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 article, published in High Performance Buildings Magazine, presents the process used for delivering NREL's Research Support Facility (RSF) as a replicable blueprint to achieve a large reduction in building energy use and to adopt a net zero energy approach for large-scale commercial buildings (ZEB) without increasing cost.
This case study describes National Renewable Energy Laboratory efforts design a world-class, energy-efficient data center to support the operations of a new office building. These efforts resulted in a highly efficient data center that demonstrated considerable energy savings in its first 11 months of operations. Using legacy data center performance as a baseline, the new facility cut energy use by nearly 1.45 million kWh, delivering cost savings of approximately $82,000.
This resource provides energy models from the Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for Large Hospitals that have been incorporated into Building Component Library (BCL). The AEDG series provides design guidance for buildings that use 50% less energy than those built to the requirements of the ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2004 commercial code, and are specific to prominent building types across each of the eight U.S. climate zones. More information on the AEDGs can be found at http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/advanced-energy-design-guides and http://www.ashrae.org/aedg.The Building Component Library (BCL) is the U.S. Department of Energy’s comprehensive online searchable library of energy modeling building blocks and descriptive metadata. Novice users and seasoned practitioners can use the freely available and uniquely identifiable components to create energy models and cite the sources of input data, which will increase the credibility and reproducibility of their simulations. More information about the BCL can be found at https://bcl.nrel.gov.
These models are EnergyPlus version 7.0 and were completed in 2012. A Technical Support Document (TSD) that details these models can be found at http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/52588.pdf. This Technical Support Document describes the process and methodology for the development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Large Hospitals: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Energy Building (AEDG-LH). The AEDG-LH is intended to provide recommendations for achieving 50% whole-building energy savings in large hospitals over levels achieved by following Standard 90.1-2004. The AEDG-LH was created for a 'standard' mid- to large-size hospital, typically at least 100,000 square feet, but the strategies apply to all sizes and classifications of new construction hospital buildings. Its primary focus is new construction, but recommendations may be applicable to facilities undergoing total renovation, and in part to many other hospital renovation, addition, remodeling, and modernization projects (including changes to one or more systems in existing buildings).
EnergyPlus input data files from the 50% energy savings Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for Small to Medium Office Buildings.
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.
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.