Log in or register to create Field Kits and Sales Worksheets. Why register?

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.

The National Association of State Energy Officials 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.

The University of California, Los Angeles, will develop components for the fabrication of OLEDs with improved energy efficiency and reduced manufacturing cost. This improved OLED technology could lead to lower-cost, more-efficient lighting options being available on the market.

This project will develop a technique to automatically construct new contextual information for sensing and control points based on point names and the raw time series value. This will allow for integration and connectivity from building analytics engines to commercial building management systems with minimal or no manual point mapping.

This project involved researching the feasibility of commercial "humidity sponges", which could help even out daily and multi-day fluctuations of relative humidity in building spaces. This proof of concept study investigated the wicking and water vapor transfer properties of several materials, in addition to the topology and material properties of the structures termites use to manage humidity in their colonies. The project completed with a market analysis, in order to better understand the marketplace for passive or transient building controls in the energy-efficient dehumidification market space.

This project will identify, quantify and evaluate the incremental costs and benefits of demand responsive (DR) lighting controls system requirements in the California Energy Code across existing, non-residential building stock. The project will focus on the incremental costs and benefits associated with adding the DR functionality to enhance general lighting upgrades in existing, non-residential buildings to enable them to act as DR resources.

This project will identify, quantify and evaluate the incremental costs and benefits of demand responsive (DR) lighting controls system requirements in the California Energy Code across existing, non-residential building stock. The project will focus on the incremental costs and benefits associated with adding the DR functionality to enhance general lighting upgrades in existing, non-residential buildings to enable them to act as DR resources.

Hydronic Specialty Supply is developing a thermal storage system with enhanced stratification and smart controls. The thermal storage system will have features that account for many of the known issues affecting current thermal storage tanks. The design and layout of the tank, including inlet and outlet ports, will be optimized for temperature stratification necessary for a hydronic heating system. However, the system will also include features allowing it to easily integrate with optional heat transfer capabilities, including solar thermal input or DHW output. The overall goal is to develop an enhanced solution for the biomass heating marketplace at an economical price point, while improving overall system performance. After design and prototype fabrication, the thermal storage system will be evaluated in an independent laboratory and field tested, with the final product being ASME certified.

This project researched new phase change materials (PCM) to store thermal energy for wall assemblies, and develop associated software tools. Heat is absorbed or released when the materials change from solid to liquid or vice versa. PCMs absorb thermal energy and they can reduce the need for heating and cooling in some buildings. Their impact is similar to that of adding thermal mass to the building. Unlike air conditioning systems, they require no maintenance. The use of PCMs and associated software tools can contribute to zero net energy commercial buildings by reducing the energy needs of a building through passive design.

This project will explore the benefits and opportunities of Total Charge Management, where electric vehicle charging is managed across multiple charging events to maximize vehicle load flexibility. The project will test how flexible electric vehicle load can be if managed across a driver's daily or weekly charge events. This flexibility will utilize several pricing mechanisms to estimate the benefits of the Total Charge Management approach. The research will develop and evaluate advanced vehicle telematics for utilities and grid operators to align vehicle battery status, driver mobility needs and grid conditions. Collaboration between the grid and the driver can yield a charging load profile that minimizes energy costs by aligning daily and weekly charging events to best meet grid needs.

The Recipient will develop Transactive Load management (TLM) signals, expressed in the form of proxy prices reflective of current and future grid conditions, and implement software to calculate such signals. These signals will be designed to provide customers sufficient information to optimize their energy costs by managing their demand in response to system needs. The signals will be transported via proven and available protocols and networks for use by projects that will test the efficacy of the TLM signals using the demand response projects awarded under agreement EPC-15-054.

Case Western Reserve University will design and demonstrate low-cost, compact, easy-to-deploy, maintenance-free sensors that will transform buildings into "smart" buildings. This technology has the potential to reduce building energy use, lower buildings' environmental impact, and increase building occupant comfort, all at a low cost.

This project is based on initial research done under TIP 50 and 51. The fraction of power electronic loads is expected to increase over the next decade. The project will evaluate the impact of power electronic loads on power system stability, including dynamic voltage stability, damping of power oscillations, and frequency response. The project will look at a wide number of power electronic loads, such as VFDs, consumer electronics, and electric vehicle charges. The project will simulate, test, and evaluate various designs that make electronic loads friendly to the power grid. This project is coordinated with a larger nationwide US Department of Energy (DOE) Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS) project.

The team will integrate the developed sensing medium into PARCs previously developed flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) peel-and-stick platform that measures humidity, temperature, light, strain, and gases such as carbon monoxide, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide at an anticipated cost of

Pennsylvania State University will develop a way to better understand and predict the occurrence of short circuits in OLED lighting panels, in order to reduce failure rates by means of new, more-informative panel diagnostics, a modeling capability to predict mean time to failure, and new anti-shorting strategies that address the root cause of the problem.

This project will develop an interoperable protocol that can be implemented in all plug-load devices, unhampered by proprietary restrictions which will implement energy reporting to enable plug-load devices to transmit operating information - such as identity, power consumption, and functional state - through a communications network to a central entity. After a communication infrastructure is established for plug-load devices, the data flow can be reversed to send control signals to individual devices. The central management system that this project will demonstrate is well positioned to provide comprehensive control over diverse plug-load devices.

This project will develop an interoperable protocol that can be implemented in all plug-load devices, unhampered by proprietary restrictions which will implement energy reporting to enable plug-load devices to transmit operating information - such as identity, power consumption, and functional state - through a communications network to a central entity. After a communication infrastructure is established for plug-load devices, the data flow can be reversed to send control signals to individual devices. The central management system that this project will demonstrate is well positioned to provide comprehensive control over diverse plug-load devices.

This project is working to develop and validate new low-cost, low-toxicity additives for A2L refrigerants to reduce flammability and lower global warming potential (GWP). This proposed refrigerant formulation would be more difficult to ignite, minimizing the probability and severity of any events and lessening existing safety concerns.

The University of California, Davis, will have undergraduate students work with industry partners to develop and validate a new solution to model rooftop air conditioners. This model could produce climate-specific advantages in comfort and efficiency.

This project is funding the planning, permitting, and preliminary engineering needed for the integration of advanced energy technologies in a disadvantaged community. The design will provide locally generated, GHG-free electricity from community solar and storage to offset electricity consumption of participants who opt in to the AEC. The design will also enable participants to benefit from savings resulting from various onsite Integrated Demand Side Management (IDSM) actions at no up-front cost, including energy efficiency retrofits, demand response, energy management systems, and an energy education and support program. Participants will pay back retrofit costs and cost of capital for solar and storage assets through an on-bill financing mechanism, including a first-of-its-kind virtual net metering (VNEM) tariff across multiple county-owned sites and residential buildings piloted by Los Angeles Community Choice Energy (LACCE). The project has a strong focus on local outreach and engagement to promote community participation in the AEC, as well as robust data evaluation methods facilitated through the LA County Energy Atlas to ensure design and financing features are optimized.

The proposed project investigates using highly controllable resources, such as energy storage and demand response, located in BPA served distribution networks with the goal of providing technical and economic benefits to BPA such as:
1. Congestion management
2. Equipment upgrade deferrals
3. Increased system reliability, and
4. Assistance in developing a strategy to manage increasing amounts of distributed generation.

This project is being pursued due to a timely confluence of several projects already under way. The University of Washington (UW) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) funded research project, Energy Positioning: Control and Economics, is developing techniques to optimize use of the energy storage (ES) and demand response (DR) assets to support transmission network operations and determine the economic value of such optimization. The Snohomish PUD is making an investment in ES and DR assets supported by Washington State, which will be managed by an advanced control and optimization system. These assets will provide a valuable real-world proving ground for the UW research and technology to be developed in this project.

The Minnesota Center for Energy and Environment will research and validate energy and cost savings opportunities using power over Ethernet (PoE) infrastructure to power and automate lighting, plugs, and HVAC system controls.

The purpose of this Agreement is to fund applied research and development to evaluate the stability, operational, and emissions implications of operating dual fuel appliances in homes and businesses that can use both pipeline quality natural gas and biogas, a.k.a. renewable natural gas, also referred to as methane. An overview of the market availability of these appliances will be provided along with a summary of existing test results and procedures used to evaluate these devices. Existing data, and new test data from a representative list of appliances collected in this study will be used to stimulate information on stability, performance and emissions using various fuel mixture ratios and fuel intensities. Recommendations for burner design modifications to enable use of larger amounts of renewable gas (biogas) will be made.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will develop high-performing vacuum insulation for use on installed windows. This technology could offer an alternative to replacing existing windows with highly insulting windows and save 2 - 3 quads of energy annually.

The goal is to develop a minimally invasive retrofit insulation technology for enclosed roof cavities such as cathedral ceilings, flat roofs, and dormer roofs.

This project will work directly with leading production builders and product manufacturers to demonstrate and validate high efficiency, variable capacity, ducted and ductless space conditioning systems with optimized comfort distribution and latent control for low load homes in humid climates. The team will investigate potential for better RH control via variable compressor speed, refrigerant flow, and coil air flow. The guidance and best practices from this work will result in 5-10% space conditioning energy savings in current DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes while maintaining or enhancing comfort.

Variable Capacity Heat Pump Test Protocol for Northern Climates. BPA is collaborating with 7 Canadian utilities and Natural Resources Canada, with the assistance of the Canadian Standards Association, and US industry partners Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), NEEA and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to develop a test protocol standard for Variable Capacity Heat Pumps (VCHP) designed for Cold Climates. This test protocol means BPA will be able to confidently predict the performance of new VCHP market entrant without expensive field testing. BPA has engaged EPRI to participate in the international proceedings and to test and verify the final protocol recommendation before formal adoption by BPA.

The Field Study will have two phases of work. Phase 1 is determining the energy savings at eight installed sites. Phase 2 will estimate the annual savings for each site, determine the incremental savings of this technology compared to two baselines, and provide a workbook for an Regional Technical Forum (RTF) UES (deemed) measure if the field, Campbell Creek, and lab studies show it is cost-effective and saves energy. Questions to address include:
How do we test and measure this technology? Determine an M&V plan with the region. Evaluate the field sites; are there energy savings? Could this be a cost effective measure? Should BPA pursue an RTF UES (deemed measure) for this technology?

Steven Winter Associates will work with manufacturing partner Mitsubishi Electric to develop, test, and demonstrate an integrated energy recovery ventilation and heat pump system for residential buildings.

This project will develop low-cost, low power, accurate, calibration-free, and compact airflow sensors (anemometers) for measuring: (1) room airflow in occupied commercial buildings; and (2) volumetric air flow in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The technology will save energy by using the collected data to correct current wasteful HVAC malfunctions that result in inefficient systems and uncomfortable buildings. The anemometers will be wireless, able to be inexpensively installed in existing buildings, and operate on a battery for years and communicate wirelessly via the internet to the building's control system. The device will also sense temperature, its orientation, and its location

This project will develop low-cost, low power, accurate, calibration-free, and compact airflow sensors (anemometers) for measuring: (1) room airflow in occupied commercial buildings; and (2) volumetric air flow in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The technology will save energy by using the collected data to correct current wasteful HVAC malfunctions that result in inefficient systems and uncomfortable buildings. The anemometers will be wireless, able to be inexpensively installed in existing buildings, and operate on a battery for years and communicate wirelessly via the internet to the building's control system. The device will also sense temperature, its orientation, and its location

Drexel University will develop an innovative and cost-effective automated fault detection and diagnostics tool that better identifies issues related to building energy use. This project is expected to impact a total energy market of 7,306 TBTU, with projected national energy savings of 1,096 TBTU with a simple payback time per installation of less than 1 year.

This federal cost share project demonstrates the benefits of the VOLTTRON platform for DER management through the testing of the VOLTTRON Testing Tool Kit. VOLTTRON is a US Department of Energy funded open source platform intended to provide a software base for integrating management of energy demand in buildings, distributed energy resources, and the electrical grid. The tool kit expands the VOLTTRON platform beyond its original set of developers and encourages adoption by other organizations and private entities. By lowering implementation costs and adding additional features such as simulation test suites and debugging tools, the tool kit promotes wider use of the VOLTTRON platform.

SLAC is working with partners Kisensum and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to develop a VOLTTRON Testing Took kit that will enhance the VOLTTRON Open Source platform that is currently under development by adding testing tools. This makes VOLTTRON more accessible and available to small and medium facility owners by allowing for quick analysis of the potential of behind-the-meter storage, integration of renewables and responsiveness to the wholesale energy process.

BPA has not provided any variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system incentives because of challenges estimating and verifying energy savings. This project will leverage BPAs AirNW Trade Ally network to identify and document VRF installations so that billing analysis can be done to determine energy savings. Activities include: billing analyses on 10 sites where the VRF system installation was the only change affecting electricity use.

Ecotope, in partnership with Vulcan Real Estate and Seattle City Light proposes to design, pilot and verify a heat pump water heating system for large multifamily buildings using the building sewage as a heat source. The waste water heat pump (WWHP) will recover waste heat streams from the building and heat water for domestic use at extremely high performance levels. The system will be built in a large multifamily building with approximately 400 apartment units. The project team will conduct a feasibility study of the system concept and a numerical model to predict the best equipment sizing and control algorithms. With the feasibility demonstrated the team will move on to full system design in a multifamily building. The team will write a measurement plan to monitor the energy use of the system. The team will commission the system, optimize its operation and prepare a set of design guidelines to be used throughout the engineering community.

HI Cat will coordinate with Building America and Weatherization to advance access by home improvement trades to the array of technical resources from DOE.

This project leverages deep-retrofit work completed by NEEA, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and provides BPA with retrofit packages for our Maintenance Head Quarter and Heavy Mobile Equipment Shop buildings. The two retrofit packages are projected to achieve 35 and 50% energy savings through upgrades to the building envelope, lighting and HVAC systems while helping BPA meet Executive Order (EO) 13693 which calls for all new federal buildings to be net zero ready by 2030 and requires that existing buildings reduce building energy intensity by 2.5% annually through 2025 while promoting deep retrofit packages for similar buildings in the region through net zero energy building guidelines. Information from this research will be applied to new retrofit packages for other commercial buildings within the BPA service territory.

This project will leverage the NEEA developed Sparktool, which is a high level decision making tool for deep energy retrofits. Research will demonstrate the tool in one building to assess its future application. This tool can be used by utilities to help their key accounts plan deep energy retrofits.

The Zero Energy Ready Home program recognizes home builders who apply proven innovations and best practices from the U.S. Department of Energys Es Building America research program along with other improvements that help ensure safe, comfortable, healthy, and durable home performance.

The project will serve as proof of concept for large-scale deployment of zero net energy (ZNE) single-family homes in California. The objective is to construct ZNE homes without creating undue cost burdens on businesses or consumers, while assuring that changes to home design do not pose health, safety or other risks to occupants. Additionally, the project will provide industry and regulators with a better understanding of the assumptions associated with site energy use and renewable energy generation and will provide resources to builders to assist them with controlling costs on ZNE home construction.

Pages