SBIR Phase II: Active Visible and Infrared Management for More Energy Efficient Buildings

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1127463
Agency Tracking Number: 1127463
Amount: $449,569.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: IC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
435 E Martin Luther King Dr., Suite A, Cincinnati, OH, 45229-0000
DUNS: 830795535
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kenneth Dean
 (480) 276-5971
Business Contact
 Kenneth Dean
Phone: (480) 276-5971
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II program will develop electrofluidic smart window modules with unique capabilities for managing infrared as well as visible light. As a result, these windows will better manage solar heat gain by switching between infrared transmittance and reflectivity. The ultimate objective is to develop skylights, windows, and roofs that adapt to seasonal, regional, and diurnal changes in solar flux and heating and cooling requirements. These window modules change the optical properties of surfaces by moving pigment from a small area reservoir to full surface coverage in a similar manner to the way squids change their skin color. The Phase I program developed pigmented fluids with engineering infrared responses, and demonstrated proof-of-concept functioning devices operating with these fluids. The Phase II project will develop the designs, processing strategies, and materials for full smart windows modules. Windows modules will then be built, measured, and directly compared with status quo windows. The innovation in this work is the development and realization of entirely new materials and devices for managing near-infrared light over a large surface area. The broader impact/commercial potential of this smart window technology is empowering buildings to actively manage solar heat gain to improve energy efficiency, which is a truly green solution. U.S. building energy consumption (40% of total U.S. Energy Consumption) can be reduced significantly with smart windows and smart skylights that maximize sunlight for lighting, while effectively managing solar heat gain, including near-infrared energy. Current passive technologies for windows do not readily adapt to seasonal, regional, and diurnal changes in solar flux and heating and cooling requirements. By empowering buildings to adapt solar heat gain to daily local needs, U.S. energy consumption could be reduced by as much as one quadrillion BTU per year, while adding minimal cost to building infrastructure. The commercialization path for this technology is through the Advanced Flat Glass segment of the Flat Glass market. In addition, this program will enhance scientific innovation at the Ohio Center for Microfluidic Innovation, a cluster for commercializing micro/electrofluidic technology.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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