Randy Prefer & Kevin Ryan, Structural Engineering Consultant

JUMP is every entrepreneur’s dream, providing the inventive mind to think out of the box and create new products while solving problems in diverse industries. The ability to share potential ideas and have other similarly minded individuals evaluate the potential of your idea from their prospective, provides the validation we all seek, which spurs additional positive innovative thoughts to improve your original concept. I enjoyed the professionalism of all involved and really look forward to solving or creating more innovation through similar platforms. I sincerely hope that the JUMP will continue with additional challenges in the future. — Randy Prefer
JUMP’s crowdsourcing site connects companies with inventors who think outside the box and have unique solutions to energy challenges. Without this connection, the solution might not ever reach its destination. - Kevin Ryan (pictured)

THE CHALLENGE: Develop new materials or installation methods that can be employed with a concrete deck so that the risk of moisture-related problems is reduced.


THE IDEA/SOLUTION: Two submissions selected as winning ideas: Randy Prefer’s “Moisture Absorption” idea to use ribbed, sand-filled packets to create an air gap between the concrete and the roofing materials substrates; and Kevin Ryan’s “Miniature Ducts” idea of using miniature ducts under the roof slab to allow air to flow underneath for the purpose of drying.


  • Mr. Prefer and Mr. Ryan awarded a collective $10,000 from GAF
  • ORNL provisioned $10,000 total for in-kind support

John Archibald, American Solar, Inc.

We are pleased to be selected by the JUMP program for our building envelope solar heat recovery technology. Review and selection by the judges who are experts in building envelope energy is another endorsement of the value of the technology we have pioneered over the last 20 years. The outreach to industry and consumers is another valuable component of the program. — John Archibald

THE CHALLENGE: Develop a new material or installation method that uses readily available products to improve the thermal performance and air tightness of a wall assembly, without compromising the durability of that wall assembly.

THE IDEA/SOLUTION: Use dynamic insulated vinyl solar siding to recover heated air from the solar heated siding for a variety of direct and indirect uses within the building to displace a portion of purchased fossil and electric heating uses.


  • Awarded $5,000 by leading product manufacturer
  • ORNL provisioned $10,000 for in-kind support

Charles Xie, The Concord Consortium

We are honored to be part of DOE's JUMP Challenge and are grateful that DOE is providing this great platform to unconventional players like us who would otherwise have little visibility to the industry. The JUMP platform is a perfect incubator of ideas, especially for those who are thinking outside the box. — Charles Xie

THE CHALLENGE: Give us your best ideas for ways to leverage the open, programmable, and sensor-rich platform that modern smartphones offer to enhance the way we live, manage, and interact with our homes today and in the future.


THE IDEA/SOLUTION: Based on the FLIR ONE thermal camera and built-in smartphone sensors, develop the SmartIR app to guide users to create seamless infrared street views enhanced by virtual reality technology. Integrate infrared street views with Google Maps to create the first thermographic information system (TIS) that will provide big data for thermal surveys of towns and cities on a massive scale.


  • $3,000 cash award from CLEAResult

Dr. Fadi Alsaleem, Mohammad H. Hassan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Paul Liu, Microsensor Labs

The JUMP call for innovation provides great opportunities for inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their technology from concept to reality. — Paul Liu
The JUMP platform provided a great community to share ideas and constructive feedback, to enhance our ideas. It also presents a much needed bridge between academia and the industry. — Dr. Fadi Alsalaeem and Mohammad H. Hassan

THE CHALLENGE: Identify an accurate and stable humidity sensor technology that promises performance improvements over existing sensors. The proposed sensor must be able to measure relative humidity with an accuracy of +5% and maintain that accuracy to within +1% for a minimum period of 10 years. Low cost technologies, low power technologies, and technologies that integrate analog-to-digital conversion are of particular interest.


THE IDEA/SOLUTION: Paul Liu’s submission is that of a novel sensor architecture that is insensitive to contamination to achieve excellent long-term stability. The sensor is compatible with standard complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication process to ensure cost and power effectiveness.

Dr. Fadi Alsaleem and Mohammad H. Hassan together proposed an electrostatic MEMS (Microelectromechanical system) oscillator whose air viscosity and air’s dielectric constant change in response to changes in relative humidity. Such changes can be observed in the MEMS frequency response and correlated to humidity.


  • Each entry qualifies for a mini-accelerator award from Clean Energy Trust and
  • Up to $20,000 worth of in-kind technical support from ANL

Payam Yeganeh, a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and digital strategist

The Siemens-ORNL JUMP challenge is an effective way for entrepreneurs to leverage crowdsourcing to share their ideas for technology innovation. The program has helped me to effectively test my concept and idea as well as connect with valuable business networks and partners. — Payam Yeganeh

THE CHALLENGE: Define the concept, use cases, technology stacks and business models that could support the private control and use of public or commercial infrastructure and devices, including the navigation of issues related to interoperability and cybersecurity as well as the needs or features to be built into any proposed device.


THE IDEA/SOLUTION: BuildingBot -- a chat-based assistant which can help people interact with buildings and workspaces.

The BuildingBot concept leverages established chat applications like Facebook, WhatsAPP, Telegram, or SMS text messages to enable building occupants to interact with the building facility and things managers for safety, comfort, and way-finding. BuildingBot is powered by natural language processing and allows the use of chat messengers on smart phones to interact with systems in public and shared spaces. The solution enhances the experience of building visitors and residents, improves the productivity of the occupants, and can reduce energy consumption of the buildings.


  • $5,000 cash award from Siemens
  • Up to $20,000 in-kind technical support from ORNL

Steven Rogers, The Energy Conservatory,

The JUMP challenge was a great opportunity for our company to collaborate with other organizations to adapt an existing product for a wider market by focusing on manufacturability. — Steven Rogers

THE CHALLENGE: Develop a new air flow measurement tool or system to measure total system airflow across an indoor ducted furnace, heat pump, or central AC system. The tool should be easy to use by a trained technician with average total set up and testing time less than 20 minutes. The measured airflow should meet or exceed an accuracy of +/- 7% and the total first cost to the service contractors should be less than $100. The tool or system should be capable of measuring 0 to 2000 cfm typical of residential HVAC air flow range and could be an actual physical device or an advanced algorithm using other available system data to accurately approximate a measured value.


THE IDEA/SOLUTION:The Energy Conservatory’s filter slot flowmeter which features an array of sensing points.


  • $3,000 cash award from Emerson
  • Up to $20,000 in-kind technical support from ORNL.

Gene Yang, mechanism designer with a particular focus on pumps and compressors

JUMP is a great bridge between inventors and enterprises. This platform provides opportunities to everyone, so dreams will not only be dreams, but reality. JUMP is the door to opportunities and success — Gene Yang

THE CHALLENGE: Identify a new compression technology or improvements in current compression technology to reach significantly higher efficiencies. The compressor cooling capacity should be in the range of 2-5 Tons and the compressor footprint should be equivalent to current compressors. The compressor efficiency level required is at least 80% at typical operating conditions.


THE IDEA/SOLUTION: A simple mechanism which can easily create a fluid diversion at any rotation spot and even at very low r.p.m, and which also permits more flexibility in the choice of lubricating oil and working temperature.


  • Patents granted
  • Currently conducting tests and gathering data
  • In discussions with ORNL and Honeywell on collaborative commercialization opportunities.

SCOT DUNCAN, ROI Engineering,

We are thankful to the energy efficiency team at NASA Houston, who pushed us to enter the [FEMP JUMP] competition, and to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who provided us the ability to test the technology in real world applications. Because of that support, we are on the verge of commercializing a technology that can substantially cut energy waste and solve the relative humidity control problem and create healthier buildings at the same time. — Scot Duncan

THE CHALLENGE: Identify near commercialization or newly commercialized innovative energy saving technologies that are currently underutilized in the federal building space.


THE IDEA/SOLUTION: A High-Efficiency Dehumidification System, (HEDS), which has shown significant energy savings in dehumidification and relative humidity control processes at two Department of Defense test sites. HEDS is a very simple, yet effective, technology which can control RH while reducing energy and lifecycle costs.


  • Up to $50,000 in-kind technical support from ORNL for validation, evaluation and analysis of the technology and its energy savings potential.


The problem is that very few inventors are successful and it is difficult to know where to begin. As an individual, JUMP is the platform I was looking for to express my creativity and innovate with collaborators. — Benjamin Knopp

Benjamin has a background in residential energy efficiency.

THE CHALLENGE: Using a 50 gallon water heater, deliver an equivalent amount of hot water as one with a 65 or 80 gallon tank, without increasing water storage temperature


THE IDEA/SOLUTION: Embed the cold water dip tube in a phase change material (PCM) inside the tank so that as cold water flows down the dip tube it absorbs heat stored in the PCM, thus increasing the hot water supplied by the water heater.


  • $5,000 cash award from AO Smith
  • Non Disclosure Agreements are being negotiated
  • Patent pending
  • Water Heater supplied by A.O. Smith for the prototype
  • $20K in-kind technical support from ORNL for prototype


JUMP includes the follow up activities required to further develop the ideas and transfer them into practice. — Joe Geddes

Joe is a consultant and entrepreneur, who most recently launched a startup company in the field of holographic lithography.

THE CHALLENGE: Develop a low-cost defrost system to remove ice from a refrigerator evaporator; system is spark resistant and surface temperatures do not exceed 680°F


THE IDEA/SOLUTION: Use light emitting diode arrays to transfer radiant energy to the ice without requiring heating above 680°F.


  • Collaborating with GE refrigeration on building a prototype
  • Interested in advancing the technology with GE and ORNL


The JUMP Call for Innovation sparked our imagination to extend the use of our sensors beyond typical applications. — Rande Cherry

Rande, Chris, and Tom launched FluxTeq a year and a half ago, with the goal of manufacturing cost-effective sensors for various applications.

THE CHALLENGE: Develop a new BTU sensor that, when compared to traditional BTU meters, has an error of less than 10% full scale and an installed cost of less than 20%


THE IDEA/SOLUTION: Use a heat flux sensor to measure the thermal energy lost from the surface of a duct or pipe. When combined with two other temperature measurements inside and outside the pipe, BTUs can be calculated.


  • Submitted an SBIR application for additional funding
  • Currently developing a prototype and investigating commercialization opportunities
  • $15K in-kind technical support from ORNL