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Energy Department Unveils 3D-Printed Building; New Initiatives During Industry Day

October 1, 2015 - 12:25pm

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The Energy Department announced several new and exciting innovations and programs during Industry Day held at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee Sept. 23-24. This included unveiling a 3-D printed building with integrated energy storage via bidirectional wireless power transfer to and from a vehicle, revealing the first-round winners of ORNL’s crowdsourcing competition to advance innovative building technology ideas, and announcing a new open innovation program between ORNL and four industry partners.

First Demonstration of a 3D-Printed Home Powered by Vehicle

Known as AMIE, Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy, this demonstration combines clean energy technologies and rapid advanced manufacturing techniques to showcase new approaches to energy use, storage and consumption. AMIE was developed as a model for energy efficient systems that link buildings, vehicles and the grid. ORNL and DOE’s Building Technologies, Advanced Manufacturing, and Vehicle Technologies Offices collaborated with industry players to showcase how government and the private sector can work together to quickly bring innovative technologies to market. The demonstration also showcases additive manufacturing's rapid prototyping potential in architecture and vehicle design; the car and house both were built using large-scale 3D printers.

Buildings Crowdsourcing 1.0 Winners

ORNL launched the Buildings Crowdsourcing Community Campaign in March to give innovators an opportunity to present their ideas to leaders in the research and development community, with a goal of bridging the gap between cutting-edge ideas and the marketplace. More than 300 innovators, including students, designers and small businesses, participated in the campaign, voting and commenting on the submitted proposals in three categories: Equipment and Appliances, Sensors and Controls, and Envelope Technologies.

  • Equipment and Appliances: James Rowland, Mark Walter and Matthew O’Kelly won the category with their prototype of a hybrid air-water conditioner developed at Ohio State University. The design exploits synergies between conditioning indoor air, dehumidification, ventilation, and hot water heating to reduce energy expenditures associated with these processes.
  • Sensors and Controls: Jim White, Senior Energy Conservation Engineer at Chelan County Public Utility District in Washington state, won the category for his idea to improve the design of variable air volume (VAV) mixing boxes by combining temperature and carbon dioxide sensors to control minimum airflow settings. A model of the concept was 3-D printed and exhibited at Industry Day.
  • Envelope Technologies: Rod Stucker, an entrepreneur and owner of RM Enterprises in Idaho, won for his idea of a novel approach to installing high performance expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam window frames and insulated glass units at the job site.

New Public-Private Open Innovation Program (JUMP)

Building upon the first campaign’s success, plans were announced for a new crowdsourcing campaign, called JUMP, or Join in discussion, Unveil innovation, Motivate transformation, and Promote technology to market. Four industry partners—A.O. Smith, GE, Honeywell, and United Technologies Research Center—will partner on the JUMP campaign to accelerate deployment and commercialization efforts of winning ideas by providing cash awards.

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