Materials engineered for intelligent radiative behavior will directly affect the energy consumption required by large industrial facilities and campuses. The sustainability of NASA facilities will be improved by the installation of window glass and variable emissivity building materials developed as a result of the proposed work. The ability to design passive variable emissivity materials also has direct application in spacecraft thermal management, where thermal radiation can represent the only mode of heat transfer to and from the craft.
The target applications focus primarily on materials that will reduce HVAC requirements in homes and buildings. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that approximately 70% of the electricity generated in the US is through fossil fuel combustion, which in turn accounts for approximately 40% of emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. The potential to reduce this reliance represents a large reduction in costs associated with heating and air conditioning, but also a reduction in environmental pollutants. Based on past success, it is estimated that this SBIR Program will result in annual licensable technology of value greater than $1M, and the addition of full-time staff at PCKA to support thermal management research.