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Heat Transfer and Alternative Energy Systems Group


Mission: To promote innovation and competitiveness in the alternative energy and energy efficiency sector by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology related to energy utilization in buildings.

The Heat Transfer and Alternative Energy Systems Group:

  • collects performance data, develops measurement methods, and validates computer models used to predict the energy performance of photovoltaics and other alternative energy production systems in building applications

  • provides measurement services and standard reference materials to assess the thermal performance of insulation

  • develops novel methods and tools to make in-situ measurements of the energy consumption in buildings and the energy efficiency of building components

  • develops and assesses test methods for micro-cogeneration systems, water heaters, and air conditioners


The work carried out by the group results in the following contributions to the building industry:

  • Technical Publications
  • Standard Reference Material and Standard Reference Database for thermal properties of insulation
  • Standardized test methods to assess energy performance of equipment such as photovoltaics, combined heat and power systems, water heaters, and air conditioners
  • Improved modeling capabilities to predict output of alternative energy systems
  • Novel tools and methods to assess building energy performance

Electrical Performance Measurements of Solar Photovoltaic Cells and Arrays Project—To achieve net-zero energy buildings, renewable energy generation is required to meet the energy demands remaining after load reduction and efficiency efforts have been implemented. Solar …

Assessment of High-Temperature and Innovative Insulation Thermal Performance Project—The use of thermal insulation is a primary approach to reducing heating and cooling loads in buildings, which account for 42 % (i) and 24 % (i) of energy consumption in residential and commercial …

Net-Zero Energy, High-Performance Buildings Program—To develop and deploy advances in measurement science to move the nation toward net-zero energy, high-performance buildings while maintaining a healthy indoor environment by 2016.

Measuring Performance of Net-Zero Energy Homes Project—Develop the measurement science necessary to evaluate various technological approaches to achieve net-zero energy buildings through the development of innovative monitoring techniques, methods of …

Energy Measurements for Existing Residential Buildings Project—According to the most recent national census data, the median year in which owner-occupied homes were built in the U.S. is 19761. Furthermore, housing starts have declined dramatically since 20052. …

Research HighlightsPhotovoltaic Testbeds

William M. Healy, Leader
Heat Transfer and Alternative Energy Group
(301) 975-4922