At the inaugural ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced $100 million in Recovery Act funding will be made available to accelerate innovation in green technology, increase America’s competitiveness and create new jobs. Of the three technology focus areas destined to receive funding, one of interest to ElectronicsCooling readers involves “Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices (BEET-IT).” ARPA-E seeks to develop energy efficient cooling technologies and air conditioners (AC) for buildings to save energy and reduce GHG emissions from: (a) primary energy consumption due to space cooling and (b) refrigerants used in vapor compression systems.
ARPA-E seeks innovative research and development approaches to increase energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions due to cooling of buildings in the following areas: 1) cooling systems that use refrigerants with low global warming potential; 2) energy efficient air conditioning (AC) systems for warm and humid climates with an increased coefficient of performance (COP); and 3) vapor compression AC systems for hot climates for re-circulating air loads with an increased COP. The unique challenge for the U.S. market is to develop technologies that can be retrofitted into current cooling systems. For developing economies, there is a large market for new cooling technologies. The development of these technologies will reduce GHG emissions and significantly increase U.S. technological lead in rapidly emerging clean energy industries.