Vacuum Insulation Could Save Department of Defense $200 Million

February 21, 2017

Substantial energy savings could be realized by the Department of Defense with the deployment of a low-cost vacuum insulation panels according to researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A team led by Kaushik Biswas is determining how wall retrofit solutions can cut in half energy loss through walls. The innovative manufacturing approach achieves vacuum insulation performance without the need for multi-stage low-pressure vacuum pumping. This evaluation, enlisted by the Department of Defense to combat the estimated $200 million per year in energy losses at its facilities, is being conducted at a classroom building in Fort Drum, New York.

Initial analysis indicated a 14% reduction in heating energy use by adding vacuum insulation panels to existing 2-by-6 wood framed walls with fiberglass. For older, poorly insulated buildings, the savings are expected to be much higher.