In the News: Green Proving Ground selects five innovative technologies that improve building health and resilience
The GPG program, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, has selected five innovative building technologies for evaluation in GSA facilities. The American-made technologies were chosen in response to GSA’s most recent request for information (RFI) seeking resource-efficient technologies that improve commercial building health and resilience. The results are intended to help validate the technical and operational characteristics of the technologies and their potential for future deployment.
Automated Air Sealing, Aeroseal (Miamisburg, OH)
Air leakage is a significant driver of energy use within buildings, in some instances being the largest driver of heating and cooling loads. This technology seals the building envelope by pressurizing it and then distributing an atomized non-toxic water-based sealant that is automatically drawn to leaks. System software records progress in real-time, allowing users to control the desired level of envelope air-tightness.
Nanofiber Air Filters, eSpin (Chattanooga, TN)
Increasing filter performance in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) air-handling units is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a way of improving workplace safety in response to airborne pathogens such as COVID-19. These high-capacity HVAC filters use nanofiber media to improve filtration effectiveness, while simultaneously improving energy efficiency by lowering airflow restriction.
HVAC Pretreatment Dehumidification, Academy Energy Group (Newburgh, IN) / Altaire (Ellisville, MO)
Precise humidity control in buildings reduces airborne pathogens and improves indoor air quality. This retrofit technology controls the building’s humidity level by treating outside air before it enters the HVAC system. Decoupling humidity control from heating and cooling enables improved indoor air quality management, while reducing energy consumption.
Coreless Axial Flux Motor, Infinitum Electric (Round Rock, TX)
Electric motors consume about half of the world’s electricity. This new efficient motor design replaces the copper wire and laminated iron core found in conventional motors with a printed circuit board stator, making the motor smaller, lighter and more efficient. The coreless motor is combined with a programmable variable-frequency drive and a controller that provides real-time monitoring and cloud-based connectivity.
Snap-on Window Insulation Panels, WexEnergy (Rochester, NY)
Windows, especially single-pane windows, are the weakest energy-efficiency link in the building envelope. They account for approximately 39 percent of the energy used annually to heat commercial buildings in the U.S. and 28 percent of the energy used to cool them. Snap-on window insulation panels improve the thermal performance of windows, while maintaining window transparency and operability.
Automated Air Sealing [PDF - 183 KB] seals the building envelope by pressurizing it and then distributing an atomized non-toxic water-based sealant that is automatically drawn to leaks.
Snap-on Window Insulation Panel [PDF - 186 KB] improves the thermal performance of windows, while maintaining window transparency and operability.
Connected Building Operating System [PDF - 189 KB] increases building efficiency based on factors such as occupancy patterns, weather conditions, and real-time electricity consumption.
Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs) [PDF - 191 KB] deliver cost savings by leveraging technologies and strategies that provide continuous demand management and load flexibility. GPG is evaluating four different GEB solutions.
Wireless Sensors and Analytics [PDF - 217 KB] tests the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) by using relatively inexpensive and easy-to-install wireless, lighting-fixture-based sensors that detect and record changes in occupancy, temperature, visible light, infrared radiation, and LED power consumption.
Coreless Axial Flux Motor [PDF - 187 KB] replaces the copper wire and laminated iron core found in conventional motors with a printed circuit board stator, making the motor smaller, lighter and more efficient.
HVAC Pretreatment Dehumidification [PDF - 184 KB] controls the building’s humidity level by treating outside air before it enters the HVAC system.
Nanofiber Air Filter [PDF - 187 KB] improves filtration effectiveness, while simultaneously improving energy efficiency by lowering airflow restriction.
On-site power and renewables
DC Microgrid [PDF - 189 KB] connects on-site energy generation and storage devices to direct current (DC) loads, eliminating conversion losses and optimizing the efficiency of on-site power.
Blowdown Recovery System [PDF - 187 KB] captures and purifies a percentage of cooling tower water that is otherwise flushed in order to minimize mineral build-up.
Catalyst-Based Scale Prevention for Cooling Towers [PDF - 186 KB] alters the chemistry of hard water to prevent calcite buildup.
The GPG program enables GSA to make sound investment decisions in next-generation building technologies based on their real-world performance.