This case study details the very successful Walgreens proactive RTU replacement program that has resulted in 50% efficiency improvements. The streamlined process allows Walgreens to reduce installed cooling capacity, increase RTU efficiency, provide improved service, and reduce overall costs compared to emergency replacements.
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JCPenney saved over 47 million kWh and $5 million with variable frequency drive retrofits of rooftop units across 131 stores. The case study describes the decision process and results of this successful program.
The case study details how the U.S. Navy saved over 100 MWh annually with five year payback by installing advanced RTU control retrofit packages at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In FY14, BTO funded PNNL to develop and integrate AFDD methods for both air-side and refrigerant-side fault detection and diagnostics with one of the leading advanced RTU controllers sold in the market today. The work also includes testing and validating the integrated solution in the field. If the results from the field demonstrations show reliable fault diagnostics, it will encourage utilities to provide incentives to pursue the integrated technology because it makes the retrofit controller more cost effective and could make market adoption of the retrofit controller even more attractive to building owners.
Seven AFDD algorithms were developed, deployed and tested on the RTU controller for detecting and diagnosing faults with RTU economizer and ventilation operations using sensors that are commonly installed for advanced control purposes.
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). In April 2013, Carrier’s 10-ton WeatherExpert unit model was recognized by DOE to have met the RTU Challenge specifications. Carrier also committed to have its entire line of WeatherExpert models for commercial buildings compliant with integrated energy efficiency ratio (IEER) meeting the RTU Challenge requirement. This report documents the development of part-load performance curves and their use with the EnergyPlus simulation tool to estimate the potential savings from the use of WeatherExpert units compared to other standard options.
A detailed EnergyPlus model was developed for a prototypical big-box retail store. The model used the performance curves from the new model along with detailed energy management control code to estimate the energy consumption of the prototypical big-box retail store in three locations. The energy consumption by the big-box store was then compared to a store that used three different reference units. The first reference unit (Reference 1) represents existing rooftop units (RTUs) in the field, so it can be considered the baseline to estimate potential energy savings from other RTU replacement options. The second reference unit (Reference 2) represents RTUs in the market that just meet the current (2015) Federal regulations for commercial equipment standards, so it can be used as the baseline to estimate the potential for energy savings from WeatherExpert units in comparison with new RTUs that meet the minimum efficiency requirements. The third reference unit (Reference 3) represents units that meet ASHRAE 90.1-2010 requirements. For RTUs with cooling capacity greater than 11,000 Btu/h, ASHRAE 90.1-2010 (ASHRAE 2010) requires two-speed fan control or variable-speed fan control.
The following conclusion can be drawn about the comparison of energy cost for WeatherExpert unit compared to the three reference units:
• Using Reference 1 as the baseline, WeatherExpert units result in about 45% lower heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) energy cost in Houston, 55% lower cost in Los Angeles, and 35% lower cost in Chicago. The percentage savings of electricity cost is more than 50% for all three locations.
• Using Reference 2 as the baseline, WeatherExpert units result in about 39% lower HVAC energy cost in Houston, 52% lower cost in Los Angeles, and 32% lower cost in Chicago. The percentage savings of electricity cost is 44%, 55%, and 57%, respectively for the three locations.
• Using Reference 3 as the baseline, WeatherExpert units result in about 25% lower HVAC energy cost in Houston, 35% lower cost in Los Angeles, and 18% lower cost in Chicago. The percentage savings of electricity cost is 29%, 38%, and 37%, respectively.
Based on the simulation results, the WeatherExpert RTU Challenge unit, if widely adopted, could lead to significant energy, cost and emission reductions. Because the cost of these units was not available and because the costs would be specific to a given installation, no attempt was made to estimate the potential payback periods associated with any of the three reference scenarios. However, if the incremental cost relative to any of the three reference cases is known, one can easily estimate a simple payback period.
Over the course of 5 years, NREL worked with commercial building owners and their design teams in the DOE Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) to cut energy consumption by 50% in new construction (versus code) and by 30% in existing building pilot projects (versus code or pre-retrofit operational energy use depending on the preference of the Partner) using strategies that could be replicated across their building portfolios. A number of different building types were addressed, including supermarket, retail merchandise, combination big box (general merchandise and food sales), high rise office space, and warehouse. The projects began in pre-design and included a year of measurement data to evaluate performance against design expectations. Focused attention was required throughout the entire process to achieve a design with the potential to hit the energy performance target and to operate the resulting building to reach this potential. This paper will report quantitative results and cover both the technical and the human sides of CBP, including the elements that were required to succeed and where stumbling blocks were encountered. It will also address the impact of energy performance goals and intensive energy modeling on the design process innovations and best practices.
This fact sheet summarizes recommendations for designing new office buildings that result in 50% less energy use than conventional designs meeting minimum code requirements. The recommendations are drawn from the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings, an ASHRAE publication that provides comprehensive recommendations for designing low-energy-use office buildings with gross floor areas up to 100,000 ft2.
Designed as a stand-alone document, this fact sheet provides key principles and a set of prescriptive design recommendations appropriate for smaller
office buildings with insufficient budgets to fully implement best practices for integrated design and optimized performance. The recommendations have undergone a thorough analysis and review process through ASHRAE, and have been deemed an easily replicable combination of measures to achieve 50% savings in the greatest number of office buildings.
This fact sheet summarizes recommendations for designing elementary, middle, and high school buildings that will result in 50% less energy use than conventional new schools built to minimum code requirements. The recommendations are drawn from the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings, an ASHRAE publication that provides comprehensive recommendations for designing low-energy-use school buildings.
Designed as a stand-alone document, this fact sheet provides key principles and a set of prescriptive design recommendations appropriate for smaller schools with insufficient budgets to fully implement best practices for integrated design and optimized performance. The recommendations have undergone a thorough analysis and review process through ASHRAE, and have been deemed an easily replicable combination of measures to achieve 50% savings in K-12 schools.
This project was part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Commercial Buildings Partnerships. Companies and organizations, selected through a competitive process, teamed with DOE, national laboratory staff, and technical experts from the private sector who provided technical expertise to explore energy-saving ideas and strategies that were applied to specific building projects and that could be replicated across the market. The work presented here focuses on reducing energy use in supermarkets.
NREL contracted with the Energy Center of Wisconsin to review the Commercial Building Partnerships projects and identify and compile the best practices for ten energy conservation measures that were tested in those projects. The resulting compilation is presented in this report.