Advanced Controls Devices for HVAC in Buildings shows growth

Worldwide revenue from advanced HVAC controls is expected to grow from $7 billion annually in 2014 to $11.7 billion in 2023, according to a new report


BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) in commercial buildings typically accounts for roughly 40% of total building energy consumption. While advancements have been made in the efficiency of HVAC equipment, the actual energy consumption of HVAC equipment depends largely on their operation – which can be made much more efficient and less energy-intensive through the application of advanced HVAC controls. […]

“The drive to reduce energy use in commercial buildings has put a spotlight on improving the efficiency of HVAC systems, and HVAC controls retrofits offer a compelling value proposition through reduced energy consumption in existing buildings.”


New building certification and benchmarking regulations are driving faster retrofits of controls in existing buildings, according to the report, and changing how automation is designed into new buildings. The wider adoption of open standards for controls functions (such as BACnet), and of communications based on the Internet Protocol (IP) suite and Ethernet connectivity, is expected to help bring advanced HVAC technology to a wider market.


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

Residential Battery Storage Nears Grid Parity in Germany

It’s very close, according to the German government and some industry observers.


>”It is now generally recognized that rooftop solar has reached “socket parity” — meaning that it is comparable to or cheaper than grid prices — in many countries over the last few years. The big question for consumers and utilities is when socket parity will arrive for solar and battery storage.

[…] Electricity prices are rising and solar PV prices are falling, which means that if battery storage falls to around €0.20 per kilowatt-hour (U.S. $0.27), parity will be achieved.

Australian investment firm Morgans, in an assessment of Brisbane-based battery storage developer Redflow, suggests that that company’s zinc-bromine flow battery may already be commercially economic in Germany, the country that leads the world in terms of household adoption and government support for renewables.

Morgans notes that in Germany, the cost of household grid power is around €0.30 per kilowatt-hour (U.S. $0.40) and that the government is now subsidizing residential energy storage systems that are connected to solar systems.

“Given Germany’s substantial adoption of solar PV…costs for solar power range from €0.10 to €0.15 per kilowatt-hour (half the grid price), so when energy storage costs reach €0.15 to €0.20, this will mean renewable energy costs will be at parity with grid prices,” Morgans concludes.  […]”<


See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

US Company Deploys Aqueous, Lithium-Ion and Flow Batteries for Grid Storage

“Batteries must do more than just work—they have to scale.”


>”[…] The startup is a software developer and system integrator that has attracted investment, personnel and a growing roster of turnkey energy storage projects.


Companies like the 30-employee Greensmith are winning energy storage projects not because they are building better batteries but because they are writing software that integrates batteries with inverters and allows energy storage to work with the grid at scale. Greensmith works with a variety of battery chemistries from different vendors, as well as multiple inverters and power electronics partners.

New battery technologies and projects

Amongst other technologies, Greensmith is using Aquion Energy’s sodium-ion battery. The Pittsburgh, Penn.-based Aquion says its technology can deliver round-trip energy efficiency of 85 percent; a ten-year, 5,000-plus-cycle lifespan; energy storage capacity optimized to charge and discharge for multi-hour applications; and perhaps most notably, a price point of $250 per kilowatt-hour.

In April, Aquion closed a $55 million Series D venture capital investment, bringing total investments and grants to more than $100 million. New investors Bill Gates, Yung’s Enterprise, Nick and Joby Pritzker (through their family’s firm Tao Invest), Bright Capital, and Gentry Venture Partners joined previous investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, and Advanced Technology Ventures in the round. Aquion is already producing its 1.5-kilowatt-hour S10 Battery Stack units, as well as an 18-kilowatt-hour system that combines twelve of its S10 units.

Greensmith is also using ViZn Energy Systems’ zinc redox flow battery energy storage technology. ViZn aims to produce a 80-kilowatt/160-kilowatt-hour system housed in a 20-foot shipping container, as well as larger systems. Other flow battery firms include American Vanadium, EnerVault, Primus Power, Imergy and ZBB Energy.

The CEO of the firm told GTM that Greensmith is developing a hybrid system using both the Aquion and ViZn storage chemistries.

Since its 2006 founding, Greensmith has deployed 30 battery energy systems for eighteen different customers, nine of them utilities, and is aiming to have 23 megawatts of systems under management by year’s end. […]”<

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

School to Combine Solar PV Modules with Battery Storage in Belgian Pilot Project

“Such an energy storage and distribution system can offer a great value, certainly for schools”, says Bert Dekeyzer of npo iD, the organization behind the ‘School of the Future’.


>'”During weekends a school consumes almost no electricity. The energy produced by the solar panels is stored in the batteries. On Monday morning there is a peak consumption: then all the computers and machines are turned on, which requires quite a lot of electricity. If the solar panels supply too little at that time, the batteries can provide the remaining energy. Moreover, a study showed that the energy consumption of a school does not stop after four o’clock in the afternoon. Schools are increasingly used in the evening for sports activities and evening classes. Also in this situation, the batteries can play their part.”

PV, storage combination offers a solution for a possible power shortage

In addition to an optimal and economic usage of solar power, the system can provide a solution for a possible power shortage in Belgium. Because of problems with the Belgian nuclear power plants, various municipalities could get disconnected from the electricity grid. In case of a power disruption, a traditional solar installation does not work anymore. The inverter of a traditional system switches off automatically because of a power failure. The owners of solar modules also have no electricity at that time, and in addition they suffer losses of the power output and any feed-in tariffs from their solar panels during the outage.

The storage system provides a solution. Such an installation combines solar modules with battery storage and intelligent software: if the grid fails, the system provides uninterrupted power for the user from the solar modules and/or batteries. […]”<


See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

Data Centers and Energy Efficiency

New analysis suggests there’s still an opportunity to cut power consumption and save billions in 2014.


>”A new tally by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggests there’s still a big opportunity to cut energy usage by 40 percent, saving more than $3.8 billion in 2014 alone.  Put another way, that’s like switching off 39 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, the equivalent of 14 large, coal-fired power plants.

“Most of the attention is focused on the highly visible hyperscale ‘cloud’ data centers like Google’s and Facebook’s, but they are already very efficient and represent less than 5 percent of U.S. data center electricity consumption,” said Pierre Delforge, NRDC’s director of high-tech energy efficiency. “Our small, medium, corporate and multi-tenant data centers are still squandering huge amounts of energy.”

Here’s the likely outcome: By 2020, U.S. data centers will probably require about 140 kilowatt-hours of electricity to keep online.

The biggest culprits in wasteful IT power consumption are underutilized servers using significant amounts of electricity without performing any useful purpose, according to NRDC.  […]

Figures suggest the average server operates at just 12 percent to 18 percent of its capacity, which means businesses could stand to be far more aggressive about consolidating or virtualizing them. That’s particularly true of the smallest server rooms, ones that crop up with little advance planning.

“The more work a server performs, the more energy-efficient it is—just as a bus uses much less gasoline per passenger when ferrying 50 people than when carrying just a handful,” the analysis notes.

Among the recommended fixes for this persistent problem are the adoption of metrics that provide deeper insight into average server utilization, more public disclosure of data center energy performance information, and “green” data center leases that provide incentives for energy savings.

The reason why these green data center service contracts work, according to the report, is because they create financial incentives for companies to consider their energy use. […]”<

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development