With the much of the initial laboratory testing completed, researchers in the Aerosol Sealant Project are now working to refine the technology and develop it for commercial use. These efforts include working toward Underwriter's Laboratories certification of the sealant process, large-scale field tests of the sealant apparatus, analyzing the cost-effectiveness of duct sealing, and cultivating industry partners for commercialization.
The project team has begun the testing required for UL certification, which is necessary before aerosol duct sealing can become widely available in the marketplace. The battery of tests includes measuring fire-spread potential, smoke production, and mold growth.
The researchers are also improving the sealing device (Figure 3) to accommodate larger flows and better control the rate of liquid injection into duct spaces, both of which will allow the system to seal extremely leaky duct systems more effectively and economically. Along with technology refinement (and construction of a second sealing device to accelerate testing), larger-scale field tests, funded by the Electric Power Research Institute, are planned for sites in Oklahoma, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and possibly other states.
Sealant project leader Mark Modera is also working with the Energy Analysis Program's Rich Brown to analyze the cost-effectiveness of the aerosol technology. They are incorporating duct efficiencies and leak-sealing retrofits into a geographical information system tool to help identify the energy- efficiency opportunities for duct sealing and the regions and market segments where aerosol duct sealing is most likely to be adopted widely (CBS News, Fall 1994). Finally, project researchers have increased their efforts to find industry partners interested in commercializing the technology.
Indoor Environment Program
(510) 486-4678; (510) 486-6658 fax
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