RICHLAND, Wash. — Buildings could use significantly less energy with the help of a new project announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The lab is being awarded $300,000 for the project which is part of DOE's new Small Business Vouchers Pilot.

“The Small Business Vouchers pilot allows innovative entrepreneurs greater access to the world-class resources and brilliant minds in our (national) labs,” said David Danielson, assistant secretary for DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “These partnerships can help small businesses solve their most pressing technical challenges — and help bring clean energy technologies to commercialization much faster.”

Small and medium-sized commercial buildings could cut their power bills with the help of national lab-developed algorithms that improve lighting and heating and cooling systems by identifying systems that aren’t working as intended — such as thermostats that don’t change temperatures at assigned times — and correcting them. But while these algorithms have worked well in experiments, they need further refinement to be ready for real-world use.

PNNL engineer Michael Brambley and his team will help Lake Oswego, Oregon-based NorthWrite make these algorithms ready for commercial use. PNNL will test and validate algorithm performance and help NorthWrite adapt them for the company’s cloud-based software, among other tasks. The algorithms involved were developed by PNNL and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

For more information on the Small Business Vouchers Pilot, visit

For more information on Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, visit

Publication date: 3/24/2016

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