Where Will the Money Go? Industry Companies
Talk About their Projects Earning DOE Grants
July 6, 2010
Last month the Department of Energy (DOE) announced awards of more
than $76 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act. Fourteen companies in the building envelope and windows category
were selected to receive awards, which will support advanced energy-efficient
building technology projects and the development of training programs
for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators
and energy auditors (CLICK
HERE for related article). Some of those building envelope and
window companies say the funding will go toward a range of projects,
all focused on increasing the energy efficiency performance of buildings,
both commercial and residential.
According to Fred Millett of Pleotint LLC, the West Olive, Mich.-based
company that received a grant of $402,547, the award will help fund
a competitive test of its sunlight responsive thermochromic laminate
material made into an IG.
"The test is to be conducted over the course of a year so
we can get real data," explained Millett. "The second
part of the test is to compare the actual energy used versus energy
modeled using the EnergyPlus computer model developed by the DOE
at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. Last year a model of thermochromic
windows was added to the EnergyPlus program, so part of the test
is comparing the predicted energy used (by the EnergyPlus program)
to the real world energy used, to see if the EnergyPlus program
is accurate. A third part of the test is making windows with our
laminate material for demonstration projects."
He adds, "Our laminate film allows the window to adapt to
sunlight; we maximize daylighting and minimize solar heat gain.
This will provide a direct comparison of energy used by an adaptive
window, with our configuration, versus an industry standard configuration
of fixed tint/low E- IG." Millett says their project is expected
to take 18 months.
Eversealed Windows Inc. in Evergreen, Colo., received a $2, 169,327
grant that David Stark, company president and CTO, explains will
go toward a project focused on vacuum insulating glass (VIG) units
for use in developing R-10 windows.
"The DOE is desperate for an R-10 window as part of its net
zero energy goals for buildings," said Stark.
"We are working in collaboration with a major window manufacturer
on this project; we're supply the VIG and they are producing the
windows," Stark explained, adding that he was not at liberty
to say the name of the window manufacturer with which they are working.
"We expect the project will take between one and two years
once the contract is signed," Stark added.
The Performance Films division of St. Louis-based Solutia was awarded
a $356,000 grant. The awarded funds have been earmarked for the
continued research, development and commercialization of high-performance,
energy-efficient retrofit window film technology for residential
and commercial buildings. According to Solutia, this technology
involves new film coatings and techniques designed to improve energy
efficiency in every climate zone, specifically films with low-E
Likewise, $1.2 million is going to Dow Corning to develop an insulating
façade system that would help increase the energy efficiency
of commercial buildings. The funding will assist the company in
the development of a silicon-based, high-efficiency building insulation
system that could be used in retro-fit and new construction applications.
The insulation project is focused on achieving thermal resistance
values of R-40 or greater for exterior insulation and finish systems.
The project is expected to take about three years.
TRACO in Cranberry Township, Pa., received a $2.6 million grant
for high volume production engineering of R-5 commercial grade windows.
According to Denise Abraham, Traco's manager of marketing communications,
this two-year project involves engineering the production of commercial
grade R-5 windows, in a cost effective manner. The project has identified
improvements in the manufacturing and assembly of glazing, sashes/vents,
and frames since it represents a major portion of the overall cost
to manufacture the window.
"The goal is to make highly energy efficient commercial windows
more affordable for the buyer," she adds.
SAGE Electrochromics Inc. in Faribault, Minn., received an award
of $1.63 million in the area for its project.
"SAGE's project is focused on making further improvements
to the energy performance, and lowering the cost, of electronically
tintable electrochromic glass for residential and commercial building
applications," says Dr. Helen Sanders, vice president of technical
business development. "This will involve product and process
enhancements to enable more efficient, high-volume manufacturing."
Sanders adds that the project will take about two years.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.