The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has partnered with the building equipment industry to study alternative refrigerants and methods to increase energy efficiency of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
ORNL said Thursday it will work with Taylor Commercial Foodservice, Emerson Climate Technologies, Enginuity Power Systems, Baltimore Aircoil Company and the National Automatic Merchandising Association through separate collaborative research-and-development agreements.
The projects will include the development of climate-friendly refrigerants for food processing, assessment of potential hazards and the advancement of a heat exchanger technology.
“These collaborations are just the beginning of what we anticipate being a record number of industry partnerships over the next year to develop breakthroughs for energy-efficient buildings and a more secure, resilient power grid,” said Moe Khaleel, associate laboratory director for energy and environmental sciences at ORNL.
A Battelle and University of Tennessee joint venture operates the lab for DOE.
The department's building technologies office aims to cut average energy consumption rates in all buildings nationwide by 30 percent in 2030, ORNL noted.