BTO Announces its Technology Commercialization Fund Selections

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy



July 1, 2024

With Commercial Partners, DOE’s Building Technologies Office Readies Two Lab-Developed Innovations for Market Introduction with $1.7 Million from Technology Commercial Fund

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) released $1.7 million for two projects with funding from the recently announced FY24 Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) Core Laboratory Infrastructure for Market Readiness (CLIMR) Lab Call. This lab call invited proposals from National Laboratories to advance energy technologies and strengthen existing practices that will simplify commercialization processes, accelerate the development of existing promising technologies, and kickstart the development of new energy solutions.

The TCF, managed by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions, is part of a broad array of activities that DOE and its national laboratories undertake to ensure federal R&D investments in technologies with commercial potential find their way to a viable market. This process better enables DOE’s national labs to prepare and mature technologies for commercial adoption, identify the highest-quality prospective partners, and assist those industry partners in evaluating technologies for their business models.

In support of Decarbonizing the U.S. Economy by 2050: A National Blueprint for the Buildings Sector, the Affordable Home Energy Shot, and the White House Justice40 initiative, BTO selected the following two projects:

  • EcoSnap (Centennial, Colorado) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Fairbanks, Alaska) – “Economical, Effective Ductless Heat Pumps for Cold Climates.” This project team will validate a refrigerant connection mechanism for minisplit heat pumps that should enable easier installations and potentially even do-it-yourself installations. Self-installation will reduce or eliminate the need for professional installers, which reduces heat pump installations costs and frees up the nation’s limited qualified heat pump installers to meet demand. Additionally, this approach should reduce refrigerant leakage rates and other faults that would improve performance in cold climates.
  • Somfy (Dayton, New Jersey), ConSol (Sacramento, California), and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, California) –Enabling the Commercialization of Advanced Façade Controls.” This team will validate in a disadvantaged community an advanced control system for automated shades first developed by Berkeley Lab. LBNL’s control system has been years in the making and has been validated in a laboratory setting. This will be the first real-world test that allows for optimization based on occupancy and weather forecasts, which learns from past experiences. The project builds upon an existing project with the California Energy Commission. If successful, this control mechanism could be commercialized quickly for widespread deployment to improve occupant comfort while saving significant energy and reducing carbon emissions.

These promising approaches, if successfully commercialized, can lead to the deployment of clean energy and decarbonization technologies critical for climate protection. Visit DOE’s Technology Commercialization Fund to learn more about this program.