ORNL unveils new crowdsourcing website for building technologies

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s efforts to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s homes and buildings, lower energy costs, and enhance U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing, the Energy Department launched the new Buildings Crowdsourcing Community website last week. Administered by TAEBC member Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the new site, buildings.ideascale.com, will help technology innovators collect, share and evaluate input from customers and other stakeholders about next-generation building technologies.

Innovators including start-ups, designers, buildings scientists, and students can use the website to share ideas that could develop into new energy efficient technologies for homes and buildings.  Those interested in participating can register through the ORNL Buildings Crowdsourcing Community or they can vote on their favorite entries. The best ideas will be recognized during the Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office Industry Day hosted at ORNL in September.

The ORNL Buildings Crowdsourcing Community is now accepting new idea submissions, comments, and votes and submissions. The website will stay open until May 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Site members and users can still view the submissions, comments, and votes after May 31, but participation on the site will end after the submission timeframe expires.

For more information, click here.

Sustainable waste-to-energy facility approved for construction in Tennessee

Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) member PHG Energy (PHGE) and the city of Lebanon, Tennessee, have signed a contract that will provide an environmentally sustainable method of waste disposal and produce green power in the process.The Lebanon plant will be similar in looks to the Covington Waste To Energy Plant

The waste-to-energy technology, which will go on line early next year, is a downdraft gasification plant that will cleanly convert up to 64 tons per day of blended waste wood, scrap tires and sewer sludge into a fuel gas that will generate up to 300Kw of electricity. The generation of this power will provide for the plant’s internal power needs as well as contribute electricity to the wastewater treatment plant where it will be located.

PHGE President Tom Stanzione said the Lebanon project will deploy what his company believes is the world’s largest downdraft gasifier and added, “This is the same basic technology we utilized in all our previous designs, and we have upgraded capacity and power density to accomplish a lot more gasification in what is not a lot more space.”

Lebanon process flow diagram (2)The plant is projected to keep more than 8,000 tons of material out of landfills each year – the equivalent of a line of trucks over four miles long. Carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced as well, keeping over 2,500 tons out of the atmosphere each year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, that equates to the CO2 produced annually to provide electricity to 312 homes, or the annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions from over 450 passenger vehicles.

Click here to read the full story.

ORNL featured in CleanTechnica for new “science fridge”

TAEBC member Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) was featured in CleanTechnica this week for one of its latest developments: a new energy-efficient refrigerator, thanks to a partnership between ORNL and global appliance innovator Whirlpool Corporation.

The goal of the project is to design an energy-efficient refrigerator that uses less than 1 kilowatt-hour daily. Today’s models range around 1.5 kilowatt-hours, so getting that down below 1 kilowatt-hour is a huge improvement.

According to the article, ORNL reps and Whirlpool already have an idea of how to get the product out of the lab and into your kitchen.

Read the full story here.

TAEBC annual meeting RESCHEDULED for March 26, 2015

Save the date for TAEBC’S annual meeting on the afternoon of Thursday, March 26 in Nashville. (This event, originally set for Tuesday, February 17, was rescheduled due to inclement weather.)

Join us to discuss 2015 priorities and projects, including the first ever Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report. This is our annual forum for members to provide feedback on our projects/priorities that foster the growth of Tennessee’s advanced energy jobs, companies and technologies. The annual meeting will conclude with a member/stakeholder happy hour.

Stay tuned for more info and click here to check back for event updates.