Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices

Building Efficiency

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Program Description:

The projects that comprise ARPA-E's BEETIT program, short for "Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices," are developing new approaches and technologies for building cooling equipment and air conditioners. These projects aim to drastically improve building energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) at a cost comparable to current technologies.

Innovation Need:

The demand for air conditioning in homes and work spaces is increasing. New and more efficient cooling methods are needed to reduce building energy consumption and environmental impact. Residential and commercial buildings currently account for 72% of the nation's electricity use and 40% of our CO2 emissions each year, 5% of which comes directly from space cooling and/or air conditioning. In addition, the refrigerants used in air conditioners and space cooling are potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) that may contribute to global climate change. These refrigerants can trap 1,000 times more heat in the atmosphere than CO2 alone. Because the overwhelming majority of air conditioning and cooling systems run on electricity, and most U.S. electricity comes from coal-fired power plants which produce CO2, there is a pressing need to support improvements that increase the efficiency of these technologies and reduce the use of GHG refrigerants in the decades to come.

Potential Impact:

If successful, the acceleration of the research and development of energy efficient cooling technologies provides a tremendous opportunity to reduce energy demand from buildings and reduce GHG emissions.


Increased energy efficiency would decrease U.S. energy demand and reduce reliance on fossil fuels—strengthening America's energy security.


Refrigerants with polluting emissions could account for up to 10-20% of global warming by the year 2050. Several BEETIT technologies are focused on eliminating the use of these refrigerants.


Widespread adoption of BEETIT technologies could reduce the energy consumption for air conditioning of buildings—providing consumers with cost savings on energy bills.


Program Director:
Dr. Ravi Prasher;Dr. Bryan Willson;Dr. Dane Boysen;Dr. Jason Rugolo;Dr. Marina Sofos;Dr. Christopher Atkinson;Dr. Eric Rohlfing
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Project Listing

• ADMA Products - Membrane Dehumidifier
• American Superconductor (AMSC) - High-Efficiency Air Conditioner
• Architectural Applications (A2) - Energy Efficient Building Ventilation Systems
• Astronautics Corporation of America - Air Conditioning with Magnetic Refrigeration
• Battelle Memorial Institute - Cascade Reverse Osmosis Air Conditioning System
• Dais Analytic Corporation - Dehumidifying Air for Cooling & Refrigeration
• Georgia Tech Research Corporation - Innovative Miniaturized Heat Pumps for Buildings
• Material Methods - Sound Wave Refrigerants
• Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) - High-Efficiency Adsorption Chillers
• Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) - Helium-Based Soundwave Chiller
• Sheetak - High-Efficiency Solid State Cooling Technologies
• United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) - Water-Based Refrigerants
• United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) - Liquid Desiccant in Air Conditioners
• University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Compact Solid State Cooling Systems
• University of Florida - Membrane-Based Absorption Refrigeration Systems
• University of Maryland (UMD) - Elastic Metal Alloy Refrigerants
• University of Notre Dame - Carbon Dioxide and Ionic Liquid Refrigerants