In January, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced that several of its Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) supported technologies won awards in R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Awards, which the DOE called the “Oscars of Innovation.” A number of these technologies concern electricity and energy efficiency.

In the category of building technologies, the DOE describes the Ecosnap-AC heat pump system as “a revolutionary new class of residential air conditioners” that addresses all the major drawbacks of room air conditioners while maintaining affordability. It divides the heat pump into two separate yet tightly integrated parts, with one external to the home and the other on the interior. It can be installed anywhere on an exterior wall, is quieter and more energy efficient, doesn’t jeopardize home security, is easy for a homeowner to install in a few minutes, and can be left in place year-round. 

The web-based roof savings calculator simulates energy flow and loss in businesses and homes, predicting the cost-effectiveness of cool roofing and attic technologies based on building type and location. It is designed to educate builders and consumers on the money-saving potential of roofing upgrades.

The HVAC load-reduction technology for commercial buildings uses a module integrated into existing HVAC systems to scrub the air of common indoor air contaminants. It reduces energy use and lowers costs by recirculating already-cooled inside air. 

The cool roof time machine can help keep buildings cool, lowering a building’s energy use while also mitigating the urban “heat island” effect by reflecting sunlight away from buildings and cities.

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed a method for rating and prototyping cool roofing products that simulates three years of weathering and soiling 
in less than three days.