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

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0945339
Agency Tracking Number: 0945339
Amount: $149,873.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: IC
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
435 Martin Luther King Dr. E, Suite A, Suite ACincinnati, OH, 45229
DUNS: 830795535
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kenneth Dean
 (480) 276-5971
Business Contact
 Kenneth Dean
Title: PhD
Phone: (480) 276-5971
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will demonstrate feasibility of creating surfaces that actively 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. The Phase I objective is to develop electrofluidic pigment materials systems incorporating infrared-reflecting particles and other infrared strategies. The infrared modulation performance of these new materials systems will then be demonstrated in low cost electrofluidic modules. These 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 innovation in this work is the development an entirely new materials system and method for managing near-infrared light over a large surface area. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. U.S. building energy consumption (40% of total U.S. Energy Consumption) can be reduced significantly by maximizing sunlight for lighting, while effectively managing solar heat gain. Current passive technologies (windows, insulation, paint, etc.) do not readily adapt to seasonal, regional, and diurnal changes in solar flux and heating and cooling requirements. By empowering buildings to actively manage solar heat gain, U.S. energy consumption can be reduced by more than 1 quadrillion BTU per year, while adding minimal cost to building infrastructure. There is also a large commercialization opportunity in selling active skylights, windows, roof tiles, etc. through partnerships with existing manufacturers.

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

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