Cold Connection

DOE Building Technologies Office Seeking Developing Technologies
Author: Laura Test

The Department of Energy Building Technologies Office’s (BTO) Emerging Technologies Program issued a notice of intent for Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Incubator Technologies (BENEFIT) funding opportunity announcement (FOA).


BTO will be seeking to develop innovative energy-efficient technologies, approaches, and design tools for residential and/or commercial buildings in the following areas:

Area of Interest 1: Open Topic for Energy Efficiency Solutions for Residential and Commercial Buildings

These areas include developing approaches and technologies for any of the following:

  • HVAC
  • Water Heating
  • Lighting
  • Building envelope
  • Windows
  • Sensors and controls
  • Building energy modeling

Area of Interest 2: Innovative Sensors and Sensor Systems

These areas include developing open-architecture sensors and sensors systems offering:

  • Reductions in cost and power consumption for data collection of common building operation variables (temperature, pressure, relative humidity, etc.).
  • Open-source sensor packages that allow for data acquisition and transmission with increased lifespan between manual calibrations.
  • "Virtual sensors" enabled by innovative combinations of hardware and software.
  • Easily installed "plug and play" sensor packages in which sensors are automatically recognized by building energy management.

Area of Interest 3: Advanced Energy-Efficient Clothes Dryers

These areas include developing advanced, energy-efficient electric clothes dryers (both vented and ventless) that serve to:

  • Increase the energy factor at or exceeding the maximum technical values as described in the U.S. Department of Energy’s recent rulemaking for clothes dryers.
  • Produce a simple payback of less than 5 years over a minimum efficiency standard unit.
  • Not increase drying times more than 20% over baseline units, and address lint in the air system.

Area of Interest 4: Highly Insulating Building Envelope Components 

These areas include developing technologies under the following subtopics:

  • The transparent building envelope: Developing window technologies greater than the value of existing residential R7 window technologies (residential; cost premium less than $6/ft²) and greater than the value of existing commercial R5 window technologies (commercial; cost premium less than $3/ft²) that offer a visible transmittance greater than 0.6 (residential) or 0.4 (commercial).
  • The opaque building envelope: Developing building envelope thermal insulation material greater than R8/inch, at an installed cost premium of less than $0.30/ft². It can be added to either the exterior or interior walls in existing buildings, meet existing durability (fire, structure, moisture, acoustic code) requirements, and minimize occupant disturbance.
  • Not increase drying times more than 20% over baseline units, and address lint in the air system.

Read the full Notice of Intent here.


Water Heating

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