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Story tips from the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2004

To arrange for an interview with a researcher, please contact the Communications and Community Outreach staff member identified at the end of each tip.

ENERGY -- Nearly too cheap to meter . . .

It cost a family of four living in a next-generation Habitat for Humanity house just 82 cents a day in total energy bills, and the project continues to gain momentum. The house boasts impressive air tightness in addition to an advanced ventilation system that controls mold, mildew and moisture. A main feature of the house, located in Lenoir City, Tenn., is a second-generation heat pump water heater integrated with the refrigerator and insulated crawlspace. Three houses have been built and another three are being designed as part of the Department of Energy Building America Zero Energy Habitat for Humanity project. The three existing houses are also part of Tennessee Valley Authority's Green Power Generation program. The photovoltaic system on the first house to sell solar power to TVA generated 1,940 kilowatt hours for the year, earning a credit of $291 from TVA. [Contact: Ron Walli, 865-576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

MILITARY -- 'Fort-to-port' lickety-split . . .

Military personnel loading military cargo planes with trucks and material can speed up the process and reduce the chances for mistakes with weigh-in-motion technology being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dave Beshears of the lab's Engineering Science and Technology Division notes that the ORNL system is five to six times faster than the static scales in use today. And, because the system is automated, there's little chance of mistakes common to methods that rely on manual scales, tape measures, calculators, paper and pencil. Determining the weight, center of balance and profile of a vehicle being transported is critical to avoiding crashes such as the one that occurred in June 2002 involving an Air Force MC-130H. The seven-
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
5-Jan-2004


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