OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) revealed the first-round winners of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL’s) crowdsourcing competition to advance innovative building technology ideas, and announced a new open innovation program between ORNL and four industry partners.


ORNL launched the Buildings Crowdsourcing Community Campaign in March to give innovators an opportunity to present their ideas to leaders in the research and development community, with a goal of bridging the gap between cutting-edge ideas and the marketplace. More than 300 innovators, including students, designers, and small businesses, participated in the campaign, voting and commenting on the submitted proposals in three categories: Equipment and Appliances, Sensors and Controls, and Envelope Technologies. The winners are:

• Equipment and Appliances: James Rowland, Mark Walter, and Matthew O’Kelly won this category with their prototype of a hybrid air-water conditioner developed at Ohio State University. The design exploits synergies between conditioning indoor air, dehumidification, ventilation, and hot water heating to reduce energy expenditures associated with these processes.

• Sensors and Controls: Jim White, senior energy conservation engineer at Chelan County Public Utility District in Washington state, won this category for his idea to improve the design of variable air volume (VAV) mixing boxes by combining temperature and carbon dioxide sensors to control minimum airflow settings. A model of the concept was 3-D printed.

• Envelope Technologies: Rod Stucker, an entrepreneur and owner of RM Enterprises in Idaho, won for his idea of a novel approach to installing high performance expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam window frames and insulated glass units at the job site.


Building upon the first campaign’s success, plans were announced for a new crowdsourcing campaign, called JUMP, or Join in discussion, Unveil innovation, Motivate transformation, and Promote technology to market. Four industry partners — A.O. Smith, GE, Honeywell, and United Technologies Research Center — will partner on the JUMP campaign to accelerate deployment and commercialization efforts of winning ideas by providing cash awards.

For more information and updates on JUMP, visit http://web.ornl.gov/jump.

Publication date: 10/16/2015

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