Low-cost coating would disrupt the building retrofit market and potentially save billions in electricity
It’s estimated that 10 percent of all the energy used in buildings in the U.S. can be attributed to window performance, costing building owners about $50 billion annually, yet the high cost of replacing windows or retrofitting them with an energy efficient coating is a major deterrent. U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) researchers are seeking to address this problem with creative chemistry—a polymer heat-reflective coating that can be painted on at one-tenth the cost.
“Instead of hiring expensive contractors, a homeowner could go to the local hardware store, buy the coating, and paint it on as a DIY retrofit—that’s the vision,” said Berkeley Lab scientist Raymond Weitekamp. “The coating will selectively reflect the infrared solar energy back to the sky while allowing visible light to pass through, which will drastically improve the energy efficiency of windows, particularly in warm climates and southern climates, where a significant fraction of energy usage goes to air conditioning.”
A team of Berkeley Lab scientists is receiving part of a $3.95 million award from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) to develop this product. The multi-institutional team is led by researcher Garret Miyake at the University of Colorado Boulder, and also includes Caltech and Materia Inc.
There are retrofit window films on the market now that have spectral selectivity, but a professional contractor is needed to install them, a barrier for many building owners. A low-cost option could significantly expand adoption and result in potential annual energy savings of 35 billion kilowatt-hours, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 24 billion kilograms per year, the equivalent of taking 5 million cars off the road.
The Berkeley Lab technology relies on a type of material called a bottlebrush polymer, which, as its name suggests, has one main rigid chain of molecules with bristles coming off the sides. This unusual molecular architecture lends it some unique properties, one being that it doesn’t entangle easily.
“Imagine spaghetti versus gummy worms,” Weitekamp explained. “Spaghetti can be tied up in knots. If you want to rearrange cooked spaghetti back to its uncooked alignment, you would have to put significant energy into unwinding it. But with gummy worms you can line them all up easily because they’re pretty rigid.”
As a graduate student at Caltech, Weitekamp worked on understanding and controlling how bottlebrush polymers self-assemble into nanostructures behaving as photonic crystals, which can selectively reflect light at different frequencies. Last year he came to Berkeley Lab as part of Cyclotron Road, a program for entrepreneurial researchers, to commercialize these coatings and other related polymer-based technologies. He has been working on the development of polymeric materials as a user at the Molecular Foundry, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Berkeley Lab.
“We were very compelled by the potential impact of [Weitekamp’s] technology across a number of industries,” said Cyclotron Road director Ilan Gur. “His ideas aligned with the Foundry’s expertise in polymer chemistry and the window application fit squarely into Berkeley Lab’s existing strengths in buildings technology and energy analysis.”
For the ARPA-E award, Weitekamp is collaborating with Berkeley Lab’s Steve Selkowitz, a leading expert on building science and window technologies, and Arman Shehabi, an expert in analyzing energy use of buildings, to develop a cost-competitive and scalable product. Their target cost is $1.50 per square foot, one-tenth the current market cost for commercially installed energy efficient retrofit window coatings.
“ARPA-E invests in high-risk, high-reward projects,” Shehabi said. “The high reward in this project isn’t in the performance improvement. It’s transformative in how windows could be retrofitted—it’s something you can do yourself. The market need is very large, and there’s nothing low-cost out there that meets that need.”
The Latest on: Energy efficient windows
via Google News
The Latest on: Energy efficient windows
- Chesco company takes patented attic energy efficiency product internationalon November 30, 2019 at 11:37 pm
In fact, the company refers to the attic entrances as the “forgotten window,” because unlike doors and windows, they never really close all the way ... Council standards put in place for homeowners ...
- Audi upgrades e-tron electric SUV with more range and efficiencyon November 28, 2019 at 3:17 am
The optional black styling package also accentuates the area of the Singleframe, the side windows ... really efficient compared to other electric SUVs. That’s a good upgrade, but I think there’s still ...
- Northside home buyers seek energy efficient homes. But, how does that impact home prices?on November 27, 2019 at 2:26 am
Since he always wanted to build a LEED house, he said this one seemed like a good opportunity. The home includes things like thicker walls for thicker insulation, energy-efficient windows and heating ...
- Minimalist, energy-efficient cabin is glazed in a mirror-like shineon November 26, 2019 at 8:36 am
Prolific Russian architect Alex Nerovnya has recently revealed designs for SOL House, an energy-efficient cabin with massive ... whether through the double-height, glass facade or the large windows on ...
- Turkey gets $350M in funding for efficiency investmentson November 26, 2019 at 4:41 am
According to TuREEFF’s data, 2,800 people took out TuREEFF mortgages and loans to either buy eco-friendly homes or equip households with energy-saving technologies. Over 50,000 other households have ...
- Oregon clean energy jobs growth slows, report findson November 22, 2019 at 7:38 am
The report considers energy efficiency jobs to include types of construction and manufacturing involved in things such as the installation of high-efficiency windows and insulation or designing highly ...
- Like Restaurants, Buildings Will Get Grades (D’s for Energy Guzzlers)on November 21, 2019 at 5:41 am
Beginning next year, midsize and large buildings will not only have to report how energy-efficient (or not) they are ... insulating pipes in the basement and replacing old, leaky windows. Because by ...
- Home 101: Preparing Your Doors And Windows For Winteron November 19, 2019 at 8:15 am
Getting your windows and doors winter ready now can help keep your home warm and save you from overspending on your energy bills. (Shutterstock / Saulich Elena) Heating your home in the colder months ...
- Save $1,000 on your energy bill with one stepon November 18, 2019 at 7:45 pm
The new research released on Tuesday found that only 15 per cent of Australians believe their home is energy efficient, while 96 per cent are ... or even leaving the expensive systems on while the ...
- Global Demand for Windows to Grow 4.5% Annually Through 2023 - Freedonia Group Analysison November 18, 2019 at 10:17 am
Vinyl windows are projected to account for the fastest growth ... not advanced as far as in higher income areas rising income levels and more stringent energy efficiency requirements, which support ...
via Bing News