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Holistic Cell Design by Berkeley Lab Scientists Leads to High-Performance, Long Cycle-Life Lithium-Sulfur Battery

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated in the laboratory a lithium-sulfur (Li/S) battery that has more than twice the specific energy of lithium-ion batteries, and that lasts for more than 1,500 cycles of charge-discharge with minimal decay of the battery’s capacity. This is longest cycle life reported so far for any lithium-sulfur battery.

Weatherizing Homes to Uniform Standard Can Achieve $33 Billion in Annual Energy Savings

With winter around the corner some homeowners may be thinking about plugging all the leaks in their home to make them less drafty. Imagine if every homeowner in the country did that—how much energy could be saved? Using physics-based modeling of the U.S. housing stock, researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found in a new study that upgrading airtightness to a uniform level could achieve as much as $33 billion in annual energy savings.

Berkeley Lab Report Finds U.S. Energy Service Companies Experienced Steady Growth Despite Recession

Aggregate revenue growth rates for U.S. energy service companies (ESCOs) significantly outpaced U.S. GDP growth during the three-year period 2009 to 2011, according to a new report by researchers at Berkeley Lab. ESCOs primarily use performance-based contracts to provide energy efficiency, renewable and other energy-related services while guaranteeing that installed equipment, controls and other measures will deliver a specified amount of cost and resource savings to the customer.

Q&A:The Facility for Low Energy eXperiments in Buildings (FLEXLAB)

The Facility for Low Energy eXperiments in Buildings (FLEXLAB) is designed to be a national focal point for developing, simulating and testing energy-efficient technologies and strategies for buildings. FLEXLAB users will conduct research and develop technologies at FLEXLAB on single components as well as whole-building integrated design and operation aimed at substantially lowering the energy use, and improving the comfort and performance of both new and existing buildings. FLEXLAB is a facility of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD).

Raising the IQ of Smart Windows

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have designed a new material to make smart windows even smarter. The material is a thin coating of nanocrystals embedded in glass that can dynamically modify sunlight as it passes through a window. Unlike existing technologies, the coating provides selective control over visible light and heat-producing near-infrared (NIR) light, so windows can maximize both energy savings and occupant comfort in a wide range of climates.

Pollution in the Home: Kitchens Can Produce Hazardous Levels of Indoor Pollutants

Berkeley Lab indoor air researchers have found hazardous levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide in a surprisingly large portion of California home kitchens. What’s more, their studies have shown that the most common device for mitigating this indoor air problem—range hoods—vary widely in performance.

Building Performance Database Helps Building Owners, Investors Evaluate Energy Efficient Buildings

A new database of building features and energy use data helps building managers, owners, real estate investors, and lenders evaluate the financial results of energy efficiency investment projects and identify high and low-performing buildings. The database is being developed by a Berkeley Lab team led by Paul Mathew.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Release Guide to Financing Energy Upgrade for K-12 School Districts

Energy costs K-12 schools in the U.S. $6 billion dollars annually. Spending less money on energy costs would leave more for funding-constrained school districts to spend on educating their students, according to researchers at Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD). They have released a guide on planning and financing comprehensive energy upgrades that involve multiple measures and are targeted toward achieving significant and persistent energy savings.

Berkeley Lab Study Finds Big Energy Savings in The New York Times Building

Designing a building holistically, and making sure that its components and systems work together according to design intent, can pay big dividends in energy savings and occupant satisfaction, according to a study of The New York Times Building by Berkeley Laboratory. A Berkeley Lab research team began working with the Times Company in 2003 to design, evaluate and specify an integrated solution with energy-efficient lighting and automated shading systems for the windows in a full-scale mockup at a nearby Times Company site in Queens.

What’s the cost of a healthy home?

California’s residential ventilation requirements in Title 24 (the State energy code for buildings) are designed to balance healthy home ventilation with efficient energy use, but some studies suggest that whole-house ventilation systems don’t always meet their expected performance in either category. Commissioning a systematic evaluation of the installed system to identify deficiencies and offer solutions