The Applied Energy Laboratory has approximately 1,800 square feet and accommodates up to 36 students in a modern laboratory environment that can also be used for classroom lectures. Along with a variety of equipment for teaching lab-based undergraduate thermal and fluid science courses, the facility also features computer-controlled heating and cooling systems that mimic the types of equipment found in modern commercial buildings.
The lab exists to provide teaching and applied research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students related to energy systems with a particular focus on high performance building and solar energy.
The Applied Energy Laboratory provides direct access to important heat transfer and thermodynamics processes that are difficult to demonstrate in a classroom setting. The laboratory equipment is of a size and scale that mimics what the students will encounter on the job.
Students who spend time in the Applied Energy Laboratory frequently pursue careers in mechanical design, controls design, or technical sales related to commercial buildings. More broadly, students develop an appreciation for the types of equipment and sensors used for evaluating thermal systems in many different fields.
Current research projects and application:
- Remotely Accessible Energy Laboratory
- Solar Decathlon for U.S. Department of Energy
- Solar Workforce Development for U.S. Department of Energy
- Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump for U.S. Department of Defense
The cold climate heat pump has been awarded two patents, and several other projects have the potential for commercialization.
Solar thermal system, solar photovoltaic system and commercial HVAC equipment that are monitored and controlled by web‐enabled building automation systems.
Outside funding and support:
A variety of grants and research projects have supported the laboratory development. Carrier Corporation has been a primary sponsor, with funding and gifts in kind. A research project funded by the National Science Foundation also helped create some of the web‐based platforms that are used for teaching and research.