Military seeks efficient HVAC in green drive

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has to obtain at least 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. 

One path the military is taking is to use more renewables, but another is to trim its demand for conventional energy sources by make its buildings more efficient. That’s where new grant funding for the company Dais Analytic comes into the picture.

The Florida company is getting $960,000 through the DOD’s Installation Energy Test Bed initiative to demonstrate a new technology for dehumidifying outdoor air at Robins Air Force Base in often hot and sticky Georgia. 

Dais said it will develop and install an HVAC system that operates more efficiently by using a nanostructure polymer called Aqualyte. According to the DoD, Aqualyte is a membrane that is highly permeable to water while being highly impermeable to air. 

“This design will allow energy efficient dehumidification of outdoor air to occur without substantial temperature change and enable indoor humidity to be controlled separately from temperature, thereby reducing the energy required to manage DoD buildings,” the department said.

While the DOD is doing a lot  to bring renewable energy technologies to its troops, planes and ships, the facilities-focused Installation Energy Test Bed initiative, while significantly smaller, has a more direct tie-in with the civilian world. 

As the department says in describing the program:

“Demonstrations generate the cost and performance data needed to validate promising technologies, allowing them to be fielded and commercialized more rapidly.”

* Pete Danko, EarthTechling