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Research Highlights

EETD, Philips Relamping Berkeley's Telegraph Ave

As America searches for a way out of the energy crisis, Telegraph Avenue just might light the way. In June, an entire city block along this avenue in Berkeley cut its projected lighting usage nearly in half—an astounding 45% (or 62,712 kWh/yr) annually—simply by switching to energy-efficient light bulbs.

EETD's Francis Rubinstein addressed visitors and officials during the Relamping event. To the left of Rubinstein is Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean.

EETD's Francis Rubinstein addressed visitors and officials during the Relamping event. To the left of Rubinstein is Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean.

Lamps of every kind, from common household light bulbs to industrial fluorescent tubes, were replaced with the most energy-efficient light bulbs throughout this city block, which is a mix of offices, restaurants, and residential apartment complexes.

"Relamping" this Telegraph Avenue block was the work of Philips Lighting Company together with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the City of Berkeley, and local community organizations. Part of a national initiative, this grassroots effort is intended as a blueprint for energy conservation, illustrating how simple changes, such as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, can result in dramatic savings.

Officials from Philips Lighting replace bulbs in a Telegraph Avenue store.

Officials from Philips Lighting replace bulbs in a Telegraph Avenue store as part of an energy-savings study.

If other cities across the country were to take these same steps, the collective savings would be astronomical. For example: New York's Times Square could save 23 million kWh and $5.8 million annually. Chicago's Miracle Mile could save 45 million kWh and $3.6 million annually. The Strip in Las Vegas could save 105 million kWh and $8.4 million annually.

Philips Lighting Company and Amtech Lighting conducted a lighting audit to determine the best energy-efficient lighting options available for each building. The two companies donated their products and installation services to conduct the actual lighting retrofit. They replaced all of the current lamps in the buildings on the city block with the most energy-efficient light bulbs available, from compact fluorescent lamps to T8 linear fluorescent lamps.

The city of Berkeley has invested in energy efficiency in its municipal facilities and throughout the community since the 1980s. The City offers energy assistance for residential and commercial buildings and is now in the process of developing a community-wide energy plan that will focus on alternatives to traditional generating plants, such as efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy.


Max Sherman Made ASHRAE Director-at-Large

Portrait of Max Sherman

Max Sherman, group leader of the Energy Performance of Buildings Group, a part of the Indoor Environment Department, was installed as a director-at-large of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) at its 2001 annual meeting in Atlanta in late June. He will also be a trustee of ASHRAE's Learning Institute, which develops and guides the educational program.

Sherman has served on many ASHRAE committees over the years and has written books, papers, and articles—as well as holds patents—for methods and apparatus for measuring the tightness of enclosures.


Aeroseal Corporation Acquired

Carrier Corporation has announced it is acquiring Aeroseal, Inc., a Texas-based firm that formed to commercialize aerosol-based duct-sealing technology. Aeroseal was co-founded by EETD scientist Mark Modera, developer of the technology. Aeroseal was the exclusive licensee of the Berkeley Lab patent covering the technology. The new company will be called Carrier Aeroseal, LLC.

The duct-sealing application developed by Modera at Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division was originally funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Institute for Energy Efficiency, and the Electric Power Research Institute.

The duct system in a typical U.S. home wastes 20 to 30% of the heating or cooling produced in residential furnaces and air conditioners, and current research indicates that the problem may be even worse in light commercial applications.

Aerosol-based duct-sealer

Independent test agencies and Carrier studies have concluded that the Aeroseal duct-sealing application effectively prevents excessive duct leakage. The Aeroseal process uses a sealing machine to inject small vinyl particles directly into the duct system. The technology will seal cracks and holes up to 3/8-inch without excess buildup.

A diagnostic evaluation, performed prior to the sealing application, measures duct leakage, airflow, and room temperature. This evaluation results in a printed computer-generated analysis of the home's duct performance. Should the homeowner decide to purchase a sealing application based on the findings of this summary, a sealing appointment is scheduled. After the sealing is applied the homeowner is provided with a certificate showing the exact amount of duct-leakage reduction. The sealing process takes from four to six hours. The Aeroseal process, which applies to all types of duct systems, is patented in the United States and patent applications are also on file in Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan and Brazil.

For further information on Berkeley Lab research on ducts and energy use, see the Thermal Energy Distribution website.

Research on aerosol-based sealing can be found at the Aerosol-based sealing website. Other useful web sites include Aeroseal Inc. and the Carrier Corporation.


Gas-Filled Panels Win R&D 100 Award

Collapsible honeycombs of multiple layers can hold insulating air or gases.

Collapsible honeycombs of multiple layers can hold insulating air or gases.

One of R&D Magazine's prestigious R&D 100 awards has gone to the gas-filled panel technology developed by Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Winners of this year's awards were notified June 29, with Department of Energy national laboratories taking at least 21 of the 100 awards. The magazine published the full list in September.

Gas-filled panels were developed as a spinoff of Berkeley Lab's research on multipaned superwindows in the 1980s. Since only products actually on the market are eligible for R&D 100 awards, the award came after the June 2000 debut of the AirLiner bag marketed by CargoTech of San Diego, California.

CargoTech's Airliners can adapt to many shapes to replace bulkier packaging materials.

CargoTech's Airliners can adapt to many shapes to replace bulkier packaging materials.

By replacing bulky, cumbersome, friable polystyrene foam containers with AirLiners, the company hopes to make inroads on the $500 million annual market for nonrefrigerated perishables. AirLiners are flexible, collapsible honeycombs of multiple layers of thin aluminized plastic, which can be filled with air or an inert gas. Their insulation value can be tailored by varying the gas and the number of layers; even plain air-filled panels insulate better than fiberglass. Other uses for gas-filled panel technology include insulating appliances, buildings, and vehicles. See the Gas-filled panels web site and The CargoTech web site for further details.

Darius Arasteh
(510) 486-6844; (510) 486-4089 fax


Summer Student Has Rewarding Experience

Jordan Sand

Jordan Sand, a high school graduate from Ellendale, North Dakota, spent three weeks at Berkeley Lab at the beginning of summer working with EETD's Ashok Gadgil on a technology under development. Nicknamed "the tin box," Gadgil's research traces gas dispersions with infrared laser beams.

Sand came to LBNL via the Lemelson-MIT Invention Apprenticeship program. His idea of using grain wastes (flax, wheat, and corn straw ) in paper production earned him the opportunity to participate in the program (see the Lemelson-MIT Program website) for the full story).

Although Sand did not see the laser working in the dispersion experiments with Gadgil ("The cutting edge is filled with problems," he quipped), he was nevertheless excited to be working at Berkeley Lab. He characterized the Lab as being full of smart and interesting people, and Berkeley as being "different and unusual." Sand will attend North Dakota State University this fall, but hopes to pursue a career in chemistry at the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, or UC Berkeley.


EETD Displays New Technology at Lighting Event

(Left to right) Laura McLaughlin, Michael Siminovitch, and Erik Page of EETD's Building Technologies' Lighting Group pose in front of the Berkeley Lamp display at LightFair2001 held in Las Vegas, Nevada in June.

(Left to right) Laura McLaughlin, Michael Siminovitch, and Erik Page of EETD's Building Technologies' Lighting Group pose in front of the Berkeley Lamp display at LightFair2001 held in Las Vegas, Nevada in June.

A Berkeley lamp inthe office of Steve Larson, Executive Director of the California Energy Commission in Sacramento

Energy-saving Berkeley Lamps are finding their way to facilities all over California. This one sits on the desk of Steve Larson, Executive Director of the California Energy Commission in Sacramento.

 

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