This case study describes the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) data center as a showcase of energy efficiency. Most of what NREL has done can be replicated by clients; however, two design approaches are climate-dependent: near-full reliance on outside air for cooling, and photovoltaic arrays for power.
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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.
An energy-efficient data center includes targets for its power usage effectiveness (<1.2) and energy resource efficiency (< 0.9). It should be designed with hot isle–cold isle separation, use free cooling (economizer) and evaporative cooling when available, minimize fan energy, and use the most energy-efficient equipment possible.
This case study highlights the design, implementation strategies, and continuous performance monitoring of NREL's Research Support Facility data center.
Energy savings can be achieved in corridors and other secondary spaces with an occupancy-based adaptive lighting system. Such a system is generally composed of occupancy sensors, dimmable ballasts and a communication platform. The system automatically lowers light levels to the minimum footcandles required by safety codes during vacancy and raises light output to the recommended level for occupant comfort during occupied periods. The adaptive lighting system installed at the Latham Square office building is based on Lutron’s Energi TriPak solution, a stand-alone platform for adaptive lighting that employs cost-effective wireless control devices and programmable dimming ballasts.
The California Lighting Technology Center partnered with Finelite, Inc. and Adura Technologies to develop and demonstrate a unique, wireless task/ambient office lighting solution ideally suited for the retrofit market. The system consists of two key elements: a task/ambient lighting system and advanced, wireless lighting controls. The combination substantially reduce energy use and improves lighting quality, and provides personal lighting control for individual work spaces, and does not require additional wiring or rewiring of existing luminaries or lighting circuits. The system has three specific components: adaptive ambient lighting, light-emitting diode task lighting, and wireless controls.
In 2012, University of California Davis upgraded its exterior lighting as part of the university’s Smart Lighting Initiative. Wall packs on campus, like other exterior lighting fixtures, were retrofitted with dimmable LED sources, motion sensors, and wireless controls. This allowed the units to be incorporated into an adaptive campus-wide lighting control system. The system offers an intelligent, networked approach to lighting and energy management with improved lighting quality and optimal energy efficiency.
In the summer of 2010 the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) and Philips Hadco produced a bi-level solution that combined a dimmable LED source and a mounting collar equipped with occupancy sensors. The collar provides 360-degree occupancy sensor coverage. This demonstration involved whole-head replacement of the existing luminaires, but results could also be achieved with a retrofit kit. The new luminaires feature good color quality, improved efficiency and a longer lifespan. Adaptive controls enable the bi-level luminaires to reduce power to 50% during vacant periods and increase to 100% light output when occupants approach. Switching between the two light levels maintains adequate light for security and wayfinding while maximizing energy savings.
Sinisa Novakovic, owner of Mishka’s café in downtown Davis, had two goals for the recent lighting upgrade in his café: create a cozy, inviting atmosphere for customers and save energy. In the main seating area alone he was able to cut his lighting energy use 85% by upgrading to LED lighting. Throughout the rest of the café, energy consumption for lighting has been cut in half, reducing Mishka’s annual energy use by over 10,000 kWh and saving Novakovic nearly $2,000 every year in energy costs. The lighting upgrade will have paid for itself after just eight months.