Technologies

Energy End-Use Monitoring Equipment

Energy end-use monitoring systems are measurement sensors that monitor energy consumption patterns of a building at a granular level. The installed sensors allow energy use to be broken down between heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, office equipment and other usages. Energy end-use monitoring equipment allows building operators to understand the actual energy use patterns of a building and identifies energy efficiency opportunities.

End-use monitoring systems installed at the branch libraries will feature revenue-grade measurement and wireless communication. The sensors will be used to collect three months of end-use data to determine where energy efficiency improvements can be made. Additionally, the end-use monitoring equipment will be used for measurement and verification purposes after energy efficiency measures have been implemented.

LED Lighting and Lighting Controls

Light emitting diode (LED) products are more versatile, last longer and are 90 percent more efficient than incandescent light bulbs. LEDs work by passing an electrical current through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources, resulting in visible light. While LED technologies generally have a greater upfront cost and longer payback, they offer a greater net present value because of their longer effective useful life and annual savings.

Lighting control assets for this project consist of daylighting and occupancy control technologies. Daylighting controls allow lights to turn off automatically when natural daylight is present in a room. Occupancy sensors detect indoor activity and turn lights on automatically when someone enters a room. Energy is saved by automatically turning off lights in unoccupied areas.

HVAC Controls

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls include sensing and control devices that compare and adjust the actual temperature and air flow to a target state. Almost all buildings use thermostats that sense the temperature of a space and maintain the temperature at a desired setpoint. Automatic setback thermostats program this process and provide both comfort and convenience without using unnecessary energy. HVAC control systems are usually integrated with a building automation system (BAS) to allow for complete and central control of building mechanical and electrical equipment.

Phase Change Materials (PCMs)

Phase change materials (PCMs) are substances that are capable of melting and solidifying at certain temperatures, allowing them to store and release large amounts of energy. PCMs are solid at room temperature, and as the temperature becomes warmer, they liquefy and store heat. When the temperature drops, they solidify and give off heat. When placed in quantity into the structure of a building, the material absorbs heat during the day, significantly reducing or eliminating the need to mechanically cool during peak periods. At night, during off-peak periods, mechanical ventilation or cooling may be necessary to shift the material back to solid, enabling a shift in cooling loads and facilitating demand charge reduction savings when properly paired with mechanical ventilation.

Building Automation Platforms

A building automation system (BAS), also known as a building management system (BMS), is a control system that allows for the control and monitoring of a building’s mechanical and electrical equipment. The control system is automated to improve overall efficiency and lower costs for building owners. BAS systems are usually implemented in large-scale projects with extensive mechanical and electrical systems that would be difficult to operate manually. These systems save time, add flexibility for building use, enable remote monitoring and increase ease of maintenance.

Solar Photovoltaics (PV)

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, also referred to as solar electric systems, capture sunlight energy and convert it into electricity. PV systems can be used to power everything in your home from lights and appliances to an electric vehicle. The illustration caption explains how solar electricity is produced, where the energy flows and the bill credit mechanism known as net energy metering.

solar-pv-diagram
  1. Individual PV cells are embedded onto panels. Sunlight striking the panels is chemically converted into direct current (DC) electricity.
  2. The DC electricity goes to an inverter that transforms it into alternating current (AC) for household use.
  3. The utility meter records the net amount of energy (kWh) consumed. When the system creates more electricity than needed in the home, the meter will "spin backward" and the excess electricity is released onto the electric grid and “credited” to your utility account. These credits help offset the cost of kWh usage at night or on cloudy days when PV systems are not producing as much electricity.