Working with the National Labs to Expand Commercial Impact

October 11, 2017

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DOE recently announced $19.7 million in funding to help businesses move promising energy technologies from DOE’s National Laboratories to the marketplace. In this second Department-wide round of funding through the Office of Technology Transition’s Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF), the award will support 54 projects across 12 National Laboratories involving more than 30 private-sector partners. The TCF works to expand the commercial impact of DOE’s portfolio of research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities.

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) has three projects in this round of TCF:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  • Cost Lowering and Scale Up of a Very Low Thermal Conductivity Material: This project aims to develop, optimize, and test a novel insulation material with thermal resistance R-values greater than 10 per inch – two to three times higher than conventional insulation. Process optimization strategies will be pursued to greatly improve production yields and costs. The resulting thermal insulation material will be less expensive, more mechanically robust, and offer a greater thermal resistance than the state of the art Aerogel, thereby greatly opening up the market applicability of the material. R-10 insulation could exceed 1 Quad of energy savings when fully deployed.
  • Thermoelectric Heat Pump Heat Recovery System for Domestic Dishwashers: This project will develop and test a prototype heat recovery dishwasher for the U.S. residential market. During the dishwasher washing and rinsing phases, the patent-pending heat recovery system extracts waste heat from the drain water utilizing a robust and low cost design. The system also recovers heat that would normally be lost during the drying process. A heat recovery dishwasher could save approximately 90 TBtu/year when fully deployed.
    • Partner: Samsung Electronics America

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • Advancing the Commercial Building Energy Saver to Provide Actionable Insights into Building Retrofits and to Enable Broad-Based Commercialization: Commercial Building Energy Saver (CBES) provides quick and reliable energy retrofit recommendations for small-to-medium-sized commercial buildings. Partnering with Lucid Design Group, CBES will be expanded for large-sized buildings and optimizing retrofit measures. The project will begin to commercialize actionable retrofit recommendations on a broad-based scale across thousands of buildings in Lucid’s Building OS platform using the CBES engine.

Projects selected for the TCF will receive at least an equal amount of non-federal funds to match the federal investment.

DOE’s National Laboratories provide critical research and development that continues to drive the latest scientific innovations in building energy efficiency. These awards will help move research and development from laboratories to the commercial market, giving more Americans access to cutting-edge energy technologies.