The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) announced $30 million in federal funding, matched by over $35 million in private sector funds, for 68 projects that will accelerate the commercialization of promising energy technologies—ranging from clean energy and advanced manufacturing, to building efficiency and next-generation materials.
TCF-funded projects can help position American workers and industry tackle the climate crisis and can help reach President Biden’s new target of a 50-52% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. These innovative technologies will reduce pollution and emissions while improving energy efficiency. TCF funding can help bridge the gap between laboratory and market to realize these benefits at-scale. As part of this effort, TCF has allocated over $1.6 million to five projects specific to the Building Technologies Office (BTO):
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Inexpensive Superinsulation for Cryogenic and Highly Insulating Applications: This project will develop microcapsule insulation (MCI) that can provide insulation values greater than R20 while retaining a low production cost and long useful lifespan. This superinsulation will be more sustainable to produce and will allow temperature-sensitive industrial processes to achieve much greater energy efficiency.
- Energy Storing Efficient HVAC: Traditional air conditioners are limited in efficiency by their inability to decouple sensible and latent loads. This project will develop an electrically driven HVAC system with an integrated heat and mass exchanger that uses a liquid desiccant to dehumidify the air and indirect evaporative cooling to remove the thermal load. If successful, this project could reduce building air conditioning consumption by more than 60%.
- Electrodialysis-Coupled Desiccant Air Conditioning: This project will develop a liquid desiccant-based humidifier using air-to-desiccant membrane contactors and electrodialysis ion separation. This approach promises improvements in efficiency over other humidifiers, including other liquid desiccant humidifiers.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- DaaS: DER as a Service: This project will extend existing electric load coordination and control applications to include Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) such as residential solar photovoltaic panels. If successful, this will allow Distributed Energy Resources to participate in day-ahead and real-time energy markets, increasing their return on investment.
- Remote Installation and Setup of VOLTTRON Instances: VOLTTRON is an open-source software application for networking and automating building devices, including HVAC, lighting, and other energy consumers or efficiency upgrades. This project will develop new services to simplify installation and configuration of VOLTTRON on-site by non-experts or remotely.