Could a tank of ice or hot water be a battery? Yes! If a battery is a device for storing energy, then storing hot or cold water to power a building’s heating or air-conditioning system is a different type of energy storage. Known as thermal energy storage, the technology has been around for a long time but has often been overlooked. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are making a concerted push to take thermal energy storage to the next level.
Windows make up 7% of the envelope area of a home but can account for 47% of the envelope heat loss. High-performance windows thus represent a significant opportunity for consumers to be more comfortable and save money – and help reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions while doing so.
Buildings account for a whopping 40% of total U.S. energy consumption, and windows are responsible for approximately 10% of that. High thermal performance windows reduce combined heating and cooling energy consumption of typical single family homes in California by up to 50% compared to existing single-pane windows, which are still found in 6.5 million, or
A study by scientists at Berkeley Lab modeled several different types and ages of homes, retail stores, and office buildings in cities across California and the U.S. and found that sunlight-reflecting “cool” exterior walls can save as much or more energy than sunlight-reflecting cool roofs in many places.
Berkeley Lab indoor air experts Brett Singer and Woody Delp advise: stay indoors, consider a mask, limit activities, use air filtration systems, or even build your own.
A national online energy data management system is transforming how energy retrofit projects implemented by a wide variety of users – including local, state, and federal governments – develop projects and track performance.
About $20 billion worth of energy leaks out of windows in the United States each winter – and that’s with double-paned insulating windows installed on a majority of buildings. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is now working with manufacturers to bring to market a “super window” that is at least twice as insulating as 99 percent of the windows for sale today and will be ready to achieve mass-market status.
A photovoltaic glass that is also reversibly thermochromic is a green technology researchers have long worked toward, and now, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have demonstrated a way to make it work.
By using advanced lighting and automated shades, Berkeley Lab scientists found that occupants on one floor of a high-rise office building in New York City were able to reduce lighting energy usage by nearly 80 percent in some areas. The dramatic results emerged at a “living laboratory” set up to test four sets of technologies on one 40,000 square-foot floor of a building.
The knowledge and expertise of a seasoned energy efficiency professional has been packed into a high-tech suitcase. The Sensor Suitcase is a portable case that contains easy-to-use sensors and other equipment that make it possible for anyone to identify energy-saving opportunities in small commercial buildings.