REMAINING CHALLENGES: PUBLIC-INTEREST
R&D AND MARKET ASSESSMENT
Although the Berkeley Hood is well on its way to commercialization,
numerous hurdles remain to be overcome before facility owners or
designers can easily integrate this technology into their projects
and before manufacturers will invest in bringing the technology
to market. This section summarizes a number of public-interest activities
required to bridge the gap between the present status of the Berkeley
Hood and its ultimate success in the marketplace. Ongoing activity
is funded in the near term by several sources (e.g. DOE, CEC, PG&E,
and SDSU/SDG&E), much of which is specifically targeted for field
tests and demonstrations. Most of the technology development and
some of the market development involves multi-year activities that
are only partially funded at present.
Safety testing and monitoring techniques. The project
is currently developing an monitoring techniques, and is also participating
with various professional committees to improve prevailing testing
standards. Subsequent work needed includes development of less costly
test methods, more systematically defining the safe operational
envelope for the Berkeley Hood, development of feedback-control
systems that work in conjunction with real-time monitoring. In addition
to standard tests, it is important to gain a better understanding
of real-world conditions that are not evaluated by standard tests,
such as the movement of people near the hood entry.
Creation of next-generation prototypes. Current demonstration
projects and other contacts with private industry are providing
valuable input into the evolution of the Berkeley Hood design. Wider
hood openings are more typical in practice than the four-foot format
of the first-generation Berkeley Hood, and will likely present new
challenges not addressed in the current hood. One area remaining
to be resolved are supply-air geometries to ensure that interior
surfaces are "swept" and improved interior designs (baffles, foils,
plenums, fan systems) to better improve fume removal. Also important
is the integration of sensor-based controls to optimize energy performance
and ensure safety. The significant potential for "air-divider" retrofits
to existing, standard hoods should also be evaluated. Preliminary
design work focusing on hood lighting has been very successful;
the results should be tested in a real-world prototype mockup with
Initial progress with CFD modeling suggests that this is a powerful
tool with considerable untapped potential. One need is to expand
from two-dimensional to three-dimensional (3-D) models of air flow
from the lab space into, and through, the hood. 3-D models enable
our research to take into account influences of a person working
in front of the Berkeley hood. These influences include impacts
of an operator's height, position, and relative size on airflow
turbulence. With a 3-D CFD model, the hood's safety performance
at various breathing-zone heights could be evaluated. 3-D CFD models
could be used to further optimize an array of hood features ranging
from geometry to air distribution approaches.
Define operational envelope and failure modes. Much
is yet to be understood about failure modes. Valuable work would
include identifying points of tracer gas concentration, understanding
the implication of general laboratory exhaust in failures and possible
control/response modes, and designing to preclude the potential
adverse dynamics created by multiple Berkeley Hoods simultaneously
operating in the same room. The interactions of standard hoods and
Berkeley Hoods located in the same laboratory space should also
Beyond the hood itself, work is needed on the interactions with
the general laboratory and HVAC system. Better understanding is
needed of the effects of pressurization fluctuations and other phenomena
associated with supply air diffusers, doorways, general exhaust
systems, doorways, etc. The failure of the pre-existing UCSF hood
(due to open windows and missing ceiling tiles) highlights the relevance
of this issue.
Impact analysis and business case. Although a very
significant energy savings potential appears to exist, our initial
energy impact analysis is highly generalized and hinges on a number
of key assumptions. Improved data are needed on the overall population
of hoods, current sales rates, geographical distribution, and baseline
energy use of standard hoods across a range of climatic settings.
The current analysis has not delved into space-heating savings,
which would be significant in some regions.
Improved energy analysis, coupled with cost-benefit information,
should be assembled into a coherent business case. Also required
is a more rigorous assembly of test data, with special emphasis
on energy and safety performance comparisons with standard hoods.
This should incorporate laboratory test data as well as field tests
and user feedback in working laboratories. New market segments (e.g.
wet benches) should also be identified.
Identifying and overcoming institutional barriers.
Continued involvement in professional societies is necessary to
overcome significant barriers to commercialization posed by testing
standards that discriminate against the Berkeley Hood.
Field Tests, outreach, and industry partnerships.
Field tests achieve multiple goals ranging from identifying opportunities
for technical improvements to the proof-of-concept necessary to
reduce the perceived risks for private firms seeking to ultimately
commercialize the Berkeley Hood. Outreach activities should include
continued maintenance and development of the Berkeley Hood website,
presentations, and publications in professional and popular literature.
Current activities with industrial partners include working with
the industry leaders to fabricate of a wider (6-foot) prototype
and development improved monitoring and control systems. Licensing
the existing technology to industrial partners is clearly a key
| EETD | LBNL
06 November, 2006