Plug and process loads (PPLs) in commercial buildings account for almost 5% of U.S. primary energy consumption. Minimizing these loads is a primary challenge in the design and operation of an energy-efficient building. PPLs are not related to general lighting, heating, ventilation, cooling, and water heating, and typically do not provide comfort to the occupants. They use an increasingly large fraction of the building energy use pie because the number and variety of electrical devices have increased along with building system efficiency. Reducing PPLs is difficult because energy efficiency opportunities and the equipment needed to address PPL energy use in office spaces are poorly understood.
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This publication details the design, implementation strategies, and continuous performance monitoring of NREL's Research Support Facility data center.
This case study details the design and operations of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Research Support Facility data center and its contributions to energy efficiency.
Plug and process loads in commercial buildings account for 5% of U.S. primary energy consumption. Minimizing these loads is a primary challenge in the design and operation of an energy-efficient building.
This fact sheet summarizes recommendations for designing elementary, middle, and high school buildings that will result in 50% less energy use than conventional new schools built to minimum code requirements. The recommendations are drawn from the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings, an ASHRAE publication that provides comprehensive recommendations for designing low-energy-use school buildings.
Designed as a stand-alone document, this fact sheet provides key principles and a set of prescriptive design recommendations appropriate for smaller schools with insufficient budgets to fully implement best practices for integrated design and optimized performance. The recommendations have undergone a thorough analysis and review process through ASHRAE, and have been deemed an easily replicable combination of measures to achieve 50% savings in K-12 schools.
"Zero Net Energy (ZNE) is the future, and in a growing number of places the present, of building design and energy policy. A growing strategy to get to ZNE is to separate the building’s heating/cooling from the ventilation/dehumidification. Design firms and owners are striving to meet heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) loads with optimum comfort and minimal energy. Radiant systems can provide heating and cooling through pipes while ventilation and any humidity control requirements are efficiently met by a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS). This guide provides an overview of Radiant Heating and Cooling + DOAS systems."
This paper documents the methodology developed to identify and reduce plug and process loads (PPLs) as part of NREL's Research Support Facility's (RSF) low energy design process. PPLs, including elevators, kitchen equipment in breakrooms, and office equipment in NREL’s previously occupied office spaces were examined to determine a baseline. This, along with research into the most energy-efficient products and practices, enabled the formulation of a reduction strategy that should yield a 47% reduction in PPLs. The building owner and the design team played equally important roles in developing and implementing opportunities to reduce PPLs. Based on the work done in the RSF, a generalized multistep process has been developed for application to other buildings.