DOE Topic 12: a match?

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.

Fall 2020 update

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.