From the Lab to the Marketplace (1995)


In the following pages we present four case studies along with a discussion of future directions in each area:

  • The electronic ballast, a technology that improves the efficiency of fluorescent lighting systems by up to 30% and enhances their quality and flexibility. The current market share of electronic ballasts is 23% of all ballasts sold. Other LBNL efficient lighting breakthroughs are also entering the marketplace.
  • Advanced energy-efficient window coatings—largely invisible to the human eye— that offer a one-third efficiency advantage over ordinary double-glazed windows by selectively blocking unwanted heat gain or loss. The current market share is 36% of all windows sold.
  • Residential equipment and appliance standards development, in which LBNL provides the technical and economic analyses used by the government to set mandatory efficiency levels for household appliances and heating and cooling equipment. The current market share is virtually all major appliances, air-conditioners, and furnaces sold.
  • DOE-2, a powerful computer-based design tool for reducing energy use in buildings. Thanks to this computer software, building designers can now evaluate the energy implications of complex design alternatives. DOE-2 is currently used in the design of about 5% of all commercial buildings by floorspace. Users report that DOE-2 enables them to routinely identify an extra 20% energy-savings opportunity.

Each of the preceding four examples documents a different path to energy savings—with, in each case, a different role for LBNL in capturing these savings. This report assembles the best available data and provides the framework for understanding how DOE's investment ultimately serves the U.S. consumer.