First milestone towards a DOE grant is now behind me: a letter of intent is now in the hands of the DOE Topic Manager. I won’t hear any feedback unless it’s deemed NOT responsive to the topic, and if that not for several weeks. In the meantime, I’m diving into proposal prep, with the help of John Servo with Dawnbreaker, a company that specializes in helping startups commercialize their innovation.
From the LOI:
Evaporative cooling (EC) is a highly efficient technology that uses less than one-third of the energy of compressor-based systems, making its adoption an effective tool in the fight against global warming. While EC adoption is growing in the industrial sector, it is losing market share in residential applications, especially new construction. ND intends to counter this trend by developing and producing a modern residential EC controller that provides superior comfort and IAQ [indoor air quality], while addressing convenience, a leading reason people switch from EC to compressor-based cooling.
First, I am beyond thrilled to announce that as of today, Nangeroni Design is a family business. My wife and partner Gordene O. MacKenzie, PhD has agreed to bring to bear on the cooler controller project her brilliant academic background and savvy business experience. Gordene will serve as Partner and Senior Advisor for the firm. This agreement will be formalized in due time but is considered by the two of us to be effective immediately.
Second, ND has been accepted into the Department of Energy’s Phase 0 SBIR program, which will provide us with the following services:
1) Letter of Intent (LOI) writing assistance;
2) Phase I proposal preparation, review and registration assistance;
3) Market Research Assistance;
4) Indirect rate and financial information.
We are deeply grateful for this assistance and look forward to filing a successful proposal by February 22. Stay tuned.
On November 9 the Department of Energy released their SBIR phase 1 release 2 EERE topics for funding opportunities. Topic 12, Healthy and Efficient Buildings, seems like a good fit for the Koolest Controller. The KC will improve the performance of evaporative cooling (EC) systems, encouraging continued use of existing EC systems which are many times more efficient than compressor-based (CB) systems. It could help slow the trend, in arid climates, of replacing EC with CB.
It saves energy by:
- Making more efficient use of the EC systems already in use.
- Encouraging installation of EC systems in new construction.
- Reducing the need for manufacture of new hardware like motors and fans, by extending the lifetime of existing systems.
- Reducing the system capacity requirements by reducing peak load.
- Balancing energy demand by its constant energy use profile.
EC has its disadvantages, it is generally only used in arid climates. But with worldwide arid climate on the increase, so too will be demand for this energy-miser technology.
I think it’s a good investment for our government. We’re talking pretty small seeds here, that should grow into giant oaks.
Life testing of key electro-mechanical components has established their lifetime in excess of 20 years. Further design work is underway to extend the lifetime of the battery-operated sensor to approach the shelf life of the battery (currently 10 years). Improved product deployment starts next spring. Still on the list: funding for regulatory approvals and IP protections.
By the way, have I mentioned that the Koolest works with your existing swamp cooler? It replaces the rotary switch or thermostat you already have. That’s it. Nothing more needed, although a home wifi network and cell phone will be handy if you’ve got them.
Until next time, stay healthy. Think kindly of your neighbor, your fellow citizen, your world. Protect them by wearing a mask and social distancing. Sorry it has to be this way, but the alternative is to kill a lot of people who are important to some of us. Please do it for their sake.