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Stony Brook Receives $2 Million DOE Grant to Create a New Super Energy-Saving Air Conditioning Vent
Dr. Ya Wang leads team developing the unit designed for both commercial and residential use

Dr. Ya Wang, left, and Wei Deng, a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, work on several air conditioning vent prototypes in her Stony Brook laboratory. 

Stony Brook, NY, January 8, 2015– A Stony Brook University research team has been awarded $2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s  (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) to develop an active air conditioning vent capable of modulating airflow distribution, velocity, and temperature designed for commercial or residential units. Led by Ya Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the goal of the project is to create a vent that results in up to 30 percent energy savings through directed localization of existing building heating/cooling output.

The DOE states that ARPA-E-funded projects have the potential to radically improve U.S. economic prosperity, national security, and environmental well-being. Stony Brook is one of only three institutions in New York State to receive the award. The grant is officially for 3 years with total funding of $2,049,260 under the category of ARPA-E Delivery Efficient Local Thermal Amenities (DELTA) projects. Each of the projects focuses on transforming energy delivery.

“This ARPA-E grant is indicative of the high caliber of advanced energy research that is being developed at Stony Brook,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr. MD, President of Stony Brook University. “The work of Dr. Wang and her colleagues to enhance energy efficiency is one of the most important research endeavors for our state and society.”

"As Provost and as a mechanical engineer by training, I am especially proud of Ya Wang and the other renowned faculty within Stony Brook University's Department of Mechanical Engineering for receiving this $2 million award," said Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University. "It is fitting that this award be granted to our distinguished faculty, as Stony Brook is an academic leader with respect to energy efficiency and sustainability research and initiatives."

This is truly a great accomplishment by Dr. Wang and her team,” said Yacov Shamash, Vice President for Economic Development and Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. ”To receive this grant is a great testament to the high quality of the research being conducted by our faculty and staff in the NY State Center of Excellence for Advanced Energy Research and Technology.”

Dr. Wang and her collaborators Professor Lei He and Professor Qibing Pei from University of California, Los Angeles will develop the smart vent, called the Electroactive Smart Air-Conditioner Vent Registers (eSaver), by way of using an array of electro-active polymer tubes that are individually controlled to create a localized curtain of air to suit the heating or cooling needs of a building.  The high-tech vents will be designed to the size of the building and can vary depending on whether the building is a large industrial one or small, such as a residence.

According to Dr. Wang, the eSAVER is designed to expand the setpoints of building HVAC in each direction by 4°F, resulting in an estimated 30% total building HVAC energy reduction. The eSAVER will be manufactured using scalable materials and electronics with the estimated cost of less than $20 per unit. The estimated average electricity saving would be $60 per year per unit.


Reporter Contact: 
Lauren M. Sheprow
University Media Relations Officer
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