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 report discusses miscellaneous electrical loads, which are building loads that are not related to general lighting, heating, ventilation, cooling, and water heating, and typically do not provide comfort to the occupants. MELs in commercial buildings account for almost 5% of U.S. primary energy consumption.
Kohl’s partnered with the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and implement solutions to retrofit existing buildings to reduce annual energy consumption by at least 30% versus requirements set by Energy Standard 90.1-2004 of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Illuminating Engineering Society of America (IESNA) as part of DOE’s Commercial Building Partnership (CBP) program. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provided technical expertise in support of this DOE program. Kohl’s retrofitted a 17 year-old, single-story 87,000 sq. ft store in Niles, Ohio. Kohl’s also designated the store as a DOE Better Buildings Challenge showcase store.
This project was part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Commercial Buildings Partnerships. Companies and organizations, selected through a competitive process, teamed with DOE, national laboratory staff, and technical experts from the private sector who provided technical expertise to explore energy-saving ideas and strategies that were applied to specific building projects and that could be replicated across the market. The work presented here focuses on reducing energy use in supermarkets.
NREL contracted with the Energy Center of Wisconsin to review the Commercial Building Partnerships projects and identify and compile the best practices for ten energy conservation measures that were tested in those projects. The resulting compilation is presented in this report.
To maximize the respective benefits of open- and closed-loop systems, and minimize their limitations, the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) developed a dual-loop photosensor control system for skylight applications. The system features a control algorithm that monitors the open- and closed-loop photosensors and controls the electric light to provide the designed light level. It also automatically recalibrates nightly to adjust to long-term changes to the interior space. Results show the dual-loop technology delivers more consistent lighting and greater energy savings.
The California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program sponsored development of bi-level parking garage luminaires for the University of California, Davis that integrate intelligent controls with bi-level electronic drivers or ballasts to control light output based on garage occupancy. Luminaires operate at a reduced level during vacancy and switch to full light output upon occupancy. Many of the products may be combined with traditional photocontrols to maximize energy savings.