In order to help cold climate communities become more energy efficient, new doors and windows will be designed and tested to help homes become more energy efficient. Currently the more inefficient part of these houses are the doors and windows. Arctic Sun is seeking to increase the efficiency of the doors and windows though three different technologies. These technologies include a new design of door that helps create a better barrier between the inside and outside, automatic shutters that close when the sun goes down, and shutters that use insulation beads instead of a solid piece of material.
Arctic Sun will combine technology from Europe and North America in order to make a door with a higher R-value. These doors will be assembled in standard sizes which can then be shipped anywhere in the state. These doors should be deployed statewide at TRL 9 at the conclusion of the project.
Thermal shutters from Arctic Sun will be remote controlled and can also be run off a light sensor or a timer so when the sun goes down or at a certain time the shutters will close.
By the end of this project a price competitive, and cost effective shutter at TRL 7 will be developed. Currently these shutter systems are only at TRL 4 or 5.
Current North America doors are at Technology Readiness Level(TRL) 6. More extensive research has been performed in Europe with higher R-values, less thermal Bridging, and a better fit. These doors will utilize double-rabbeted edges and jambs to create an air-tight and warm-tight seal. This project will combine European and North American research which will assist Arctic Sun in producing an arctic door that will be TRL 9.
Years of experimentation in individual households have resulted in limited success. Many shutters have one significant flaw that results in a lack of widespread use. Arctic Sun, REINA, LLC, and Cold Climate Housing Research Center have partnered in research and testing of interior and exterior shutters for use in private homes. Currently the shutter systems are at TRL 5, with the goal of achieving TRL 8 by the end of the project.
Blown-In Insulation Shutters
Arctic Sun has been working on this design to make shutters for fixed windows obsolete. With deeper window wells higher R-values can be accomplished. The blown-in insulation works by installing a third sheet of glass several inches from the existing window and an electric blower fills the space with insulating beads to close or "shutter" the window. In order to "open" the shutter the same blower evacuates the beads from the space. Currently the design is at TRL 4 or 5 with the goal of having the technology at TRL 7 by the end of the project.
Administration of Funds
The Alaska Energy Authority has been placed in charge of administration for the Emerging Energy Technology Fund projects. More information can be found on their website here