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SBIR Phase I: Sensors for Smart HVAC controls

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Dioxide Materials
60 Hazelwood Dr champaign, IL -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: SBIR Phase I: Sensors for Smart HVAC controls
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1214593
Award Amount: $150,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop inexpensive carbon dioxide sensors for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls. The sensors will use Dioxide Materials' patent pending catalyst mixtures, to create a series of CO2 sensors using a novel design. We expect to create sensors that are an order of magnitude less expensive than the CO2 sensors used for HVAC systems today and yet show comparable performance. The proposed Phase I work will include developing solid electrolytes for the device, testing performance against customer supplied specs, and checking for corrosion. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to develop a sensors that will enable affordable control systems that result in significant reductions in utility costs for homes and businesses. Most HVAC systems are inefficient. They run full blast when buildings are nearly empty, and over ventilate because the air quality in a building is unknown. Several, vendors have developed control systems that use CO2 sensors to assess the air quality and adjust the HVAC systems accordingly. Energy savings of up to $0.31/ft2/yr (i.e. $465/yr for a 1500 ft2 house) have been demonstrated, but the systems have not been widely deployed because the needed CO2 sensors are too expensive and cannot be attached to a standard thermostat. If the project is successful through Phase II, Dioxide Materials' new sensors will make advanced HVAC control systems affordable. Utility bills will go down. Further, utilities will not need to generate as much electricity, so greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced.

Principal Investigator:

Wei Zhu

Business Contact:

Wei Zhu
Small Business Information at Submission:

Dioxide Materials Inc
60 Hazelwood Dr Champaign, IL -

EIN/Tax ID: 270350645
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes