Category Archives: Industry Educational Resources

Case Studies Illuminate Energy Management System Savings

Case Studies Illuminate Energy Management System Savings By: William Opalka- Energy Manager Today

Nissan

The business value of energy management systems and strategies is displayed in a series of case studies from the Global Superior Energy Performance (GSEP) Energy Management Working Group (EMWG).

The case studies consider the outcomes for several companies in Australia and the United States. In one case, the strategy revealed annual energy savings of about 10 percent. In another, the payback occurred in as little as four months.

The case study from the United States examines the costs and benefits of implementing ISO 50001 as part of the US Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program. The Nissan vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, implemented an energy management system that conforms to ISO 50001 and improved the plant’s energy performance by about 7.2 percent to obtain SEP certification. The system will save the facility $938,000 annually, enabling Nissan to recoup its $331,000 investment in just four months.

The case studies are the first in a series being published by GSEP, an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, to promote energy management as an opportunity for organizations to significantly reduce energy use while maintaining or boosting productivity.

The industrial and commercial sectors jointly account for approximately 60 percent of global energy use. The Australian companies with their case studies include:

AngloGold Ashanti Australia’s crushing and milling operations save an estimated 50 gigajoules of energy annually;

Billiton Worsley Alumina’s advanced process management system is expected to pay for itself in seven months;

Simplot Australia introduced a program that aims to reduce plant energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period; and

the University of Queensland expanded its energy metering system, which will lead to improved efficiency of its chillers to reduce energy usage by 20 percent.

REI Saves 93% on Data Center Energy with Evaporative Cooling

REI Saves 93% on Data Center Energy with Evaporative Cooling By: Linda Hardesty- Energy Manager Today

The system reduces the need for mechanical cooling nearly year-round, or about 8,672 hours annually.

In addition to rooftop cooling technology, the retrofit included upgraded backup battery banks, removal of old power distribution units, installation of floor brush barriers and curtain systems to contain cold air in critical areas, upgraded software to the backup power systems, and rewiring subfloor cabling to optimize airflow under the raised floor.

Because of the efficiencies gained, REI also reconfigured its redundant power supply.

REI’s data center, which houses servers and backup systems for computers, software systems, REI.com and point of sale for its 132 stores in 33 states, is saving enough with the retrofit to power six REI stores – 2.2 million kWh each year. Improved efficiencies also mean improved business resiliency and stability in the event of a regional power outage, says the company.

The project was completed in partnership with CLEAResult, an energy efficiency firm based in Austin, Texas, and Puget Sound Energy.

The retrofit was recognized by the Association of Energy Engineers as the Region V Energy Project of the Year for 2013.

Across its business, REI limits increases to its energy use through renewable resources, efficiency projects and self-generation investments such as solar technology. Last year, with overall company growth of 7.4 percent, REI’s total energy use was essentially flat despite adding five new stores.

 

Building Code Revision Launches In California Toward Zero Net Energy Buildings

Building Code Revision Launches In California Toward Zero Net Energy Buildings Article By: Bill Roth at Triple Pundit

Starting in 2014, California is implementing a tsunami of building code revisions called Title Zero Net Energy Buildings24. These revised building codes will move California’s residential and commercial buildings toward Zero Net Energy (ZNE). In a ZNE building, the annual energy consumption is equal to its annual production of renewable energy. Under Title 24, all new residential construction is to be ZNE by 2020 with all new commercial buildings achieving this ZNE goal by 2030.

Title 24 moves building design toward “comprehensive building solutions.” This building design approach first focuses upon reducing energy consumption through the integration of smart and energy efficient technologies. The final design step after reducing the building’s energy consumption is to install onsite renewable energy generation like solar panels.

Existing California buildings heading toward ZNE, too

As these new codes are being analyzed by the construction and real estate industries, there is a growing realization that Title 24 will apply to existing buildings that implement threshold-sized remodeling or repurposing construction projects. In addition, California’s Governor Jerry Brown has authorized through an executive order that state agencies shall take measures towards achieving ZNE for 50 percent of the square footage of existing state-owned buildings by 2025.

Major shift in utility financial incentives

In coordination with these code revisions, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) is revising the financial incentives offered through utilities to encourage energy efficiency investments by building owners. The CPUC is reducing or eliminating past financial incentives for energy efficiency investments that are now mandated by Title 24. In 2014, a new set of financial incentives are being launched that support comprehensive building solutions.

Title 24′s increased focus on plug-in controls

Plug-in loads like computers, mobile phones, tablets, TVs, refrigerators, lamps, etc. have grown to represent at least one-third of the electricity consumption in a commercial or residential building. To address the growth in plug-in loads, Title 24 will require that all 120-volt receptacles be controlled. This will enable electrical loads like computers and printers to be truly turned off at the receptacle. Turning power off at the receptacle will reduce “phantom power consumption” where electronics continue to draw power even when their users have turned them “off.” These control systems will also enable smarter building operations that will allow for demand reduction actions during critical-peak electricity supply time periods.

Title 24′s lighting revolution

Title 24 will also accelerate deployment of more efficient lighting technologies and their integration into a smart building. Title 24 codifies the integration of electric lighting and natural lighting as a comprehensive (and lower energy consumption) building solution. For example, Title 24 mandates automated daylighting. Automated daylighting uses sensors to measure the amount of natural light available in a monitored space and then uses this data to adjust electric lighting to achieve a targeted cumulative illumination level. The obvious benefit is lower electric bills by reducing electric lighting use in spaces that are adequately lit by daylighting. The other key benefit is reduced greenhouse gas emissions if the building’s lighting is supplied from fossil-fueled generators.

Another significant Title 24 lighting change is the requirement that non-residential buildings over 10,000 sq. ft. have automated demand response lighting systems. These demand response lighting systems will receive signals from utility smart meters or similar communication sources when the electricity grid is reaching a critical peak supply period. Under Title 24, when the automated demand response lighting system receives a critical peak signal, it will initiate pre-programmed reductions of at least 15 percent.

Click here for a summary of key links to government agencies and more information on Title 24.

For trade professionals, this is a valuable link to itemized details on code revisions, related building lighting, building envelop, mechanical, process loads and solar.

California’s big bet on smart, clean and renewable technologies

Title 24 is yet another big bet being placed by California that smarter, cleaner and renewable technologies will be the business winners of the 21st century. Unlike most other states, California does offer reduced taxes and direct financial incentives to win the relocation or new construction of manufacturing or industrial plants. California’s economic development strategy uses the State’s massive buying power as the ninth largest economy in the world to create a market demand for technology innovations that have produced successes like Google, Twitter and Solar City.

For example, California’s A Million Solar Roofs program that offered financial incentives for the installation of rooftop solar systems has accelerated economies of scale that have driven solar panel prices below $1 per watt. The result is solar power prices that are increasingly competitive with grid-supplied electricity and, in most cases, will lower electric bills for consumers that install rooftop solar systems. California used this same strategy to generate sales for hybrid cars like the Prius and is using this strategy to drive the sales growth of electric-hybrid and electric cars including the Tesla manufactured in Fremont California.

Title 24 is California’s strategy for growing the economies of scale for energy efficiency technologies to drive down their price to consumers. If Title 24 does create economies of scale for smart and energy efficiency technologies, then California will have sparked a building technology revolution on the same scale as the revolutions now taking place in information technologies, solar power and hybrid/electric cars. The benefits to California will be lower electric bills for consumers and sales growth for the California companies that were on the cutting edge of Title 24′s mass market adoption of ZNE-enabling technologies.

Bill Roth is an economist and the Founder of Earth 2017. He coaches business owners and leaders on proven best practices in pricing, marketing and operations that make money and create a positive difference. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business case studies of pioneering best practices that are proven to win customers and grow product revenues. Follow him on Twitter: @earth2017

This summary draws from Bill Roth’s coaching program for trade professionals entitled “How To Grow Sales From Title 24 Code Revisions” that was conducted on November 5, 2013 at the San Diego Gas & ElectricEnergy Innovation Center

Top 10 Smart Building Myths

Top 10 Smart Building Myths Article By: Energy Manager Today Staff

Property owners may understand the benefits of smart buildings, but often have misconceptions that they are a lot more expensive, are the same as green buildings, or that only new buildings can become smart and industrial facilities can not be made smart buildings. Jones Lang LaSalle’s smart building experts debunk these myths in an effort to explain that their benefits far outweigh their costs and smart buildings are applicable across all categories of buildings.

They list the top 10 myths surrounding smart buildings and clarify what is ground reality.

Myth #10: Smart building technologies are expensive — Not true, says JLL, since owners typically recoup investments within one or two years by achieving energy savings and other operational efficiencies.

Myth #9: Smart buildings are only about energy — Besides energy savings, smart building management systems can also detect when a piece of equipment is close to failure and alert facilities personnel to fix the problem. This can help extend machinery life and lower facility staff, operations and replacement costs, says JLL.  The systems can prevent full-scale building system failures—which JLL points, may be potentially embarrassing for a Superbowl stadium host, but will be life-threatening in a hospital or laboratory.

Myth #8: Smart buildings and green buildings are the same thing —While they may overlap in terms of some features, they’re actually different. Smart buildings maximize energy efficiency and ensure air quality, while a complete sustainability program includes strategies beyond building automation systems.

Myth #7: Industrial facilities or laboratories can’t become smart buildings — They can be built or retrofitted to become highly automated and smart, says JLL.

Myth #6: Smart buildings can only be new buildings — In actuality, some of the smartest buildings in the world are not new, but have demonstrated a return on investment in smart technologies. JLL cites the example of the Empire State Building, which has exceeded projected energy savings for the second consecutive year following an extensive phased retrofit that began in 2009.

Myth #5: Smart building technologies are not interoperable — It may have been the case in the past, when building automation equipment and controls were designed as proprietary systems. But today, with affordable technologies like wireless sensors, it’s possible to gather data from different systems produced by any manufacturer, says JLL.

Myth #4: Smart systems don’t make a building more attractive to tenants — Not true, says JLL. Anything that improves energy efficiency, reduces occupancy cost and boosts productivity is valuable to tenants. Tenants and their advisers increasingly expect smart building features such as zoned heating, ventilation and air conditioning, sophisticated equipment maintenance alert systems and advanced security systems.

Myth #3: Without a municipal smart grid, a building can’t really be smart —  It’s true that smart buildings get better functionality when supported by advanced electrical grids, but even without a smart grid, owners and investors can draw a wide range of benefits from smart buildings and a management system that can monitor entire property portfolios, according to JLL.

Myth #2: Smart buildings are complicated to operate  — In contrast to this widely held perception, when paired with a smart building management system, a smart building is often easier to operate and maintain than a building that lacks automated systems, since it can integrate work-order management applications,  incorporate equipment repair and maintenance data into performance analytics and pinpoint equipment issues to a degree not humanly possible.

Myth #1: Smart buildings are a no-brainer — This is not a myth, but very true says JLL.  As affordable new technologies are adopted, tenants are beginning to expect smart building features and owners and investors are beginning to see a return on investment.

To achieve a low carbon economy, an optimal solution would be to combine smart buildings with a smart grid, says Energy Manager Today columnist Jim McHale, in a post earlier this month. Carbon emissions can be reduced by interfacing smart buildings with the present “smart grid” and providing demand response and distributed energy capability through a combination of advanced buildings energy management systems (BEMS) and enterprise energy management systems (EEM), says McHale.

Managing Building Operations And Improving Energy Efficiency Are Key Components Of LEED V4

Two of the key components of LEED v4 are managing building operations and improving energy efficiency.

Metering is just one aspect of a new emphasis on performance-based evaluation in LEED v4. The updates are structured to help users better understand how to manage building performance and ensure that every building can reach its full potential. Measuring a building’s performance is a dynamic and ongoing process that is accomplished through surveys, audits, testing, and tracking of various building processes and functions. Performance evaluations also provide multiple avenues to earn credits that older buildings may find difficult to achieve due to design limitations.

Demand Response is a new credit that emphasizes LEED v4’s increased focus on integrated building performance. Automated demand response systems dynamically shift and reduce energy use in a building in response to congestion and stress signals from the power grid. To earn this credit, a project must demonstrate that it can reduce or shift energy peak load by 10 percent during a peaking event or provide permanent shifting of electrical loads. Because demand response programs are in the early stages of availability, projects can also earn the credit by putting the infrastructure in place to participate in demand response programs anticipated in the future.

Location and Transportation is now a separate category, with opportunities for projects in densely populated areas to earn credits for access to multiple forms of alternative transportation. Points can be earned for occupant incentive and education programs that encourage occupants to take advantage of less carbon-intensive transportation options.

4. Improved Energy Efficiency

It seems like every week there’s another advance in alternative energy sources or energy-efficient building systems. The standards for leadership in energy efficiency have to rise accordingly, and in LEED v4, the minimum Energy Star score for participation in EBOM has been raised to 75 from 69 — a jump that ensures that LEED-certified buildings really are on the cutting edge of efficiency.

While this may sound discouraging for some older buildings seeking certification, it doesn’t have to be. As a part of EBOM’s focus on performance, there is an alternate path to compliance with the minimum energy performance prerequisite: Energy Jumpstart, a pilot credit. By making substantial improvements to their energy efficiency through alternative measures, buildings with an Energy Star score less than 75 can still qualify for EBOM certification.

In lieu of the Energy Star score, facilities must achieve an energy improvement of 20 percent over a 12-month period, which qualifies them for initial certification at the LEED Certified level. This alternative compliance path helps motivate significantly more projects and creates the potential for higher energy savings across the vast stock of existing buildings. With recertification required every five years under EBOM, the Energy Jumpstart option provides further incentive for improvements down the line, as well as higher levels of certification.

LEED V4 Changes Are Focused On Performance

LEED V4 Changes Are Focused On Performance: By Brendan Owens

One of the fundamental aspects of the LEED green building rating system is change — to keep up with advances in green building science and technology, the system evolves to continue to function as a leadership standard. LEED v4, passed by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) member ballot in July 2013, is an update that offers a new global perspective, a streamlined user experience, and a more thorough focus on building performance. It also makes LEED certification accessible to a wider range of building and facility types. But ultimately, the changes in LEED v4 are focused on performance.

Many of the changes in LEED v4 improve the clarity, functionality and interconnectivity of the system, emphasizing a more holistic and integrative approach to green building. Overall, there have been improvements to the user experience, from revamped reference guides to a reduction in documentation.

LEED v4 for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) builds on earlier versions of the system to help older buildings improve their efficiency, reduce waste, and maintain a responsible and sustainable building. Changes to EBOM raise the standard for green operations.

USGBC will launch LEED v4 at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Nov. 20-22 in Philadelphia. In the meantime, here are the top seven things facility managers need to know about the upcoming changes to the rating system.

1. New Market Sectors

In an effort to ensure that LEED is the right tool for the diverse group of market sectors that engage with it, LEED v4 features technical adaptations addressing 21 different market sectors, including new solutions for existing schools, retail locations, data centers, and warehouse and distribution centers. To ensure that each particular space’s unique needs and demands are addressed, new sector guidelines were reviewed by market leaders who own, operate, and design these types of spaces.

The existing building market is far larger than the new construction market, and existing buildings consume the great majority of energy in the U.S. By opening up the certification process to these new market sectors, USGBC hopes to make a greater number of these buildings perform better, while still fulfilling occupant and tenant needs.

2. Energy and Water

One of the major changes in LEED tv4 is an increased emphasis on energy and water metering; new prerequisites require that LEED-certified buildings monitor and report their total water and energy use to USGBC. Additional credits are available for implementing subsystem metering, which gives facility managers a better understanding of where the resources in their buildings are being used, helping them to identify and prioritize improvement opportunities.

Closely monitoring the energy use of specific systems within the building can help identify phantom loads by showing where devices are not in use but are still consuming energy. Implementing automatic shutoffs to address these loads reduces energy use, resulting in financial savings.

The scope of the LEED v4 Water Efficiency credit category has been expanded, and it now addresses a more complete picture of water use in LEED-certified buildings and their grounds. Points are available for system-specific monitoring and analysis over time, which will facilitate further decreases in water waste.

Data from water and energy metering will be shared with USGBC as part of a process to encourage ongoing verification and regular performance checks.

 

Saving Energy with Psychrometric Calculations

Saving Energy with Psychrometric Calculations By: John Becker

Hands up, who’s heard of psychrometrics?  You may think you haven’t, but if you’ve ever listened to a weather forecast I guarantee you have… Psychrometrics are the way engineers (and weather forecasters) describe a mixture of air and water vapor.  The air all around us contains some water vapor, which makes certain calculations a little complicated.  So why do we need to calculate these things?  Read on to find out…

One of the ways a building automation system can save you energy is by using cool outside air at certain times of the year instead of mechanical cooling.  This is called economizing or free cooling.  There are two types of economizers, dry bulb and enthalpy (a.k.a. wet bulb).  This is where psychrometrics come into play.

A typical dry bulb economizer would bring in outside air below a certain dry bulb temperature.  But this doesn’t account for the total heat energy contained in the air.  By measuring only the dry bulb temperature, the heat energy resulting from the presence of water vapor is ignored.  This can make a significant difference.  For example, you might inadvertently bring in cool but very humid outside air, causing your building to feel muggy and uncomfortable.  Or you could miss out on using some very dry outside air that’s a little warmer but could help remove heat and moisture from your building.

Psychrometric Chart

This psychrometric chart illustrates the benefit of using an enthalpy economizer.

If you look at the chart on the left, you can see the difference.  The area shaded blue represents conditions that a dry bulb economizer would consider adequate for cooling.  The area shaded green represents the ADDED conditions that an enthalpy economizer would consider adequate.  In this example it doubles the available conditions for economizing.  This can result in higher energy savings than with a dry bulb economizer.

Implementing an enthalpy economizer requires measurement of outdoor relative humidity in addition to temperature.  The GCL+ program below illustrates how to calculate Enthalpy, Dew Point, and Wet Bulb Temperature given Dry Bulb Temperature and Relative Humidity (all temperatures in °F).

This GCL+ program calculates various psychrometric properties of air.

This GCL+ program calculates various psychrometric properties of air.

Here is a version of the program you can see better and copy into one of your own Delta controllers:

// Calculates psychrometric properties based on Dry Bulb Temp (deg. F) and Relative Humidity.

Variable A As Real
Variable B As Real
Variable P As Real

A = (‘Outside Temp‘ – ‘Dewpoint‘) / 10
B = (A1)
P = 12.2 // Atmospheric pressure in psi (Denver)

Enthalpy‘ = Enthalpy (‘Outside RH‘, ‘Outside Temp‘, °F)
Dewpoint‘ = DewPoint (‘Outside RH‘, ‘Outside Temp‘, °F)

// Equation from Naval Weather Service Technical Note #7
If ‘Outside Temp‘ >= 0 Then
Wet Bulb‘ = ‘Outside Temp‘ – (0.034 * A0.00072 * A * B) * (‘Outside Temp‘ + ‘Dewpoint‘ – 4 * P + 108)
Else
Wet Bulb‘ = ‘Outside Temp‘ – (0.034 * A0.006 * 2) * (0.6 * (‘Outside Temp‘ – ‘Dewpoint‘) – 4 * P + 108)
End If

This is just one example of what you can learn by attending our free Delta Controls training classes.  We’ll be adding new session soon, so stay tuned!