Skip to main content
Tag

ASHRAE

Portfolio Struggling? Paradigm Revolution

By Energy Rant No Comments
I have detected a pattern unfolding across multiple large energy efficiency portfolios: commercial and industrial prescriptive programs are struggling mightily. Why is this? My hypothesis was that we cycled through two or three rounds of lighting upgrades: From T-12 lamps and magnetic ballasts to T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts From once ubiquitous A19 incandescent bulbs to buzzing and dim compact fluorescent To mainstream and end-of-the-road (or world, if reaching goals is life or death) A19 LED bulbs and linear fluorescent lamps Lighting has endured for thirty-plus years for three reasons. First, it’s visible and a simple technology. How many “How…
Read More

Demand Management for Good

By Energy Rant No Comments
The last few posts featured an overview and complete report card on load management to get beyond net zero to real zero, a term I discovered last week. As promised, I will describe some permanent peak load reduction opportunities this week. Like many efficiency solutions, blocking and tackling approaches are the most effective. Peak Load Reduction – New Construction I’m going to stick with some big hitters. A person could write forever on this topic. Home Envelope Single-family homes must be super-insulated to minimize heating loads in cool/cold climates. The cartoon below provides a nice example of super-insulated versus code…
Read More

Specious Beliefs in Code Gods

By Energy Rant No Comments
I received a lot of feedback on last week’s Code Compliance Villains, which described blunders that occurred as part of my high-efficiency boiler installation. Such mistakes would likely erode 50% of the estimated savings claimed in a deemed savings document. Efficiency issues included: Improper outdoor temperature sensor location giving false inputs to the controls. High boiler water temperature setpoints resulting in lower operating efficiency. Heat exchanger piped in parallel, rather than counterflow, resulting in higher boiler water temperatures and less efficiency. The problem with efficient equipment and energy codes is that equipment is tested in the lab, and hands are…
Read More

The Non-Energy Benefits of COVID, and Energy

By Energy Rant No Comments
Way back in April, I had generated a list of non-energy benefits of the COVID. One was the lack of traffic. That made driving easier and running a little safer with less hassle. Second, my, uh, wellness trainer stopped making trips to Europe, so rather than being gone a week a month, he’s never gone. As a result, my Feng and Shui have been in balance. Third, my car insurance company has credited my account a few times because they think I’m driving less – which reminds me of the fourth: gasoline prices are lower than ever, inflation-adjusted. Fifth, I’ve…
Read More

Cooling Embedded Data Centers – How To, and Not To

By Energy Rant One Comment
I recently reviewed an energy colonoscopy report aimed at saving energy for a small hospital’s data center – an embedded data center. Many building types can have substantial embedded data center loads including schools, office buildings, banks, and government. Connected data center loads vary from a few kilowatts to perhaps 50 kW. You can do your own research on energy saving opportunities in data centers. Here is one from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab that covers fourteen energy-saving opportunities, but it’s missing one: the giant canacorn custom measure that exists for nearly every embedded data center. My point in this post…
Read More

Energy Audits and Complication Proclivity Syndrome

By Energy Rant No Comments
This week, we continue the discussion of ASHRAE Standard 211, Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits. For ease of consuming this post, I suggest destroying 1/900,000th of a conifer by printing last week’s post, which includes a super summary of the approach, process, and contents of the three levels of energy audits in one table. The Nerd’s Arms Race One thing is certain regarding human nature: people love to complicate the hell out of things. Consider the tax code, code of federal regulations, and any part or level of government. The private sector follows similarly, maybe with different reasons. For…
Read More
audits or colonoscopy

The Results of Your Energy Colonoscopy Are In

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week I was working on corporate tasks, so I needed to go into my vault of gems for pontification.  The subject that emerged is energy audits and certifications, specifically from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).  The document is the Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits, Standard 211P.  It was up for public review in August of this year. There are a couple of things our industry has tried to unsuccessfully accomplish over the years.  One is drop simple payback as a means to communicate financial benefits of implementing energy efficiency (or any) projects.  This…
Read More

Savings Persistence – Funner than a Barrel of Monkeys

By Energy Rant No Comments
Today, let’s consider a subject that is as squishy, subjective, and amorphous as net savings and non-energy benefits (see here and here). Today’s subject is savings persistence. Savings Persistence and Its Importance Even allowing for generous latitude, if I polled readers of this post, I would probably get a dozen definitions of savings persistence. For retro-commissioning, persistence is ensuring the measures aren’t undone. For the broader group of behavior programs, persistence is getting customers and their occupants (family or employees) to continue to value and manage energy over the long term.To the evaluator, savings persistence opens many cans of worms.…
Read More
program

Program Adoption Curves – Telephones and Televisions

By Energy Rant No Comments
There are certain energy efficiency programs that we are never going to pursue – all those that are in the late majority and laggard stages. Those ships left the pier 10-15 years ago, and we are not going to attempt to catch them. In two words, they are widget programs, up, down, mid, over, under-stream programs of all stripes, including direct install. The previous chart shows theoretical adoption and market share curves. Of course, in reality, adoption isn’t nearly as pretty, as shown in the next chart, which is fascinating. You will want to get your own version of that…
Read More

Energy Audits – Segmenting ASHRAE’s Jello, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

By Energy Rant No Comments
Just about every energy efficiency portfolio offers customers some sort of energy audit. They practically all feature home audits, audits with direct installation of measures, level II audits, feasibility studies and retro-commissioning studies. What are the differences between these audits? As evaluators, implementers, regulators, utilities, and energy users (i.e. everyone reading this), you need to know. Like energy codes themselves, ASHRAE is the source for defining various levels of audits. Audit levels 1, 2, and 3 simply define the rigor and depth of investigation and analysis provided by the audit. I have never liked the ASHRAE definitions because they are…
Read More