Tag Archives: energy management

New customer training class – enteliWEB!

We’ve had many requests for this, and are pleased to announce a new training class–enteliWEB!  In case you haven’t heard about it, enteliWEB is web-based software which combines the power of enterprise dashboards with easy to use facility management tools. Customizable energy management dashboards and powerful energy reports give managers the tools to reduce consumption and lower costs.  Visualizing both energy management and facility management on a single dashboard makes it easy to close the loop between monitoring and control.

enteliWEB screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our two-day enteliWEB class, you will learn:

  • Capabilities and benefits of enteliWEB
  • Server requirements and licensing
  • Configuration and network connections
  • Integration with Historian
  • Managing multiple sites
  • Dashboards (enterprise, system, and personal)
  • Alarm management and tracking
  • Energy reports and metering
  • Activity logging
  • Importing ORCAweb graphics
  • Basics of enteliVIZ graphics

Whether you already have enteliWEB or are considering deploying it at your facility, this class will give you knowledge you need to better monitor and control energy use.  The class will be held in our Colorado office on April 3 and 4, 2014.  Click here to sign up! enteliWEB on tablet

Can Building Automation Really Save Money?

Question: Can my building automation system help cut down my utility bill?
Answer: Building automation is a control method for the mechanical systems within your building. You may not have new equipment or VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives) on every motor, but there are likely still savings that you could drive with a new automation system.

Take for example a small office building with constant volume package units. What could you possibly get for energy savings in this environment? Fan energy, or the energy used to blow air out of the grill in your office, comprises almost 70% of the energy consumption in a building. By controlling the fans more tightly with a schedule you can save up to 15% on your bill every year. To take it one step further, by increasing cooling and decreasing heating setpoints during peak usage hours you can alleviate 5-10% consumption; all with minimal impact to your workforce. That’s up to 20-25% reduction without any mechanical upgrades.

Question: What if I’m tired of my current controls vendor? How hard is it to switch vendors?

Answer: Although any vendor exchange within a site will come at an expense, you can minimize it with the right strategy. Historically, building automation systems have been proprietary to single or sometimes multiple vendors in a given territory. If you didn’t like your vendor, you’d have to strip out all the equipment at your site and start over (an expense typically in the six-figure range for most facilities.)

Now, control systems like Tridium can integrate your old equipment and prevent proprietizing your site to a single contractor. Integrations like this not only open the market to competitive bidding, but can cut integration costs as much as 40-50% versus the traditional strip-and-replace mentality.

Remember, switching vendors in most cases doesn’t simply mean bringing in any contractor and having them work on your current system. Controls vendors may be able to work on a few different systems, but accessing the software necessary to program your facilities’ system may be impossible due to its proprietary nature.

Question: My controls vendor said I need to upgrade my system to make it faster. Is that necessary?

Answer: The unfortunate part about technological advancements in everyday use, through handhelds and cellphones, is they’ve taught us that speed is everything. Faster computers mean increased productivity. Faster Internet means quicker loading times while surfing. But is speed a necessity of building automation? After all, it is part of the technology boom.

Speed in automation is only critical when considering industrial applications. Industrial PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) need to compute information twice as fast to make sure control of variables like temperature and pressure fall within industry standards. These controllers are extremely costly in comparison to a commercial application that is only concerned with occupant comfort.

If you’ve ever watched a temperature increase in an occupied space you could easily compare it to grass growing. Unless a space is overwhelmed with occupants, the fluctuation of temperature is extremely gradual; thereby decreasing the necessity of faster control capability. Basically, speed is not conducive to a properly controlled commercial application and is not a valid reason to spend tens of thousands of dollars for an upgrade.

Question:  How long can I expect my control system to last?

Answer:  Control systems have historically lasted for 10-15 years on average when considering mid to late 90’s installations. Unfortunately, with the pace of technology, your physical controls equipment is likely to outlast the associated software support for the installed product line. Now you are dependent upon the manufacturer to support the product line for up to fifteen years which is highly unlikely.

Take for example the cases of Apple and Microsoft. Windows XP was released in 2001 and remained the staple of Windows operating systems for around 11 years. Many companies are being forced to upgrade now to the new Windows 8 plaftform with the lack of support from Microsoft. The new Windows doesn’t support older hardware and, therefore, companies all over the world are having to upgrade their machines to match the new software.

When considering Apple, think back to the days of the iPhone 3G and when it was released in 2008. By 2011, the last version of Apple Updates was released for the 3G iPhone essentially guaranteeing its hardware obsolescence by 2012 – only 4 years later.

No technology, including building automation, can ever expect to embody the longevity assumed in the 90’s. With the quickened pace of high-tech advancement all owners can hope for is hardware manufacturers that can manage revisioning for at least 5-7 years.

Question:  My vendor said they needed to replace all the wiring in my building because it was old. Do new systems need new wire?

Answer:  Wire install costs within a facility, especially one that’s occupied, embody at least 25-30% of the total project costs. Rewiring occupied spaces comes at a heavy expense in either occupancy comfort or total project cost. If you decide to rewire your building after hours to alleviate tenant dissatisfaction, the overall cost can be expected to increase as much as 30%.

Most controls contractors can utilize either the BACNet or LON protocol to recycle your existing wiring and cut down on expense. In order to reuse existing controls wiring, contractors need to have in-depth knowledge on how to tune or reduce traffic on the system to ensure proper operation.

About the Author – I currently maintain an engineering sales position at Western Allied Mechanical. Our business is consulting customers on energy consumption and reducing costs through a joint mechanical and automation venture. I’m an avid follower of the industry and am always open to new opportunities and approaches. You can reach me at zdenning@westernallied.com or my cell at 650-798-4154.

No cookie-cutter formula for improving energy efficiency at health facilities

Deanna Fourt, Director of Energy Efficiency and Conservation for Island Health

Deanna Fourt, Director of Energy Efficiency and Conservation for Island Health, enjoys the new ER in Nanaimo where they have implemented Solar shades, a dispersement ventilation vent, B.C. wood first ceilings, low density lighting, and a natural light courtyard.
Photograph by: Lance Sullivan , Special to The vancouver sun

In most facilities, changing a lightbulb is a pretty simple task. But in a hospital, even minor tasks can be complicated.

“Trying to change a light bulb in a hospital is not trivial when you’re talking about infection control challenges and patient impact,” Jeff Whitson says. “In a simple office building, you don’t have the same challenges. That’s what I love about what I do. In a hospital setting, improving energy efficiency isn’t as simple as you might think.”

Whitson is the Key Account Manager for the health sector in B.C. It’s his job to help provincial health authorities who are part of the BC Hydro Power Smart Partner Program maximize the energy efficiency of their facilities.

“Every authority and facility is different and unique,” he says. “There’s no cookie-cutter formula.”

Through their partnership with BC Hydro, health authorities commit to devising a long-range Strategic Energy Management Plan. An Energy Manager helps the organization meet its goals.

Whitson talks to his energy managers “every single day,” he says, as part of ongoing collaborations on existing projects and identify new opportunities.

“We always have a running project list of good ideas in each health authority,” Whitson says.

Those ideas might come from the Energy Manager, the nurses, or any member of the employee base. “We have a good methodology to get those good ideas on paper. Then we strategize which ones we’re going to move forward with and those we’re going to park for a while.” At any given time, he might have anywhere from 50-75 projects going across the province. “There’s lots of project management involved in what I do, and lots of follow-up discussions on project status.”

Whitson estimates that more than 50 percent of those projects are based around upgrades or changes to lighting (infrastructure and controls) and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning).

“They can be small lighting retrofits to more complicated equipment replacements,” he says.

Many of the hospitals in the province are decades-old, and face the problem of aging infrastructure. A Strategic Energy Management Plan can help.

“A lot of these hospitals have been around a very long time,” Whitson says. “Equipment breaks down and they have to upgrade. And budgets are challenging – there’s lots of pressure on balancing the budget. Most hospitals don’t get a lot of capital to improve existing infrastructure.”

Which is where he comes in. “The partnership with BC Hydro works really well. If I can work with the health authorities to provide part of the funding, it makes those projects a lot easier to implement.”

BC Hydro Power Smart Partner Program incentives aren’t restricted to older facilities. New builds, like the recently opened pediatric emergency department at Surrey Memorial Hospital, can go through the BC Hydro New Construction program.

“We’ll do detailed energy modeling, just to make sure we encouraged the developers and the authorities to make the building as energy efficient as possible,” Whitson says. “We try to squeeze as much energy out of the building before it’s even built.”

As part of its overall Power Smart Partner Program, BC Hydro highlights organizations that are leaders in their sectors. To reach this level, “executive support and engagement from the senior levels down” is vital, he says.

“If you don’t have that you don’t get very far.”

A Strategic Energy Management Plan that outlines a strategy and implements elements every year needs to be in place as well. And “you have to have employee engagement, with all the employees going in the same direction,” Whitson says.

The Leadership in the BC Health Authorities continues to support BC Hydro’s Workplace Conservation Awareness program. This program engages and encourages all employees to share energy saving ideas that help to reduce unnecessary electrical consumption in Healthcare. “It is a critical component to our overall strategy for energy savings and often low cost or no cost to implement.”

We have had some amazing success by engaging staff in and it continues to build momentum across all different environments.”

The BC Hydro Power Smart Partner Program helps large businesses across British Columbia make energy efficient changes to their organizations that will create financial savings and change behaviors towards energy use. “The end objective of the partnership is to embed energy efficiency as part of the organization’s ongoing culture,” says Power Smart Partner Program Manager Paul Seo. 

In this series, we’ll look at how the Power Smart Partner Program is teaming up with these sectors to make a difference in their approach towards energy conservation.

Coppertree Analytics- Empowering People to Realize Their Building Potential.

Coppertree Analytics is about empowering People to Realize Their Building Potential. We believe building technology is not fulfilling its potential and we’ve made it our mission to change that. By gathering data, analyzing it and providing our customers with actionable insight, we help them to avoid problems, optimize performance and take control of their buildings. In short, we believe in working with you to realize the potential of your building.

To learn more visit Coppertree or Contact Setpoint Systems Corporation for a live demo!

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

Commercial And Retail Buildings To Be The Fastest Adopters Of Remote Monitoring Services In Intelligent Buildings

London — Commercial and retail end users will drive the growth of remote monitoring services in intelligent buildings, accounting for more than 80 percent of the $400 million market in 2016, according to a new study by IMS Research, now part of IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

Remote monitoring in intelligent buildings is a service offered by third-party companies that audit and report on the operational performance of a building. The services have two key selling points. First, auditors can make recommendations to save energy costs by determining, for instance, a more efficient schedule for the building automation system. Second, the building owner can reduce internal staffing costs for the facility by using a third-party service provider.

The figure below presents the forecast growth for remote monitoring services used in commercial and retail buildings from 2012 to 2016, with a snapshot of what the market will look like by 2021.

“Remote monitoring services are gaining increased traction as building owners find significant savings to be made, in terms of both decreasing energy bills and reducing staffing costs,” said Sam Grinter, market analyst for building technologies at IHS.  “The drive to reduce overheads has been reinforced over the last five years by tough economic conditions.”

“Commercial and retail end users have been the fastest to take advantage of remote monitoring services in intelligent buildings”, Grinter noted, “Because the slashing of operational expenses has been a higher priority for them than for government or institutional end users”.

Remote monitoring service providers have found success with commercial and retail end users by demonstrating the effectiveness of the systems in trial deployments. Then, once the return on investment is demonstrated, services are rolled out throughout the wider building portfolio. The services in intelligent buildings are looked upon as a competitive advantage, which explains why adoption has spread relatively quickly.

As the market develops further, other end-user industries such as education, government, data centers and hospitality will increasingly take advantage of the services, IHS believes. The systems are expected to not only improve building efficiency but also reduce internal staffing costs for monitoring and maintaining buildings.

Coppertree Analytics- Facility Manager

facility

Manage Alarms

Coppertree Insights

The word ‘insight’ carries the idea of a clear and deep perception of a situation. Coppertree Analytics’ Insights are designed to give you a different pair of eyes to look at your facility. Insights give you an awareness and understanding to:

  • The past: see what changed in your facility yesterday
  • The present: see how your facility is performing today
  • The future: see what changes are needed in your facility tomorrow

Mobile Insights

Insights can be accessed via tablets, desktops and any device with a web browser. Or better yet, Coppertree can deliver them to your personnel on duty directly to their mobile devices.

Fault Detection

Our insights are the basis for a more pro-active approach to facility management. Coppertree Analytics’ sophisticated engines are continually examining data from building automation systems, executing fault detection and diagnostic rules and engaging algorithms to perform statistical and pattern analyses. Whether you choose to use our growing library of analytical rules or to create your own rules, setting them up to run on your site is straight forward. once they are set up, they run automatically whether you are looking or not.

Planned Maintenance

Prioritize Time

Traditional scheduled preventative maintenance programs rely on an exhaustive re-commissioning process requiring many man-hours with the final outcome being a deficiency report detailing problems and required fixes. Further man-hours are then required to perform the corrective measures. Coppertree Analytics’ intent is to raise this process to a new level by generating performance reports or score cards from the data collected. This information will help you pinpoint specific problem areas and prioritize the work required to take care of them, effectively automating the report creation process.

Efficient Manpower

Shifting to a planned maintenance approach, the re-commissioning man-hours required in traditional programs can be re-allocated to the man-hours required to take action, hence maximizing your resources, increasing your efficiency and gaining control of what goes on in your facility.

Maintain Performance

Besides performance reports, Coppertree Analytics’ integrity portfolio of services continually probes your building automation system with an array of fault-detection-and-diagnostic rules to give you insights into your building operations. The key in maintaining performance is continuous auditing. It is as if you had a commissioning agent perpetually examining your building and advising on any areas of concern.

Reporting

Golden Standard

As a facility manager, generating reports is not the end in itself; it is the change from the ideal condition that is important. For instance, would you benefit from a detailed report that tells you how your building automation system has changed since the last time a ‘snapshot’ was taken during the initial commissioning? It might be tedious to generate what we call a golden standard report manually, but Coppertree can deliver it to your inbox daily, weekly or monthly through constant comparison between the current state and a Golden Standard you define.

KPI

Coppertree Analytics’ goal is to provide reports that are easy to understand, appropriate for the audience reviewing them and readily available when needed… all this to help you achieve your goals. Key performance indicator reports are excellent auditing tools to measure the overall success or failure of your facility to achieve a specific target. Is like getting a score card for your building and showing you where you need to direct your resources.

Live Trends

Coppertree report libraries range from detailed reports of specific systems or points to summary reports and executive reports available for viewing via web portals on desktops, tablets and mobile devices. The challenge is always to keep your reports up-to-date. Coppertree Analytics’ integration with the building automation system, and it’s abilty to overlay live trend logs on historical data all reporting can be accomplished seamlessly.

If you would like to learn more please visit: Coppertree here or contact a Setpoint Systems Corporation Account manager here for a live Demo!