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.
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.
Cooling loads must be dramatically reduced when designing net-zero energy buildings or other highly efficient facilities. Advances in this area have focused primarily on reducing a building’s sensible cooling loads by improving the envelope, integrating properly sized daylighting systems, adding exterior solar shading devices, and reducing internal heat gains. As sensible loads decrease, however, latent loads remain relatively constant, and thus become a greater fraction of the overall cooling requirement in highly efficient building designs, particularly in humid climates. This shift toward latent cooling is a challenge for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Traditional systems typically dehumidify by first overcooling air below the dew-point temperature and then reheating it to an appropriate supply temperature, which requires an excessive amount of energy. Another dehumidification strategy incorporates solid desiccant rotors that remove water from air more efficiently; however, these systems are large and increase fan energy consumption due to the increased airside pressure drop of solid desiccant rotors. A third dehumidification strategy involves high flow liquid desiccant systems. These systems require a high maintenance separator to protect the air distribution system from corrosive desiccant droplet carryover and so are more commonly used in industrial applications and rarely in commercial buildings. Both solid desiccant systems and most high-flow liquid desiccant systems (if not internally cooled) add sensible energy which must later be removed to the air stream during dehumidification, through the release of sensible heat during the sorption process.
"The National Renewable Energy Laboratory investigated the technical feasibility of installing GSHP systems at PNSY. A well-designed, installed, and maintained GSHP system will work for many decades, and a closed-loop system especially does not pose a threat to the environment."
An object-oriented program that allows the user to quickly build models of complex physical processes by connecting equation-based calculation modules from an object library. SPARK (Simulation Problem Analysis and Research Kernel) creates an executable simulation program from this network ready to be run.
COMCheck addresses the enforceable provisions in commercial building energy codes based on ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1989/1999 and IECC 1998, 2000 and 2001 that are applicable to commercial and high-rise residential projects, including building envelope, lighting, HVAC, and service water heating requirements. The software is designed to streamline the energy code compliance and approval process and is focused on the needs of those who design, build, and enforce building codes for commercial and high-rise residential building projects. It is available in Windows, Mac, and Web versions.
The UAC Cost Estimator provides an alternative to complicated building simulation models, while offering more detail than simplified estimating tools that are commonly available. The estimator accounts for local climate and partial-load, as well as full-load efficiencies. It also helps building owners and operators as they purchase or replace packaged rooftop air conditioning equipment by estimating a product's lifetime energy cost savings at various efficiency levels.
The Outdoor Air Economizer (OAE) diagnostic module monitors the performance of air-handling units and can detect over 20 different basic operation problems with outside-air control and economizer operation.