ARPA-E announces $30 million for window energy efficiency technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy‘s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $30 million in funding for a new program focused on improving the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings.

ARPA-E‘s Single-pane Highly Insulating Efficient Lucid Designs (SHIELD) program seeks to reduce heat-loss for improved building efficiency by developing innovative materials that are both transparent and insulating to retrofit existing single-pane windows.

“At ARPA-E, we invest in technology options in order to create a more sustainable American energy future,” said ARPA-E Director Dr. Ellen D. Williams. “The ARPA-E SHIELD program will help reduce our nation’s energy consumption by developing innovative materials to insulate existing windows in cases where window replacement isn’t feasible.”

Commercial and residential building heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems accounted for 14 percent of the nation’s total energy consumption in 2013, and about a quarter of that energy is wasted by heat leaking through windows.

Many buildings with existing single-pane windows cannot support the weight, size or appearance of more efficient double pane window units, however retrofitting single-pane windows can reduce heat-loss and save roughly the amount of electricity needed to power 32 million U.S. homes each year.

The SHIELD program aims to develop innovative materials to retrofit single-pane windows to demonstrate the benefits of double-pane insulated windows, and reduce their heat loss by 50 percent while reducing retrofit costs. Under SHIELD, ARPA-E will allocate up to $10 million to small businesses through its Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program, with up to $20 million made available to all applicants.

Additionally, ARPA-E announced funding for SBIR/STTR projects under its GENSETS program, which aims to design, build and test improved electric-power generators for use in residential combined heat and power systems.


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