The purpose of the 3rd Millennium Demonstration Project is to construct a working model of the Thermal Wall Technology (TWT) in order to validate and test the technology. TWT is an innovative energy efficient, patent pending, construction technology developed by Michael Sandefur with assistance by the University of Southern Indiana (USI).

Should the demonstration project perform as modeled, the TWT will rewrite the manuals on energy efficient construction and transform net-zero energy construction from the exception to the norm and will be among the most transformative advancements in the evolution of human shelter.  The secondary impacts of the energy reductions associated with the TWT will be among the most, if not the most:

  • Energy reducing technologies ever invented
  • Air pollution reducing technologies ever invented
  • Carbon dioxide reducing technologies ever invented

Dr. Brandon Field, Associate Professor of Engineering, at the University of Southern Indiana conducted reviews of the mathematics and modeling conducted by Michael and performed modeling on heat pump efficiencies related to the use of the TWT.  Following review of the results USI engaged and assisted Michael in an application of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant through the National Science Foundation,with USI as a subawardee.

Phase I of the grant would be utilized to develop a dynamic computational model with the ability to auto-compile historic hourly data of ambient temperatures, wind, solar insolation and humidity for periods up to a year and provide energy efficiency data for time periods ranging from hourly to annually. This will enable the modeler to review and adjust the TWT structure and heat/cooling input parameters to optimize building performance. This dynamic model will also enable the modeler the ability to input different structure configurations from simple residential to commercial buildings.

Phase I will also research and map out the functions of a predictive controller system. Unlike traditional heating systems, based on either adding heat or removing heat from a structure, the TWT controller will need to rely on numerous algorithms to determine when and where to send the heat energy.

Phase II will be the construction of the 3rd Millennium Demonstration Project.

The demonstration project will incorporate the Thermal Wall Technology (TWT) into the envelope of the structure. Components of the TWT structure will include:

  • An air-to-water heat pump
  • An active solar thermal hydronic collector system
  • Hydronic solar storage system for backup and quick heat response needs
  • Passive solar collection features incorporated in the design
  • Photovoltaic (PV) system (solar electric) with battery backup
  • Insulated security rolling shutters to limit night time heat loss
  • An energy recovery ventilation unit to provide appropriate air exchanges and minimize heat loss

Analytical monitoring and testing will be conducted on both the individual heating and cooling systems and the combined system usage.  System optimization, utilizing the TWT dynamic computational model, will be conducted on the heat pump, solar thermal hydronic collector, and passive solar systems to determine individual component efficiencies. A host of monitoring, testing and optimization will be conducted on the thermal wall functions.

The project schedule will depend on the success of receiving the National Science Foundation SBIR grant and/or collaborating with corporate sponsors.  Several environmental conscientious corporations and organizations have lined up to support the endeavor.   

The demonstration project will be a hybrid TWT single-sided insulated concrete form (SSICF)/log structure. The exterior and interior façade will be provided by Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, a PLATINUM level sponsor of the 3rd Millennium Project.  Katahdin Cedar Log Homes is a exceptionally environmental conscientious company located in Maine, with sales associates throughout the U.S. and other countries They construct the most energy efficient hybrid log homes and buildings in the U.S. and with this sponsorship and construction, will substantially enhance their position. The exterior of the home will be Northern White Cedar half logs attached to the single-sided ICFs and a log façade interior.  The inside of the exterior walls will be concrete.  The concrete can have stone, tile, masonry or other non-insulative finishes. The demonstration project will rely on passive solar energy; the back of the structure facing south with an expanse of southern exposed windows. The eaves of the structure will be engineered to shade direct summer sunlight from entering the structure while allowing the winter sunlight to penetrate deep into the interior. The windows will have mechanical thermal security shutters to retain the thermal radiation at night or on cloudy days and to provide shading if needed. The front of the demonstration project will be a traditional log home with porte cochère entrance.

The south-facing roof slope will be optimized for collection of solar energy and have both solar thermal hydronic collectors and solar electric photovoltaic panels.

The structure will have a main floor and a walkout lower level, housing the heating and cooling equipment, educational displays and a conference area for educational seminars and group meetings.  The walls of the lower and main level will be enhanced with the Thermal Wall Technology radiant tubing.  The lower level floor and main floor (an elevated concrete slab) will also be enhanced with radiant tubing.