This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 15, 2003

DOE Awards $20.4 Million to 13 Building Efficiency Projects

DOE announced on October 15th its award of $20.4 million to 13 projects that will advance energy efficiency in buildings. Industry partners will contribute more than $10 million to the projects, bringing the total investment to more than $30 million. The three-year projects will aim to develop advanced technologies for lighting systems, windows, water heaters, and air conditioning systems.

Among the technologies being investigated are LED (light-emitting diode) light sources using nanomaterials, organic materials, and other novel materials; new phosphor coatings for fluorescent lamps; wireless lighting control systems; advanced windows that use extremely lightweight insulating materials, called aerogels; windows that mirror over in direct sunlight to reflect heat; electrochromic windows, which can be electronically lightened or darkened; commercial heat pump water heaters that use carbon dioxide as a refrigerant; air conditioning systems that add fresh outdoor air to maintain indoor air quality; and magnetocaloric air conditioners. Magnetocaloric cooling devices, sometimes referred to as magnetic refrigeration, use a metallic refrigerant that exhibits the magnetocaloric effect: it heats up when placed in a magnetic field, and cools when the magnetic field is removed. See the DOE press release.