Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Building Technologies Program (BTP) evaluated a number of control strategies that can be implemented in a controller, to improve the operational efficiency of the packaged air conditioning units. The two primary objectives of this research project are: 1) determine the magnitude of energy savings achievable by retrofitting existing packaged air conditioning units with advanced control strategies not ordinarily used for packaged units and 2) estimating what the installed cost of a replacement control with the desired features should be in various regions of the U.S. This document reports results of the study.
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Miscellaneous electrical loads (MELs) are building loads that are not related to general lighting, heating, ventilation, cooling, and water heating, and typically do not provide comfort to the building occupants. MELs in commercial buildings account for almost 5% of U.S. primary energy consumption. On an individual building level, they account for approximately 25% of the total electrical load in a minimally code-compliant commercial building, and can exceed 50% in an ultra-high efficiency building such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Research Support Facility (RSF). Minimizing these loads is a primary challenge in the design and operation of an energy-efficient building. A complex array of technologies that measure and manage MELs has emerged in the marketplace. Some fall short of manufacturer performance claims, however. NREL has been actively engaged in developing an evaluation and selection process for MELs control, and is using this process to evaluate a range of technologies for active MELs management that will cap RSF plug loads. Using a control strategy to match plug load use to users' required job functions is a huge untapped potential for energy savings.
This report outlines the technical protocol used to generate Department of Energy's Commercial Building Energy Asset Score for commercial buildings, explains the scoring methodology, and provides additional details regarding the Asset Scoring Tool. This report also describes alternative methods that were considered prior to developing the current approach. Finally, this report describes a few features of the program where alternative approaches are still under evaluation.