this supplemental project are:
1. To prove the performance of universal Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) 2045 communications port (comm port)
2. Convince manufacturers that the installation of a simple comm port is very low-cost, and makes their equipment easy to incorporate into any utility demand response (DR) program nationwide so that it could eventually become standard practice on all water heaters. If that can be achieved, then the question of whether or not a customer participates in a utility DR program becomes a simpler customer choice.

Heating water for commercial is identified in the 7th Power Plan as desired measures. The goal of this project is to fund the design, installation, commissioning and warranty of a large commercial heat pump water heater (HPWHs) as an Emerging Technology Field Test. BPA will award fund utility grants to design, install and commissioning the unit, meter energy usage and provide data to BPA for further analyses. Each utility will also provide results regarding the design, installation, and commissioning of the unit which will be shared publically

Commercial HVAC Efficient Pumping Technology has been identified by BPA as having significant electrical energy savings potential. Grants will be awarded to BPA customer utilities to test CHEP installation for Commercial, Agricultural and Industrial applications. Pump retrofits include integrated, variable-speed HVAC system pumps ranging in size between 1/3 and 10 horse power with controls. To date, three utilities have requested financial assistance for installations. The units will be installed in 2017 and utilities will provide reports within one year to report on system performance and present information on potential market barriers.

The goal of this grant is to share the cost for the design, installation, and commissioning to replace Roof Top Units (RTU) with Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) and Variable Capacity Heat Pump (VCHP) systems. In 2016, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) identified this potential RTU replacement strategy to help meet the regions energy efficiency targets and conducted a proof of concept study for this new replacement system. NEEAs preliminary analysis estimates that an HRV and VC HP system could be combined to save over seventy percent of the energy used by RTUs. BPA is interested in obtaining field data for additional systems in the Pacific Northwest. The expected results from this project include the following: HRV and VC HP system cost effectiveness information; System performance data; Verification that whole-building billing analysis is an adequate methodology to measure savings, and Identification of best practices for installation and commissioning based on feedback from the owner, utility, designer, contractor and occupants.

The goal of the project is to collect both historical and current water use data as it relates to the installation and operation of Smart Irrigation Controllers for residential and commercial landscaping applications in BPA service territory. BPA will work with customer utilities to install Smart Irrigation Controllers in residential and commercial landscaping applications to determine the water and electrical energy savings of each installation. The performance period of the study will include the entire 2016 irrigation watering season and a final report will be due in December 2017.

The project includes feasibility and design studies followed by demonstration of a large central reverse cycle chiller (RCC) or heat pump water heaters for energy efficient production of domestic hot water in multifamily residential projects. Feasibility and design studies were completed in 2010. The first installation was completed in November 2012; a second installation was completed in the Spring 2013. The next phase of the project will include measurement and verification of energy savings. The project will conclude with a final report of lessons learned and recommendations for future applications of this technology. This project will look to answer the following research question: quantify the energy savings using a large heat pump water heater (or called RCC) vs. electric resistance domestic hot water in a multifamily (MF) application to prove the concept, and understand technical challenges and whether this is a good technology for multifamily sector.

In the 7th Power Plan in the Pacific NW region, Advanced Power Strips have been identified as having significant savings potential. BPA would like to test this technology in commercial settings to determine energy savings; to understand unit performance; identify best practices for installation and gather feedback from end users. BPA will work with utilities to identify potential sites.

This is a continuation of the previous and current work with the Sanden split system HPWH which was funded through TI. To date, 4 installations have been completed in the NW region. Following the successful completion of a Market and Technical Assessment, BPA will seek additional installations to document energy savings; demonstrate the viability of the product in the NW; and produce user and installation manuals to facilitate the market update of this technology.

Ducted mini-splits are currently available for single family applications. Research is required to determine if these units will be more efficient than the traditional ductless heat pumps (DHPs) with back up resistance heating. If the lab test shows that Ducted mini splits provide more sufficient savings then a field test will be implemented.

BPA funded a small field test through NEEA to understand if DHPs could be installed by owners to reduce installation costs to improve cost effectiveness. NEEA received funding to track the 4 installations. There were key learnings from each installation which were documented to share with the region. Preliminary results were reported earlier this year to members of the BPA and NEEA by Ecotope who managed the installations.

Starting in 2016, the project team met to define research objectives to take an Unit Energy Savings - Deemed research proposal to the RTF in early 2018. The team is working to collect data from 100 LESA conversions to determine energy savings. To date the team has collected information from approximately 40 sites in Idaho through a collaboration with Rocky Mountain Power. The team expects over data from over 100 sites to be collected during the summer of 2017. The project team is monitoring soil moisture content on 15 - 20 sites in Oregon and Washington to provide additional information to the RTF.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association will improve energy savings in the retail sector by helping energy managers secure financing for efficiency projects—a key barrier to energy efficiency investment in this sector. This project will result in at least five new replicable energy financial management strategies.

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.

PPG Industries, Inc. will develop high-performing dark-colored pigments for use in cool roof coatings. These pigments would satisfy customers' demand for dark-colored cool roofs and lead to 0.17 quads of energy savings annually.

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 is developing a gas-fired absorption heat pump that offers a significant advancement for space and water heating technologies when compared to conventional gas heating technologies (an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 140% versus 100%, respectively). This heat pump will provide efficient space and water heating for single and multi-family homes in most climate zones.

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance will investigate whether investing in statewide building energy code education, training, and outreach programs can produce a significant change in residential building code compliance rates. The results of these activities provide the necessary business case to influence non-government entities, particularly utilities, to make investments in similar programs, which could lead to substantial national energy savings.

In 2013, BPA received an unsolicited proposal for a case study for a side-by-side comparison of a geothermal heat pump and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system in nearly identical multifamily housing units in Tacoma, Washington. The project provided a unique opportunity to evaluate these two technologies while providing an application for multifamily housing. The project will determine how the seasonal performance of the two systems for space conditioning and production of hot water compares. The following information will be provided for the operation of both units: quantified savings and costs over a specific baseline; understanding of the engineering design, installation, ownership, and possible utility barriers; quantified annual energy savings, benefits, and costs; documented magnitude and longevity of the incremental electric energy savings; documented operation and energy use; and described energy savings time of occurrence and duration, load shape, and lifetime.

Columbia University will use an inexpensive and widely tunable library of quantum dot (QD) synthesis reagents along with automated high-throughput synthesis and analysis tools to grade the alloy composition of QD heterostructures, in order to provide stable and efficient narrow-band red down-converters for LEDs.

The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) and the Building Technologies Office (BTO) will work together to enable practicing real estate appraisers to better characterize the value of energy efficient and other green attributes of buildings. TAF will produce documentation that provides voluntary guidance on recognized valuation methods and techniques for valuation professionals.

The University of California-Berkeley and its partner, Building Robotics, will create, evaluate and establish the technical foundations for secure and easy to deploy building energy efficiency applications utilizing pervasive, low-cost wireless sensors integrated with traditional Building Management Systems (BMS), consumer-sector building components, personalized smartphone devices, and powerful data analytics.

The Health & Home Performance Initiative was established to support DOE's efforts to leverage the healthcare sector as a partner to help increase leads to contractors and ultimately fund portions of appropriate health-focused home performance improvements. In FY17, a literature review demonstrating associations between improved health and home performance services was published. Also in FY17, DOE is developing a roadmap detailing what is needed and what is currently available to facilitate healthcare integration with EE.

Evidence in a new, groundbreaking Energy Department report, Home Rx: The Health Benefits of Home Performance, shows that home performance upgrades can improve the quality of a homes indoor environment by reducing the prevalence of harmful indoor air pollutants and contaminants. This paper is just one part of the Energy Departments broader Health and Home Performance Initiative. Another step will be to develop messaging that home performance programs, contractors, and partners can use to communicate clearly about the health benefits of home performance work with consumers and stakeholders.

The next step for the Initiative will be to engage with stakeholders to develop a roadmap to facilitate the home performance industrys incorporation of healthcare into their work. Workshops are slated for conferences in January, March, and May 2017.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will work with project partners to address several indoor air quality challenges for high performance homes through experimental, analytical and modeling efforts. The long term goal of this project is to significantly reduce the indoor air quality risks that are a barrier to industry adoption of high performance homes.

The Healthy Homes Accelerator aims to better integrate healthy housing principles and practices in energy retrofits and new home construction; and support the creation of local partnerships between key stakeholders that are aimed at overcoming barriers to incorporating enhanced health measures in buildings.

The objective of this research is to design, build and test a residential / light commercial heat pump high density thermal storage (HPT) system. Various high density thermal storage materials, including Zeolite and metal organic framework (MOF) materials, will be evaluated for system size and costs. The research will build a proof-of-concept heat pump high density thermal storage (HPT) prototype to test and demonstrate the feasibility and potential of the proposed technology. This prototype will quantify the potential energy and demand savings benefits of the identified combination of the HPT and determine the controls and other requirements to enable successful load shifting and demand response capability for the developed HPT solution

Cree, Inc. will incorporate a high-efficacy LED light engine into a demonstration luminaire, with concurrent advancements in LED light engines, optics, and sensors integrated to result in high efficacy as well as additional features such as spectral tuning.

Arizona State University is demonstrating an efficient and stable white organic light diode (WOLED) using a single emitter on a planar glass substrate. By simplifying the device fabrication process, increasing the robustness of materials, and providing cost-effective emitter materials, Arizona State University will help reduce the overall manufacturering costs of WOLEDs.

QM Power will install and demonstrate approximately 12,000 high-efficiency fans in more than 50 U.S. grocery stores, focusing on open display case retrofits. This technology has additional applications and could achieve more than 0.6 quads and more than $1 billion in energy savings.

United Technologies Research Center will demonstrate a compressor design that will enable high-efficiency small commercial rooftop air conditioning systems. This technology could provide 30% annual energy savings and reduce energy use by 2.5 quads by 2030.

United Technologies Research Center will develop a high-performance commercial cold climate heat pump system. The system could enable annual electricity use for building space heating in cold climates to decrease by at least 25%.

This project will address the fundamental challenges for green LEDs by a combination of innovations in epitaxial growth and layer design, advanced processes including tunnel junctions, and advanced materials characterization.

The objectives of this project are to: 1) Develop, evaluate, and down-select a set of component technologies that will enable highly efficient and uniform large area white OLED lighting panels at low cost, 2) Integrate the selected subset of technology elements to demonstrate the required panel level performance targets of 80 lm/W with 85% brightness uniformity at 2000-3000 cd/m2 for a large area OLED panel at least 100 cm2 in size 3) Demonstrate scalability of the low-cost technologies and 4) Demonstrate an OLED luminaire using the high-performance OLED panels delivering more than 2000 lumens at greater than 65 lm/W.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will design cost-effective windows that automatically adjust shading to maximize energy savings and provide desired heating or cooling effects. These windows could lead to significant reductions in energy use in residential heating and cooling.

Lumileds, LLC will develop a high-efficacy, high-power LED emitter enabled by patterned sapphire substrate flip-chip architecture, die development to include novel contact design, phosphors with reduced bandwidth, and new optical materials for light extraction from the die.

United Technologies Research Center will demonstrate a heat pump that is smaller, quieter, and cheaper to maintain than current models. The heat pump could result in annual energy savings of more than 1.5 quads and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 million metric tons.

United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) will develop and validate a high-efficiency, high-speed 5TR packed rooftop system that uses a sustainable, nonflammable, nontoxic and high-efficiency refrigerant.

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.

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