Energy Efficiency, Smart Buildings & Wireless Control Systems

Energy efficient technology and services for the building sector will double by 2022, according to a new report …

Source: www.climatecontrolnews.com.au

>"[…] Since buildings account for a large portion of national energy consumption, most of the governments in the Asia Pacific region have taken steps to promote energy management and energy efficiency in both new construction and existing buildings. 

[…]

"With about 40 per cent of the world’s building stock, Asia Pacific represents a major portion of global real estate,” he said.

"Growing concerns about air pollution in Chinese cities, in particular, is expected to further drive investment in energy efficiency technologies to reduce China’s demand for coal-based electricity. 

"The market for energy efficient buildings is expected to double in the next eight years, reaching nearly $92 billion in annual revenue by 2022.”

The largest segment of the energy efficient buildings market in Asia Pacific today is advanced lighting […]

"The commercial buildings sector in the region will experience a significant increase in the adoption of these products in the coming years," Bloom said. Entitled“Energy Efficient Buildings: Asia Pacific”, the report examines the trends for energy efficient building technology and services in the Asia Pacific region. 

It covers three main areas of technology – HVAC, energy efficient lighting, and commercial building automation – as well as the energy service company (ESCO) sector. 

The convergence of building automation, information technology, and wireless communications is another area of growth identified by Navigant Research.

A separate report examines the state of the global wireless building controls industry, including global market forecasts for wireless node unit shipments and revenue through 2023.

Wireless controls can be used to link devices found in a variety of building systems, including heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, fire and life safety, and security and access. 

In addition, they often provide networked control in buildings or areas where wired controls are simply too challenging or expensive to install. 

Worldwide revenue from wireless control systems for smart buildings is expected to grow from $97 million annually in 2014 to $434 million in 2023.

[…]

While the adoption and deployment of wireless systems based on standard technologies and protocols, such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and EnOcean, are increasing, most wireless devices and control networks used today utilize proprietary, vendor-specific wireless communications technology. 

That is likely to change as the demand for interoperability grows, according to the "Wireless Control Systems for Smart Buildings" report. "<

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Operations – Systems & Controls, Maintenance & Commissioning

Built in 1928 Chicago Apartment Building Energy Retrofit Achieves EPA Energy Star Certification

To say the 55-unit building in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood was in disarray when it was changing hands in 2009 would be an understatement.

Source: www.chicagotribune.com

>" […] the building is among the first in the Midwest — and only three in Chicago — to achieve the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Energy Star certification for multifamily buildings. Also receiving the designation were two condominium buildings in Chicago, 680 N. Lake Shore Drive and River City, at 800 S. Wells.

[…] Jeffery Parkway also stands as an example of how an older, smaller, affordable apartment building can be made more comfortable for its tenants while saving its owner cash in the long run.

Seeking a neutral third party to help them figure out the entire scope of a rehab project, the Soods obtained a free energy audit of the building and its systems from Elevate Energy, a Chicago-based nonprofit that works with consumers and businesses to improve energy efficiency.

Elevate looks at historical analyses of a building’s energy use and compares it with similar buildings in terms of age and size. Then it performs an on-site performance assessment of the existing heating, cooling and lighting systems and makes recommendations for potential improvements.

[…]

"The average cost of a retrofit is about $2,500 to $3,000 a unit," Ludwig said. "We’re not talking about huge-ticket items. A lot of times we are trying to identify the most cost-effective retrofit measures, how can we tighten the building envelope. It doesn’t have to mean a new boiler is going in the basement."

However, in the case of Jeffery Parkway, it did mean a new steam boiler and new water heaters, among other upgrades.

The project was financially feasible because of a loan from nonprofit Community Investment Corp.’s Energy Savers loan program, which offers a seven-year loan with a 3 percent fixed interest rate for qualified upgrades made to buildings in the seven-county Chicago area and Rockford.

[…]

"We will cover any of the recommendations that show up in the energy assessment, and we’ll also do other energy-related improvements," said Jim Wheaton, manager of the Energy Savers program. "This is not a program designed for the North Lake Shore Drive high-rise. It’s designed for buildings affordable for working folks."

Multifamily buildings receive an Energy Star score of 1 to 100, and those that score above 75 can apply for the certification. Nautilus’ building received a score of 99.

"The savings are tremendous," Sandeep Sood said. "We were facing, just on the gas bill, a $60,000 bill a year. As of last year, our bill was $18,000. It was an unbelievable savings." […]"<

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Operations – Systems & Controls, Maintenance & Commissioning

ACEEE Recommends Demand Response as a Strategy to Conquer Peak Demand for Utilities

By Steven Nadel

” … a potential emerging trend that could have a large impact on many utilities: the reduction of the traditional mid-afternoon peak, and the growth of an evening peak. (Peak is the time when demand for power is highest.)”

Source: aceee.org

>” […] In many regions, evening peaks have been growing, as more consumers install air conditioners and operate them when they get home from work. But two other factors are augmenting this trend. First and foremost is the growth in consumer-owned photovoltaic systems. These systems generate the most power on sunny afternoons, which is about when the traditional early afternoon peak occurs. But when the sun goes down, extra power is quickly needed to replace this solar power.  […]

There are many ways to address the growing evening peak, including the following:

  1. Energy efficiency, particularly measures that reduce the evening peak such as efficient lamps, water heaters, stoves and ovens.
  2. Smart controllers that minimize energy use during the evening peak. To provide just one example, a smart refrigerator would not turn on the defrost cycle during this period and might even turn off the main compressor for a few minutes.
  3. Likewise, smart charging systems for electric vehicles could be used, such as a new system recently demonstrated by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), working with a consortium of utilities and auto manufacturers.
  4. Expanded use of demand-response programs to lower the new peak (and coordination of these efforts with energy efficiency programs).
  5. Time-of-use rates and/or demand charges that raise the price of power use during peak times and a lower them at off-peak times.
  6. Use of energy storage at a system, community, or end-user level. Storage able to provide power for several hours could be very useful.Fast ramp-up generation to serve the evening peak and other times when renewable energy production plummets, for example when the wind dies down. Hydro is ideal, but fast ramp-up gas units are now entering the market.

In my opinion, the time of the peak will change in many regions. The shift will be gradual in most areas, so we have time to address it. Rather than trying to stop this change by restricting photovoltaic systems, we’ll be better off figuring out how to manage it, […]”<

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

‘Demand Response’ is ‘Disruptive Technology’ Shutting Down Power Plants

FirstEnergy Corp. has a traditional view of wholesale electricity markets: They’re a competition between iron-in-the-ground facilities that can put megawatts on the grid when those megawatts are needed. Think coal plants, nuclear reactors and hydroelectric dams. Missing from the definition is a consumer’s promise to turn off the lights when the grid is stressed — so-called demand response. Instead of creating energy during peak times, demand response resources conserve it, freeing up megawatts […]

Source: powersource.post-gazette.com

>” […]The idea is not new and has been expanding in the territory of PJM Interconnection, a Valley Forge-based grid operator that manages the flow of electricity to 13 states, including Pennsylvania.

FirstEnergy, which owns power plants and utility companies across several states, wants PJM to abandon the demand response concept.

The Ohio-based energy company says demand response, which doesn’t require any kind of capital commitment, is “starving” traditional generation out of its rightful revenue in wholesale markets.

“We feel that it’s going to lead to even more premature closures of power plants,” said Doug Colafella, a spokesman for the firm.

Specifically, FirstEnergy is fighting to get demand response kicked out of PJM’s annual capacity auction, which ensures there’s enough electricity resources to meet projected power demand three years in advance. The auction establishes a single clearing price that will be paid to all successful bidders, like a retainer fee, in exchange for their promise to be available to be called upon three years from now.

During the May auction, which set capacity prices for the 2017-2018 year, the clearing price was $120 a day for each megawatt of electricity bidders committed. About 6 percent, or about 11,000 megawatts, of the capacity secured came from demand response.

FirstEnergy’s Bruce Mansfield coal-fired power plant in Beaver County failed to clear the auction. The company has since postponed upgrades to the facility, which could jeopardize its functioning beyond 2016.

Capacity payments are a stable source of revenue for baseload generation plants, Mr. Colafella said, and a price signal to the market about which way demand is headed, giving generators some indication about whether new facilities will be necessary and profitable.

Demand response distorts that dynamic, he said.

Since May, FirstEnergy has intensified its efforts to drive demand response out of PJM’s markets, having seized on a related court case involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“FirstEnergy’s business model is that electricity consumption has been flattening, so they want to take a larger share of the market and how do you take a larger share? You bulldoze everybody out,” said Mei Shibata, CEO of The Energy Agency, a marketing and communications firm and co-author of a recent report on the market for demand response in the U.S. for GreenTech Media Research.

In May, the D.C. Circuit Court vacated a rule created by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2011 that said demand response should be treated the same way as power plants in wholesale energy markets. That meant demand response providers could offer to shut down a day in advance, when grid operators book electricity for the following day, and get the same price as megawatts from generation.

An electric power industry group sued the FERC claiming that the call to shut off electricity in exchange for payment is a retail choice and retail falls exclusively within state jurisdiction, not federal. The court agreed, setting in motion FirstEnergy’s challenge to demand response in capacity markets, which were not addressed by the court decision. If demand response is a retail product in one context, then it’s a retail product in all, the logic goes.

The same day the court issued its decision, FirstEnergy filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order PJM to recalculate the results of its May capacity auction stripping out demand response.

PJM objected. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, which intervened in that case, charged FirstEnergy with “jumping the gun” on its logic and called its proposal an “unprecedented and wholly unnecessary disruption of the capacity market auction process.”

Even if demand response is excluded from the daily wholesale market as the court decision wills, the market for this resource will continue to expand, said Ms. Shibata.

If, however, FirstEnergy succeeds in kicking demand response out of the capacity market, “that would be a much bigger deal,” she said.

PJM leads the nation in demand response resources, according to Ms. Shibata’s research, and anything that happens to demand response at PJM would likely trickle down to the other grid operators around the country. […]”<

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Leaked Documents Reveal Industry PR Push For “Energy East” a Larger Canadian Pipeline after Keystone XL

With the debate still raging over Keystone XL, the company behind the pipeline is already hard at work promoting a PR strategy for its larger and entirely Canadian pipeline, Energy East.

Source: thinkprogress.org

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Lightweight ‘solar cloth’ photovoltaics for Integration with Building Structures

A Cambridge start-up believes its flexible solar panelling solution could fundamentally change the landscape of solar installation in the commercial sector.

The Solar Cloth Company’s award winning flexible thin film photovoltaics (FTFP) are a few micrometres thick and can be integrated into flexible and lightweight tensile structures called building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). In doing so, they provide an alternative to traditional photovoltaic panels that are heavy and cumbersome.

Source: www.theengineer.co.uk

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

Ice Energy Storage Solution Awarded 16 Contracts by SCE

Santa Barbara – Ice Energy today (Nov 5, 2014) announced it has been awarded sixteen contracts from Southern California Edison (SCE) to provide 25.6 megawatts of behind-the-meter thermal energy storage using Ice Energy’s proprietary Ice Bear system.

Source: www.ice-energy.com

>” […] Ice Energy was one of 3 providers selected in the behind-the-meter energy storage category, which was part of an energy storage procurement by SCE that was significantly larger than the minimum mandated by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). SCE is one of the nation’s leaders in renewable energy and the primary electricity supply company for much of Southern California.

The contract resulted from an open and competitive process under SCE’s Local Capacity Requirements (LCR) RFO. The goals of the LCR RFO and California’s Storage Act Mandates are to optimize grid reliability, support renewables integration to meet the 2020 portfolio standards, and support the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 20% of 1990 levels by 2050.

“SCE’s focus on renewable energy is critical to helping meet California’s long-term goals, and Ice Energy is proud to be part of the solution with these contracts,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy, the leading provider of distributed thermal energy storage technology. “Using ice for energy storage is not new, we’ve just made it distributed, efficient, and cost-effective. The direct-expansion AC technology is robust and proven, which is important because SCE and other utilities require zero risk for their customers.”

In 2013, 22 percent of the power SCE delivered came from renewable sources, compared to 15 percent for other power companies in the state. The utility is on track to meet the state’s goal of 33 percent, and procuring energy storage helps them meet those targets while maintaining a robust and reliable grid.

Ice Energy’s product, the Ice Bear, attaches to one or more standard 5-20 ton commercial AC units. The Ice Bear freezes ice at night when demand for power is low, capacity is abundant and increasingly sourced from renewables such as wind power. Then during the day, stored ice is used to provide cooling, instead of the power-intensive AC compressor. Ice Bears are deployed in smart-grid enabled, megawatt-scale fleets, and each Ice Bear can reduce harmful CO2 emissions by up to 10 tons per year. Installation is as quick as deploying a standard AC system.

“Ice Bears add peak capacity to the grid, reduce and often eliminate the need for feeder and other distribution system upgrades, improve grid reliability and reduce electricity costs,” Hopkins said. “What’s special about our patented design and engineering is the efficiency and cost. It’s energy storage at the lowest cost possible with extraordinary reliability.”

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development