The Building Technologies Office (BTO)’s Emerging Technologies Program has announced the availability of nearly $8 million under the Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovations Technologies (BENEFIT) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001166. This FOA combines an early-stage research and development topic (Innovations) with a later-stage research and development topic (Frontiers) that complements the core funding provided to the national labs. The FOA allows all interested parties, including corporations, universities, and non-profits as well as the national labs, to contribute to advancement in two of these core technological areas: non-vapor compression HVAC technologies and advanced vapor compression HVAC technologies. It is anticipated that six awards will be made and range from $500,000 to $1.5 million
Applications for this funding opportunity are open under the following topics:
INNOVATIONS: Non-vapor Compression HVAC Technologies – This topic includes developing approaches and technologies for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) that replace vapor compression technologies, which are currently the dominant HVAC technologies due to their scalability, relatively compact size, high reliability, and other attributes. However, vapor compression technologies make use of conventional refrigerants. This research topic seeks to explore long-term non-vapor compression solutions that result in HVAC equipment that does not use refrigerants. Solutions for both natural gas and for electric HVAC equipment are of interest.
FRONTIERS: Advanced Vapor Compression HVAC Technologies – Regional HVAC solutions offer significant energy saving potential for new construction and the existing building stock. Today’s vapor compression equipment has limited cooling control. This topic seeks to develop equipment optimized for specific environments and that can provide dramatic improvements in energy efficiency with modest increases to equipment costs. Because the building stock increases by only a few percent annually, concepts which are applicable only to new construction will have limited energy savings potential. Therefore, concepts that are applicable to both new construction and retrofits of existing buildings are particularly encouraged.
HOW TO APPLY: This funding opportunity is open to individuals, corporations, universities, non-profits, as well as national labs. The final funding amount is subject to congressional appropriations.