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Research Highlights

Congressional Clean Energy Expo

Berkeley Lab's Jeff Harris explains the Aeroseal process to Representative Mark Udall (Colo.) and DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Garman while William Walter of Carrier looks on.

From left to right, Berkeley Lab's Jeff Harris explains the Aeroseal process to Representative Mark Udall (Colo.) and DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Garman while William Walter of Carrier looks on.

Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division and Carrier Aeroseal Inc. joined forces recently to show off to Congress the fruits of their public/private partnership, an aerosol-based sealing process that can nearly eliminate air leakage in a home's ducts, which is often 20% or more of a total air flow.

While munching on Ben & Jerry's ice cream, members of Congress, their staff, and the general public mingled and viewed a demonstration of Aeroseal, and many other exhibits of energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies on July 9 in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C. Berkeley Lab's booth was located at the entrance to the caucus room where the event took place, so everyone attending the event saw this technology first.

Developed at Berkeley Lab after years of research and development under the leadership of EETD's Mark Modera, Aeroseal, a start up, was founded to commercialize the technology. Carrier Corp. acquired the company and is training its national distributors to offer the energy-saving process to homeowners. The technology could save each homeowner up to $300 a year in heating and cooling costs; nationally, savings could add up to billions of dollars a year.

Berkeley Lab Licenses Low-Emission Natural Gas Burner to Maxon Corp.

Berkeley Lab has licensed a patented next-generation, low-emission burner to Maxon Corporation, a small business that manufacturers industrial combustion equipment (oven burner, furnaces burners, incineration burners, etc.) and shut-off valves.

The low-swirl burner technology (profiled in EETD News, Vol. 1 Number 2) was developed and patented by EETD's Robert Cheng and colleagues. The burner exploits a unique aerodynamic feature of premixed combustion that affords a more than 50:1 power turndown. Throughout this load range, it burns at close to 100% combustion efficiency and releases at least 10 times less NOx than non-premixed conventional burners-fewer than 10 parts per million-and lowers carbon monoxide emissions.

NOx is a key ingredient in photochemical smog, which is responsible for the dirty brown air over most U.S. cities and unsafe ozone levels that exceed federal health standards. Many cities are considering limiting installation of new conventional gas burners, but advanced technologies like the low-emission burner can contribute to cleaner air and more efficient use of fuel.

EETD Staff Part of Award-Winning Team

Graphic designed for the U.S. Navy's Energy Showcase, in Port Hueneme

Building 850, the U.S. Navy's Energy Showcase, in Port Hueneme, California was named one of the Top Ten Green Projects by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE). The Top Ten awards were begun by COTE in conjunction with U.S. DOE in 1998 to recognize the work of designers who strive to minimize the environmental impacts of their projects. Projects are evaluated based on their energy consumption, effects on local ecosystems, use of high-performance products and technologies, and connection to the local setting and context. Building 850 will serve as one of the U.S. Navy's two national "Energy Showcase" facilities to demonstrate application of the latest concepts in energy-efficient and sustainable facility design, construction, and operation.

One of the important systems designed into Building 850 was a retrofit of the existing lighting. EETD's Eleanor Lee and Charles Ehrlich acted as advisors to Constructive Technologies Group, Inc., of Irvine, California, who performed the retrofit work. During the design process, a number of different fixtures and layouts were considered; the final configuration included, among other elements, building shading and glazing elements, high-efficiency task-ambient fluorescent lights, and electronic ballasts and occupancy controls.

EPOB Head Made Member of Academy

Max Sherman, head of the Energy Performance of Buildings Group (Indoor Environment Department) was recently made a member of the International Academy of Indoor Air Sciences.

The academy is an international, independent, multidisciplinary, scientific, non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote international scientific cooperation in the field of indoor air sciences.

Fellow IED scientists Bill Fisk and Mark Mendell are already academy members.

Published Work Lauded

"Associations between indoor CO2concentrations and sick building syndrome symptoms in US office workers: An analysis of the 1994-1996 BASE study data" was recognized as one of four best papers published in Indoor Air, between 1999-2002. Co-authored by Mike Apte, William Fisk, and the late Joan Daisey, the paper was published in Indoor Air's issue 10(4):245-257, 2002.

Indoor Air 2002 Attracts Widespread Participation

Held June 30-July 5 in Monterey, California, the Indoor Air 2002 Conference attracted nearly 1,100 participants and published a volume of proceedings of more than 725 papers. The annual conference was presided over by Hal Levin, Indoor Environment Department scientist. IED scientists Bill Nazaroff and Bill Fisk served as vice presidents of the organizing committee and Rich Sextro, another IED scientist, participated as well. The conference program included sessions on ventilation, HVAC hygiene, bioaerosols, environmental tobacco smoke, particles and dust,volatile organic compounds, pollutant emissions, perceived IAQ and IAQ modeling; air cleaning, asthma, sick building syndrome, and children's health. A special session focused on the courses of the increases in allergies and asthma.

Thanks to support from the World Bank, participants were able to discuss indoor air-quality issues in developing countries.

Proceedings are available on a searchable CD and in print format. All abstracts of the papers are now available at the conference web site.

Berkeley Lab Scientist Honored with World Technology Network Award

Image of Ashok Gadgil

The World Technology Network has voted EETD's Ashok Gadgil winner of the 2002 World Technology Award for Individual accomplishment in the Energy category.

Gadgil was honored for his lifetime achievement in developing energy-efficient technologies as well as his invention of the UV Waterworks device, an energy-efficient technology for disinfecting water.

"With this device," says Gadgil, "we can disinfect one ton of drinking water using only 1/16 of a kWh of electricity." UV Waterworks has been commercialized and is now in use in a number of developing countries, including the Philippines, Mexico, and India.

Cited for its research and development in energy-efficient technologies, EETD was a finalist in the Energy category for the 2002 World Technology Award for corporate accomplishment.

Graphic illustrating the mechanics of the UV Waterworks device

The winners were announced at the World Technology Summit on July 22 in New York City. The decision was the result of a six-month-long selection and voting process in which 100 eminent authorities from 20 technology-related fields drew up their list of potential nominees for consideration by the World Technology Network's current membership of 430 leading technologists eligible to cast votes. There are 20 individual and 20 corporate awards given each year, chosen from five finalists in each category. The award is given "to honor innovative individuals whose recent work will have the greatest likely future significance and impact over the long-term... and who will likely become or remain 'key players' in the technological drama unfolding in coming years."

The World Technology Network was created to "encourage serendipity"—happy accidents—among individuals and companies deemed by their peers to be the most innovative in the technology world. It brings together leading individuals and corporations from 20 technology-related disciplines to share knowledge and develop new working relationships.

For more information visit the UV Waterworks web site.

A complete list of 2002 World Technology Network award winners can be found at http://www.wtn.net/awards/awards2002/welcome.html


In our last issue we mistakenly reported that Dr. Don Gasser of UC Berkeley was retired. We learned from Dr. Gasser that he is still Professor of Physics and of Neurobiology of the Graduate School, and that he runs a very active lab with two PhD physicists/neuroscientists, one PhD Vision scientist, one physics graduate student, and about six undergraduates. We regret any inconvenience our error may have caused.

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