To support the Research Support Facility's (RSF) net zero energy goals, NREL’s data center was designed to minimize energy its footprint, without compromising service quality for NREL staff. NREL’s information technology (IT) and building technologies experts were engaged throughout the design process to integrate data center needs into the RSF design. The approach relied on a whole systems design to ensure the data center would have a symbiotic relationship with building mechanical systems and operations, including staff interaction with IT systems.
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Data center energy efficiency is derived from addressing hardware equipment and infrastructure. Less than half the power used by a typical data centers powers its information technology equipment. The other half goes to support infrastructure, including cooling systems, uninterruptible power supply inefficiencies, power distribution losses, and lighting.
Hines partnered with the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and implement solutions to retrofit existing buildings to reduce energy consumption by at least 30% versus requirements set by 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 North America (IESNA) as part of DOE’s Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) Program.
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.
The Energy Department worked with members of its Better Buildings Alliance and Federal agencies to develop this performance-based manufacturing specification. The specification recommends minimum performance requirements for one or more multiple wireless measurement devices, or sub-meters. The metering system addresses energy consumption; measuring and monitoring granular electric energy consumption data at the panel-level to support the implementation of energy efficiency improvements.
While the availability of “big data” about building energy performance is increasing in response to market demands and public policies, the lack of standard data formats is a significant ongoing barrier to its full utilization. To overcome this barrier, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) developed the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES).
BEDES is designed to enable the exchange, comparison, and combination of empirical information by providing common terms and definitions for data about commercial and residential building’s physical and operational characteristics, energy use, and efficiency measures.
This paper describes the BEDES development process, scope, structure, and plans for implementation and ongoing updates.
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.
On December 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the launch of a new partnership to jump-start zero energy schools across the country. The Zero Energy Schools Accelerator enables states and school districts alike to design, construct, and operate these cutting-edge, energy-saving schools. This press release highlights the importance of the Accelerator by featuring a completed zero energy school, Discovery Elementary in Arlington, Virginia.
Plug loads are often not considered as part of the energy savings measures in Commercial Buildings; however, they can account for up to 50% of the energy used in the building. These loads are numerous and often scattered throughout a building. Some of these loads are purchased by the owner and some designed into the building or the tenant finishes for a space.
7x7x7: Design Energy Water is an innovative program by the Division of the State Architect that encouraged California school districts to develop long-range master plans that reduce energy and water consumption on campuses and improve the quality of educational spaces. The State Architect engages seven architectural firms to develop seven conceptual case studies that reduce school energy and water consumption and result in better learning environments on seven different types of campuses (six K-12 schools and a community college). The seven campuses are representative of typical building types from different eras constructed across California’s varied climate zones. The purpose and primary goal of this program is to enable all existing K-14 facilities to be zero energy by 2030.