Building a Better Filter to Improve Energy Efficiency
Professor Jensen Zhang of the College of Engineering and Computer Science recently received funding to develop energy efficient, single-stage air filters for buildings from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Advanced Buildings Program.
Currently, buildings use two filters—one to remove particles such as dust and pollen, and one to absorb gaseous pollutants like harmful formaldehyde. Zhang will develop a single filter made of synthetic polyester fibers impregnated with an activated media that will accomplish both tasks.
“By eliminating the need for two separate filters, we reduce the amount of resistance the air encounters as it is blown through the ductwork of a building. Less pressure is required to move the air, achieving an energy savings of approximately 10 percent. We will also reduce the amount of waste created by replacing old filters,“ explains Zhang.
Although this work is still in the early stages, Zhang and his team will complete their work in summer 2015 and plan to have this technology adopted in New York State buildings soon after that.
Zhang is a professor in the college’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of the Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory. Part of this lab’s mission is to advance the science and develop innovative technologies in the areas of indoor environmental quality, building energy efficiency and building protections by conducting leading edge academic and industrial research such as this.
This project is part of the third round of NYSERDA Advanced Buildings Program funding. In total, the program is set to provide $25 million to companies and colleges to increase energy efficiency of the buildings in New York State through 2015.