December 14, 2000

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BERKELEY, CA — Four research projects on energy-efficient technology, conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have been honored with "Energy@23" awards by a "citizen judges" panel. These plus eight other Berkeley Lab projects were also given a place on the DOE’s "Energy 100" list of the department’s best scientific and technological accomplishments since its origin in 1977.

All twelve of the honored projects were conducted by researchers in Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

The technologies were chosen based on their impact in saving consumers money and improving quality of life. A number of these technologies have saved consumers billions of dollars in energy costs since 1977, and have the potential to save much more as their market penetration increases. Others improve workplace and home safety, and quality of life.

The Energy@23 awardees were chosen by the panel from the Energy 100 list. These 23 highest-ranked innovations "demonstrated benefits to the American public, a contribution to U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace, and the potential for significant future growth," according to the DOE award criteria.

"These awards speak to the tremendous influence that Berkeley Lab researchers have had on our society in the area of energy and the environment," said Laboratory Director Charles V. Shank. "They also illustrate in tangible ways how our national laboratories make a difference in all of our lives."

"We are deeply honored that the judges have chosen to recognize our work in energy efficiency, environmental research and air quality," said EET Division Director Mark Levine. "We are continuing to conduct high-risk, high-payoff research in a number of new areas such as information technology, commercial building design, and electric grid reliability that will benefit American consumers with lower energy costs, a cleaner environment including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, more productive workplaces, and improved energy security."

The four Energy@23 honorees are:

  • The Electronic Ballast: Accelerating the Market for Efficient Lighting -- this replaced older magnetic ballasts as the power supply for fluorescent lamps.

  • Energy-Efficient Windows -- low-emissivity coatings and spectrally selective low-E coatings save U.S. consumers money by reducing heating and cooling energy lost through windows.
  • Reducing Standby Power Losses -- Berkeley Lab researchers are working with industry and governments to reduce standby power loss of appliances, the energy consumed when they are switched off or not performing their principle function, which may represent 5 percent of all electricity used in the U.S.
  • The Aerosol Duct Sealer -- a recently commercialized technology that blows aerosol adhesive particles through residential ducts to seal leaks. It can reduce the estimated 10 to 30 percent loss of heating and cooling energy in most homes.

The other eight Berkeley Lab projects on the Energy 100 list are:

  • DOE-2: Energy and Cost-Calculation Software -- these programs provide an accurate estimate of a proposed building’s energy consumption and environmental conditions.
  • Residential Radon Entry and Mitigation -- Berkeley Lab researchers led national efforts to study the infiltration of radioactive radon gas, a large risk factor in lung cancer, into homes from naturally occurring elements in certain soils, and to develop ways of removing this gas before it reaches living spaces.
  • The Carbon Monoxide Dosimeter -- this lightweight device worn on clothing provides an accurate, inexpensive, time-averaged measure of exposure to carbon monoxide.
  • An Energy-Efficient Safe Torchiere Lighting Fixture -- a safer, energy-efficient replacement for energy-guzzling halogen torchieres, this device uses compact fluorescent lamps. Halogens have been responsible for more than 200 fires and 30 deaths in the U.S.
  • The Diesel Particle Scatterometer -- this instrument to measure airborne particulates will enable state and federal agencies to precisely monitor diesel particulates and air quality and guide engine designers to minimize pollution in the environment.
  • Efficient Low-Emissions Burner for Heating and Power -- the simple, lightweight, low-emissions (far below the most stringent clean-air standards) technology can be scaled for small domestic water heaters or large industrial boilers and gas turbines.
  • Methods for Reducing Urban Heat Islands to Save Electricity and Reduce Smog -- Berkeley Lab researchers are working with the private sector and local governments to capture some of the billions of dollars in possible annual savings in cooling energy costs, and to reduce the incidence of severe smog episodes by reducing the "urban heat island effect" through cool roofs and shade trees.
  • The Home Energy Saver: The First Web-Based Energy Tool for Consumers empowers homeowners and renters by calculating their average energy bill, recommending energy efficiency improvements and providing information on how to implement efficient retrofits.

The citizen judges panel consisted of individuals from private industry, academia and the non-profit sector. Panel members were Howard Adams, President and founder of H. G. Adams & Associates, a professional development consulting firm; Thomas Elleman, retired North Carolina State Professor of Nuclear Engineering; Diana S. Vengsarkar, a fiber laser scientist at Lucent Technologies; Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials; Mujid S. Kazimi, Director of the Center on Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems at MIT; and Patricia McGinnis, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Excellence in Government.

Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California.

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