This publication details the design, implementation strategies, and continuous performance monitoring of NREL's Research Support Facility data center.
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Few third-party guidance documents or tools are available for evaluating thermal energy storage (TES) integrated with packaged air conditioning (AC), as this type of TES is relatively new compared to TES integrated with chillers or hot water systems. To address this gap, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a project to improve the ability of potential technology adopters to evaluate TES technologies. Major project outcomes included: development of an evaluation framework to describe key metrics, methodologies, and issues to consider when assessing the performance of TES systems integrated with packaged AC; application of multiple concepts from the evaluation framework to analyze performance data from four demonstration sites; and production of a new simulation capability that enables modeling of TES integrated with packaged AC in EnergyPlus. This report includes the evaluation framework and analysis results from the project.
OpenStudio development efforts have been focused on providing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) where users are able to extend OpenStudio without the need to compile the open source libraries. This paper will discuss the basic purposes and functionalities of the core libraries that have been wrapped with APIs including the Building Model, Results Processing, Advanced Analysis, Uncertainty Quantification, and Data Interoperability through Translators. Several building energy modeling applications have been produced using OpenStudio's API and Software Development Kits (SDK) including the United States Department of Energy's Asset ScoreCalculator, a mobile-based audit tool, an energy design assistance reporting protocol, and a portfolio scale incentive optimization analysis methodology. Each of these software applications will be discussed briefly and will describe how the APIs were leveraged for various uses including high-level modeling, data transformations from detailed building audits, error checking/quality assurance of models, and use of high-performance computing for mass simulations.
This paper will discuss the Building Agent™ platform, which has been developed and deployed in a campus setting at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Building Agent™ provides aggregated and coherent access to building data, including electric energy, thermal energy, temperatures, humidity, and lighting levels, and occupant feedback, which are displayed in various manners for visitors, building occupants, facility managers, and researchers. This paper focuses on the development of visualizations for facility managers, or an energy performance assurance role, where metered data are used to generate models that provide live predicted ranges of building performance by end use.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technology Office (DOE’s BTO), with help from the Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) members, developed a specification (RTU Challenge) for high performance rooftop air-conditioning units with capacity ranges between 10 and 20 tons (DOE 2013). Daikin’s Rebel was the first rooftop unit system recognized by DOE in May 2012 as meeting the RTU Challenge specifications. This report documents the development of part-load performance curves and there use with the EnergyPlus simulation tool to estimate the potential savings from the use of Rebel units compared to other standard options.
This multi-year research study was initiated to find solutions to improve packaged heating and cooling equipment operating efficiency in the field. Packaged heating and cooling equipment with constant speed supply fans is designed to provide ventilation at the design rate at all times when the fan is operating and when the building is occupied as required by building code. Although there are a number of hours during the day when a building may not be fully occupied or the need for ventilation is lower than designed, the ventilation rate cannot be adjusted easily with a constant speed fan. Therefore, modulating the supply fan in conjunction with demand controlled ventilation (DCV) will not only reduce the heating/cooling energy but also reduce the fan energy. The objective of this multi-year RD&D project was to determine the magnitude of energy savings achievable by retrofitting existing packaged rooftop air units (RTUs) with advanced control strategies not ordinarily used for RTUs.
Packaged cooling equipment, including packaged air-conditioning units and heat pumps, is used in 46% of all commercial buildings, serving over 60% of the commercial building floor space in the U.S. The annual electricity consumption associated with packaged equipment for cooling and ventilation is about 571 trillion Btus for site energy or 1,770 trillion Btus for source energy. Therefore, even a small increase in the part-load efficiency of these units can lead to significant reductions in energy use and cost. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Building Technologies Program (BTP), evaluated a number of control strategies that can be implemented in an advanced controller, which can be retrofit into existing packaged heat pump units to improve their operational efficiency.
The purpose of this report is to take a closer look at experience with on-bill financing programs and to analyze key elements for successful programs as well as factors that may impede the achievement of optimal results.
As part of its overall strategy to meet its energy goals, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) partnered with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to rapidly demonstrate and deploy cost-effective renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. This project was one of several demonstrations of new or underutilized commercial energy technologies. The common goal was to demonstrate and measure the performance and economic benefit of the system while monitoring any ancillary impacts to related standards of service and operation and maintenance (O&M) practices. In short, demonstrations at naval facilities simultaneously evaluate the benefits and compatibility of the technology with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) mission, and with NAVFAC’s design, construction, operations, and maintenance practices, in particular.
This decision tree provides information on saving money by implementing advanced power strips and provides specific information on cost, features, drawbacks, and what to look for when purchasing an advanced power strip.