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This post was taken from the Building Technologies Digest, which provides a weekly roundup of the latest news, funding opportunities, reports, events, and webinars from DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO). The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.
140 Million Places to Save Energy, By David Nemtzow, Acting Director
I recently spoke with two distinct audiences about the importance of buildings in the U.S. energy space. Both the FEMP Energy Exchange conference and a group hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy had roomfuls of energy savvy professionals, many – but I suspect not all – of whom recognize the scope of opportunities the U.S. buildings sector offers for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
So let’s start at the beginning: Improving energy use by buildings is at the center of the U.S.’s (and world’s) energy and climate challenges. Period.
There are currently some 130 million residential units in the United States – which most of you think as homes. We at the Building Technologies Office (BTO) are prone to think of them as energy consumption structures. The 5+ million commercial buildings that make up our offices, schools, hospitals, and grocery stores? They also represent a huge opportunity for energy savings. Together, all of these buildings represent 40% of the energy consumed within the U.S., 76% of all electricity, and are responsible for 34% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. That makes for a lot of space for improvement.
That’s what guides the work of BTO, helping improve energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings from research to locking in the savings.
Forget about the gloom and doom we hear every day, check out one of the coolest new technologies to hit the street. Elon Musk unveils the Tesla Power Wall. Needless to say this will effect the way we look at Smart Homes.
The Powerwall was unveiled on April 30, 2015, with a 7 kWh Powerwall model that would retail for US$3,000 and a 10 kWh model at US$3,500. The Power wall sold out in less than a week. Musk predicted the low price would cause other storage producers to follow and there are rumblings about a version 2.
Please let us know your thoughts in comments.
Light Litter, a term Ken Smyers coined, wastes two billion dollars a year in energy. What is Light Litter? Light Litter is when you have a beautiful sunny day and outside lights are still on. To see examples of light litter you can go to The Green Marines Facebook Page. If you see examples of Light Litter, please go to The Green Marines Facebook Page and upload a picture.Change starts with awareness, and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Reach out to your local politician and ask them to stop Light Litter. this is a problem the HVAC and Smart Buildings Control Community can easily solve. In this video, Ken reaches out to Peter Greisinger from Intermatic to learn about the easy to use affordable lighting timers and controls that Intermatic has to eliminate light litter.
WASHINGTON — The University of Maryland, through a partnership with 3D Systems and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Building Technologies Office, has used 3D printing to prototype a new heat exchanger. This next-generation heat exchanger weighs 20 percent less, is 20 percent more efficient, and can be manufactured much quicker, compared to current designs.
There were several advantages 3D printing offered University of Maryland researchers when it came time to time to prototype their innovative designs for a better performing heat exchanger.
MODERNIZING THE PROCESS
For decades, manufacturers have been using a type of heat exchanger known as tube-fin, without any significant changes. While new, high performing designs existed, companies had struggled to commercialize them — they were too complex to be economically manufactured with traditional processes.
But unlike traditional manufacturing, 3D printing a complex design costs no more than 3D printing a simple one. 3D Systems’ direct metal printing process allowed researchers to use non-conventional, variable shapes that increase the heat exchanger’s efficiency.
University of Maryland researchers were also able to speed up their design process thanks to 3D printing. Typically, the manufacturing process for a prototype of a unique and high performing design can take months; by using 3D printing, researchers completed the process in weeks. This efficiency enabled researchers to test their new designs earlier and more frequently during the project.
IMPROVED PERFORMANCE, LESS WASTE
The University of Maryland team optimized their heat exchanger design so it could be printed in a single, continuous piece. As a result, prototypes are increasingly resistant to pressure or leakage, resulting in improved performance and reliability — and ultimately, a more efficient system for heating and cooling.
Because the heat exchanger is being printed as a single piece with proven materials, this ensures very little waste material is generated — saving money for manufacturers, while reducing their environmental footprint.
The heat exchanger, which acts as both an evaporator and a condenser, can be used in commercial and residential air conditioning or heat pump systems of varying sizes. The University of Maryland’s new 1 kilowatt (kW) miniaturized air-to-refrigerant heat exchanger prototype paves the way for new designs that will help reduce the amount of energy that is used annually for HVAC in the United States.
In addition to the 1 kW model, a 10 kW prototype will also be fabricated as part of the current project. Both prototypes will be tested and demonstrated in a 3-ton heat pump. The University of Maryland research team expects the new heat exchangers will be in commercial production within five years.
Publication date: 4/18/2016
Funding Number: DE-FOA-0001525
Funding Amount: $25,000,000
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled “Next Generation of Electric Machines: Enabling Technologies.”
The goal of EERE’s AMO is to partner with industry, small business, universities, regional entities, and other stakeholders to identify and invest in emerging clean energy technologies. Through this FOA, AMO seeks to create future high impact manufacturing opportunities through the Next Generation of Electric Machines (NGEM) vision, which is a targeted development of high power density, high revolutions per minute motors and integrated power electronics. Specifically, this FOA targets the development of key technologies that will enable further efficiency enhancements and weight reductions in a cost effective way while addressing the limitations of traditionally used conductive metals and electrical steels
It is anticipated that the FOA may include the following topic areas:
High Performance Thermal and Electrical Conductor Manufacturing
Low Loss Si Steel Manufacturing
Superconducting Wire Manufacturing
Other Enabling Technologies to Improve Performance (Efficiency and Power Density): This FOA seeks the development of additional technologies such as new motor topologies, low loss high speed bearings, high resolution sensors and advanced controls, improved insulation and varnishing materials, soft magnetic materials other than Si steel such as amorphous, nanocrystalline and soft magnetic composites, novel cooling mechanisms etc.
Don’t miss Belimo’s free Webinar on Dynamic Balancing! Pressure Independent Valves can offer system stability, improved efficiency and overall versatility that can only be achieved in a dynamically balanced hydronic system. During this webinar you will learn how partial loads can wreak havoc on statically balanced systems and how static balancing devices underperform the majority of the time. See how pressure independent valves can keep your system balanced at all loads and flow, eliminate overflows, and achieve perfect valve authority.
Wednesday, February 3 at 1:00 EST
In this episode of Control Pub Talk, with “Mad” Mike Marston from Easy IO, the consequences of giving a project to the low bidder is discussed. Mike reaches out to Rick Warner, aka “The Innovator”, sans the usual Pub, to look at the true costs involved in the bidding process that is used on most new construction projects. “Penny wise and pound foolish” comes to mind as I listen to Rick explain the difference between up front price and true cost of ownership. To see more from the Innovator click here. Get more Control pub Talk with Mike Marston here.
The Building Technologies Office (BTO) Commercial Buildings Integration Program has announced the availability of up to $9.5 million for Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001385, “Solutions to Improve the Energy Efficiency of U.S. Small and Medium Commercial Buildings.” DOE seeks to fund eight awards for the scale-up of promising solutions to the market barriers that hinder the growth of energy efficiency in the small and medium commercial building sector, which are less than 100,000 square feet in gross floor area and account for more than 50% of the energy used in the commercial sector. The objective of this funding is to build a path for market-ready solutions to be used at scale across the U.S. to improve building energy efficiency.
Submission Deadline for Concept Papers: December 4, 2015
Submission Deadline for Full Applications: February 1, 2016
Informational Webinar: November 9, 2015, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM ET – Register now
Questions about FOA: email DOESmallBuildingsFOA@hq.doe.gov
Learn more: about our Commercial Buildings Program
The Better Buildings Bulletin is a monthly feature to help keep you up to date on partner successes, program updates, opportunities to participate, and more. View the Bulletin online.
At the 2015 Better Buildings Summit, over 200 speakers presented their solutions. These presentations are posted to the Solution Center where you can easily browse presentations using filters for building type, solution type, building size, sector, technology, location and cover a variety of topics including financing, high impact technologies, data driven results, partnerships, portfolio–wide strategies, behavior change policies, and more.
In This Issue:
News and Announcements
Partners in the News
Partner Solutions: Showcase Projects
Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Webinars, Events, Conferences
Opportunities to Participate
News and Announcements
Check it out: 70+ Better Buildings Summit Presentations Now Available in Better Buildings Solution Center
Announcing New Partners: Better Buildings Alliance’s Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC)
Over 65 organizations are partnering with the Energy Department and co-organizers, to advance the installation of efficient–interior lighting. These cities, manufacturers, utilities, retailers and other private sector companies have come forward as leaders to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of market-ready interior lighting technology. Participants will replace old lighting technologies and systems with more advanced and efficient models. Supporters will feature their energy-efficient solutions, as well as the products or services their customers can use to join the campaign. The campaign co-organizers will support participants in the first year goal of replacing 100,000 troffer lights and include the Building Owners and Managers Association International, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the International Facility Management Association, and the U.S. General Services Administration.
Read the Energy Department progress alert.
Better Buildings Beat Blog: New Partner Ithaca Wastewater Treatment Facility, Whole Foods Article in Edison Electric Institute, & Salt Lake City’s Project Skyline Awards
A Passion for Energy Efficiency Takes Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility to New Heights in Energy Performance
Whole Foods Featured in Edison Electric Institute’s Electric Perspectives Publication
Salt Lake City’s Project Skyline Challenge Awards & Infographic