Energy News  





. New ORNL Roof System Means Savings For Homeowners

If just half of the homeowners in the U.S. made sure they had R30 attic floor insulation and used this roof and attic system, the nation could reduce its Btu (British Thermal Unit) demand by about 100 trillion Btu.
by Staff Writers
Oak Ridge TN (SPX) Aug 29, 2007
Homeowners could see their summer utility bills fall by 8 percent or more with a new roof and attic system being developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

From an energy efficiency perspective, roof technology has not progressed substantially in hundreds of years, but that is changing with the use of active thermal mass components, reflective pigments and coatings, subventing, radiant barriers and other novel techniques being tested by a team led by Bill Miller and Jan Kosny of ORNL's Building Envelopes group. Their prototype roof and attic system works by reducing attic temperatures by about 22 degrees Fahrenheit during a typical summer afternoon and decreasing the amount of heat that gets transferred through the attic floor to the living space.

At the heart of new roof system is a proprietary inorganic phase change material sandwiched between two reflective surfaces made of aluminum foil. This material is installed as a dynamic thermal barrier between the roof and attic area, creating separate air channels between roof rafters. The configuration is compatible with traditional wood and steel framing technologies. Moreover, the new phase change material overcomes problems that have plagued phase change materials for the past 40 years.

"In the 1970s and 1980s the housing industry made several moderately successful attempts to use phase change materials," Kosny said. "While these materials enhanced building energy performance, they were in many cases chemically unstable, were subject to corrosion or other durability problems and suffered from loss of phase change capability."

Another shortcoming of some previous phase change materials was their susceptibility to fire. Fire is not a problem with the ORNL material, according to Kosny, who noted that ORNL researchers are working with leading manufacturers of phase change material on the development of non-flammable organic material.

In tests at ORNL, phase change materials perform like conventional materials by absorbing heat as the temperature increases. However, as the material melts it continues to absorb large amounts of heat without a significant increase in temperature. Then, as night falls and the ambient temperature around the liquid phase change material decreases, it solidifies again and releases the stored heat to the night sky, Miller said.

With an outside temperature of 92 degrees Fahrenheit, tests at ORNL's Buildings Technology Center show temperatures of conventional attics at 127 degrees Fahrenheit vs. attic temperatures of 105 degrees with the Dynamic Attic Heat Exhaust System. Kosny and Miller filed a patent last year for this technology.

"The next generation roof will consist of infrared reflective materials that are dark in color yet reflect light as if they were white," Miller said. "In addition, radiant barriers and phase change materials will be integrated into a dynamic attic system that reduces utility bills for homeowners. The conservation strategies contribute on a much grander scale by lowering peak demand on utilities, reducing carbon emissions and, ultimately, they could lead to cleaner air."

If just half of the homeowners in the U.S. made sure they had R30 attic floor insulation and used this roof and attic system, the nation could reduce its Btu (British Thermal Unit) demand by about 100 trillion Btu.

This research is funded by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Building Technologies program. UT-Battelle manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Germany FM warns over race for Arctic resources
Ny Alesund, Norway (AFP) Aug 28, 2007
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Tuesday warned that no nation should break the law to get its hands on the natural energy resources of the Arctic.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Germany FM warns over race for Arctic resources
  • Energy Department to aid biofuels creation
  • Engineers Perfecting Hydrogen-Generating Technology
  • New ORNL Roof System Means Savings For Homeowners

  • Russia US To Sign Nuclear Power Cooperation Deal In Fall
  • India's 'Red Czar': plotting to end US nuclear deal
  • King wants to speed up Jordanian nuclear energy drive
  • Japan plant designers did not foresee strong quake: report

  • Invisible Gases Form Most Organic Haze In Both Urban And Rural Areas
  • BAE Systems Completes Major New Facility For Ionospheric Physics Research
  • NASA Satellite Captures First View Of Night-Shining Clouds
  • Main Component For World Latest Satellite To Measure Greenhouse Gases Delivered

  • ASEAN urged to muster political will to deal with forest fire haze
  • Humans Fostering Forest-Destroying Disease
  • The Limited Carbon Market Puts 20 Percent Of Tropical Forest At Risk
  • Lula hails slower pace of Amazon destruction

  • Global warming to decimate China's harvests
  • Rutgers Scientists Preserve And Protect Foods Naturally
  • First All-African GM Crop Is Resistant To Maize Streak Virus
  • Global warming boosts crop disease

  • Nissan to put fuel efficiency gauge in all new models
  • Toyota To Delay Launch Of New Hybrids
  • Driving Changes For The Car Of The Future
  • GM Sales In China To Hit One Million Vehicles

  • Progress On The Hornet Capability Upgrade
  • Thompson Files: F-35 engine follies
  • Indonesia to buy six Sukhoi jets: Russia
  • China Southern intending to buy 55 Boeing 737 aircraft

  • Nuclear Power In Space - Part 2
  • Outside View: Nuclear future in space
  • Nuclear Power In Space
  • Could NASA Get To Pluto Faster? Space Expert Says Yes - By Thinking Nuclear

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement