This guide is intended for anyone investigating the addition of energy storage to a single or multiple commercial buildings. This guide covers the basics of energy storage, potential benefits for facilities, and procurement options.
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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.
"Passive solar can make windows energy producers instead of energy liabilities."
DOE’s Better Buildings Alliance has resources for controlling plug and
process loads in commercial buildings, and the strategies on their website can be applied to schools.
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.
An analysis of the energy and environmental consequences of pavement materials and construction, with comparison to the much larger building energy savings that can be achieved from cool roofs.
The Recreation Center Efficiency Solutions Package aims to support municipalities nationwide with selecting efficiency improvements to reduce energy and water use at existing recreation centers by at least 20%. This toolkit is a product of a collaboration between the City of Atlanta and Southface Energy Institute. This package intends to inform local municipalities on how to approach conserving energy and water, and implementing institutional efficiency policies across a portfolio of recreation centers.
This 17-page guide from the Rocky Mountain Institute and Johnson Controls recommends 8 steps to achieve net zero energy in existing buildings. Four case studies are used to illustrate the concepts.
Richardsville Elementary School is the first full-scale zero energy K-12 school in the United States. The school building, located in Kentucky's Warren County Public School District, uses many innovative strategies to conserve energy including dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) with dynamic reset, insulated concrete form (ICF) wall construction, daylighting, and ground source heat pumps, among others. The school has both thin film and crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels.
Sandy Grove Middle School is designed to be the nation's first leased public school designed as a zero energy & LEED Platinum building. The building incorporates energy efficiency features such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, advanced envelope strategies, LED interior and exterior lighting, and renewable energy generation provided by roof-mounted PV panels. The building was constructed by a public-private partnership: a private company (First Floor K-12) financed and owns the building, while the local school district (Hoke County Schools) leases the school.