The U.S. Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is at the forefront of creating a clean energy economy. EERE helps develop and deliver: market-driven solutions for energy-saving homes, buildings, and manufacturing; sustainable transportation; and renewable electricity generation. In partnership with businesses, industry, universities, research labs, and others, EERE works to develop affordable, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
The EERE is proud of their 2015 achievements and highlighted on their blog the following five most popular success stories of last year:
Among the innovations being supported by EERE is an electrochemical compressor (ECC) for heat pump water heaters and other applications that could reduce energy consumption by an amount equivalent to the state of Oregon’s annual consumption. ECC is a solid-state technology that uses an external voltage to pump a water refrigerant across a membrane. This technique has several advantages over traditional mechanical heat pumps.
Through a cooperative research and development project with EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office, UQM Technologies—a company developing propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles—recently patented a new design for electric vehicle motors that use non-rare earth magnets.
Consumers may soon have the option of purchasing a do-it-yourself rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system at their local home improvement store that can be installed and connected to the grid in less than a day. Thanks to EERE’s SunShot Initiative awardee Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, a novel residential Plug and Play PV system may soon be commercially available.
Consumers who are planning to go solar can now save hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars in the process, thanks to a new invention that was funded by the SunShot Initiative’sIncubator program. It’s called the ConnectDER, and in addition to its consumer benefits, it soon might appeal to utilities, too.
Consumers will soon have new options in their quest for the most efficient rooftop solar panels, thanks in part to former SunShot awardee TetraSun. Solar industry leader First Solar, which operates the world’s largest PV power plant in California, acquired TetraSun in 2013 and recently started a production line with the company’s technology, giving it the opportunity to become widely available to the public.