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OwnerJuly 2015 to presentEl Cerrito

Finding best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow: energy efficiency, demand response,, solar, wind, electric vehicles, biofuels and smart grid. It’s all the innovations that make the energy we use more secure, clean, and affordable. The energy world's best hopes lie in what's happening in the digital realm, especially in data analytics.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

HVAC Controls

Building operations consume 39% of the energy in the U.S. and HVAC gobbles up a big part of that. However, 9 out of 10 commercial buildings fail to meet fundamental conditions for acceptable comfort and energy efficiency.

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1. Background

2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Benefits
5. Risks/Issues
6. Success Criteria
7. Next Steps
8. Companies
9. Links


Thermal Storage with Ice Energy can transfer electricity demand to non-peak periods

1.Background
  • Air conditioning contributes Fifty percent of the demand for power during peak periods in California and 70 percent of the power in Dubai. Peak power typically comes when air conditioners are cranking their hardest. The percentage of homes with air conditioning rose from 27 percent in 1980 to 55 percent in 2001. Worse, the air conditioners come on during the hottest days in the year en masse, when power is at its peak price and brown-danger looms.
  • Industry experts say most all buildings have more chiller and heat capacity than they need.
  • While a car has hundreds of control points for just one or two people, buildings typically have only one thermostat for 10 or more workers. It’s no wonder occupants consistently report that their workspace is too hot, too cold, stuffy, drafty.


2. Acronyms/Definitions
  1. Absorption Chiller - A refrigerator that uses a heat source to provide the energy needed to drive the cooling system.
    • Absorption refrigerators are a popular alternative to regular compressor refrigerators where surplus heat is available (e.g. combined heat and power (CHP) or industrial processes).
    • In both absorption and compressor refrigerators, when the refrigerant evaporates or boils, it takes some heat away with it, providing the cooling effect. The main difference between the two types is the way the refrigerant is changed from a gas back into a liquid so that the cycle can repeat
    • A compressor refrigerator uses an electrically-powered compressor to increase the pressure on the gas, and then condenses the hot high pressure gas back to a liquid by heat exchange with a coolant (usually air). Once the high pressure gas has cooled, it passes through a pressure release valve which drops the refrigerant temperature to below freezing.
    • An absorption refrigerator changes the gas back into a liquid using method that needs only heat, and has no moving parts.
    • A compressor refrigerators typically use an HCFC, while absorption refrigerators typically use ammonia.

  2. Air Velocity - The speed of moving air. Some air movement is desirable. A little air movement will provide a cooling sensation. Too much air movement is annoying and distracting.

  3. BAS – Building Automation System

  4. Chiller and/or Boiler Optimization – For facilities with multiple chillers and/or boilers, the most efficient units are selected to meet the existing load with minimum demand and or energy.

  5. Chiller Demand Limiting – The chiller electrical load is reduced at certain times to meet a maximum pre-specified chiller kW load.

  6. Clo Value - Insulation values for clothing ensembles from ASHRAE

  7. DCV – Demand Controlled Ventilation - DCV saves energy by ensuring that the proper amount of mechanical ventilation is supplied by continuously monitoring spaces and occupancy conditions by measuring CO2 concentrations. Significant energy can be saved when used in conjunction with typical VAV designs.

  8. Demand Limiting – Temporarily shedding electrical loads to prevent exceeding a peak value. Requires frequent attention.

  9. DOA – Dedicated Outside Air -Decoupling ventilation from heating/cooling can allow both to be optimized separately.

  10. Duty Cycling – Shutting down equipment for predetermined short periods of time during normal operating hours.

  11. EMS – Energy Management System – BAS that focuses on reducing energy use.

  12. Economizer - Mechanical devices intended to reduce energy consumption. In simple terms, an economizer is a heat exchanger. Air-side economizers can save energy in buildings by using cool outside air as a means of cooling the indoor space. Temperature control is achieved by mixing return air from the building with the outdoor air to achieve the desired mixed air or supply air temperature. In most cases, the process requires some sort of relief system to allow the excess air brought into the building to exit without creating a pressurization problem. The process must also be coordinated with the ventilation requirements to ensure that there is always enough outdoor air brought into the building to meet the ventilation requirements. In addition, the control of the process must be coordinated with the other heat transfer elements in the system like the preheat coil and cooling coil to prevent energy waste.
    • When the outside air is both sufficiently cool and sufficiently dry, the amount of enthalpy in the air is acceptable to the control and no additional conditioning of it is needed. This portion of the air-side economizer control scheme is called free cooling.
    • Air-side economizers can reduce HVAC energy costs in cold and temperate climates while also potentially improving indoor air quality, but are most often not appropriate in hot and humid climates.
    • It is commonly held that raising outdoor air flow rates to accommodate indoor air quality needs will dramatically increase energy use because this increased outdoor air must be conditioned. However, this conventional wisdom ignores the dynamics of energy use of different systems during different seasons. With the appropriate controls economizers can be used in climates which experience various weather systems.

  13. Emissivity - The ability of a material to re-radiate heat. E=1.00, all heat re-radiated. E=0, no heat re-radiated. Shiny metals have a low
    emissivity. Most building materials have an emissivity around 0.90.

  14. Enthalpy - A partial measure of the internal energy of a system. Enthalpy cannot be directly measured, but changes in it can be. If an outside pressure on a system is held constant, a change in enthalpy entails a change in the system's internal energy, plus a change in the system's volume.

  15. Exfiltration - Exfiltration: Air that is expelled from a building through cracks and openings in the envelope by a positive pressure in the building relative to the atmosphere. Generally, exfiltration is considered desirable as long as it is not excessive, especially in contrast to infiltration.

    Air that is expelled from a building through cracks and openings in the envelope by a positive pressure in the building relative to the atmosphere. Generally, exfiltration is considered desirable as long as it is not excessive, especially in contrast to infiltration.

  16. Freezestat - A safety device used to protect water and steam coils that are not designed to deal with subfreezing air from exposure to such by shutting down the air handling system and closing any outdoor air dampers. Manual reset is typically required and a hard wired installation is highly desirable.

  17. Global Temperature Adjustment –The practice of increasing the cooling set point and decreasing the heating set point, thereby relaxing the lower and upper limits of the set point deadband. Migrating to State Energy Code.

  18. HDD - Heating Degree Days - Quantitative indices designed to reflect the demand for energy needed to heat a home or business. These indices are derived from daily temperature observations, and the heating requirements for a given structure at a specific location are considered to be directly proportional to the number of HDD at that location. A similar index, cooling degree day' (CDD), reflects the amount of energy used to cool a home or business.

    HDD are defined relative to a base temperature - the outside temperature above which a building needs no heating. HDD are often made available with base temperatures of 65°F (18°C), or 60°F (15.5°C) One popular approximation method is to take the average temperature on any given day, and subtract it from the base temperature. If the value is less than or equal to zero, that day has zero HDD. But if the value is positive, that number represents the number of HDD on that day.

  19. Hot Deck/Cold Deck Temperature Reset - Selects the zone/area with the greater heating and cooling requirements, and establishes the minimum hot and cold deck temperature.

  20. IEQ - Indoor Environmental Quality, of which IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)is a component, also includes the impact of temperature, lighting, sound and other environmental issues.

  21. Inhabitant – User of the building’s controls. Readily usable control interface. The ususal phrase “occupant” indicates passivity, building controls invisible.

  22. Maintenance Management – Provides a maintenance schedule for utility plants, mechanical and electrical equipment based on run time, calendar, physical parameters.

  23. Lockouts – Ensure that equipment does not come on unless it’s necessary. They protect against nuances in the programming of the control system that may inadvertently cause equipment to turn on. For example, a chiller and its associated pumps can be locked out according to calendar date, when the outside air falls below a certain temperature or when building cooling requirements are below a minimum.

  24. Make-up Air - Air that is brought into the building by a fan system to replace air that is exhausted by a process like a kitchen exhaust hood or a lab hood. In some instances, it is simply included in the minimum outdoor air setting of the fan system serving the area. In other instances, it is addressed by a separate system dedicated to the function. The latter approach has the advantage of allowing operating economy to be achieved because the make up and exhaust processes can be cycled based on the function they serve independently from the comfort conditioning HVAC processes in the area. This is especially common in the case of kitchen hoods.

  25. MAU - Makeup Air Unit - An air handler that conditions 100% outside air. MAUs are typically used in industrial or commercial settings, or in "once-through" (blower sections that only blow air one-way into the building), "low flow" (air handling systems that blow air at a low flow rate), or "primary-secondary" (air handling systems that have an air handler or rooftop unit connected to an add-on makeup unit or hood) commercial HVAC systems.

  26. MET Units - Metabolic Rate. HVAC requirements differ depending on how a building is used. Most comfort standards use a Met rate around 1.2.

  27. Minimum Outdoor Air - The outdoor air that must be brought into the system to handle the ventilation requirements of the building. This amount may vary with building use and the system operating conditions (either intentionally or unintentionally) or may be fixed any time the system is in operation (again, either intentionally or unintentionally). Maintaining the proper minimum outdoor air quantity is crucial in terms of ensuring proper indoor air quality, proper inter-space pressure relationships, and proper building pressurization. It is directly related to meeting code enforced ventilation requirements and may include make up air associated with various processes like kitchen hoods and lab hoods.

  28. MRT – Mean Radiant Temperature - The average temperature of all surrounding surfaces. Comfort is not just air temperature. The radiant temperature of surfaces around you, air velocity, relative humidity, activity and clothing all make a big difference. You can be comfortable in a 78 degree room if some surfaces are 65 degrees.

  29. Psychrometric Chart - A graph of the physical properties of moist air at a constant pressure (often equated to an elevation relative to sea level). The chart graphically expresses how various properties relate to each other, and is thus a graphical equation of state.


  30. PTAC - Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner – An air conditioner and heater combined into a single, electrically-powered unit, typically installed through a wall and often found in hotels.

  31. Reheat – Cool to 55 for dehumidification, reheat to what the room needs.

  32. Reheat Coil/Reset – Selects the zone/area with the greatest need for reheat, and establishes the minimum temperature of the heating hot water so that it is just hot enough to meet the reheat needs.

  33. Relief Air - Air which is expelled from the building having been brought in by an economizer cycle.

  34. Relief Fan - A fan which is applied in conjunction with an economizer cycle and located in the relief path from a building, not to be confused with a return fan. Relief fans are applied when the return path from the occupied zone to the air handling unit has an insignificant pressure drop (thus requiring no return fan) but the restrictions in the relief path to the building exterior would cause the building to become over-pressurized when the economizer cycle was operating on high percentages of outdoor air if no fan were provided.

  35. Remote Boiler Monitoring and Supervision – Uses sensors at the boiler to provide inputs to the EMCS for automatic central reporting of alarms, critical operating parameters, and remote shutdown of boilers.

  36. Resets – When equipment operates at greater capacity than necessary to meet building loads, it wastes energy. An EMS can allow equipment to operate at the minimum capacity required by resetting operating parameters. The traditional design practice is to use a proportional reset schedule based on outdoor temperature. Although that method works reasonably well, a more effective method is to base resets directly on building loads.
    • Linear Reset - Temperature increases at a constant rate to the maximum temperature over the shed period
    • Exponential Reset - Temperature increases faster in the beginning and slower in the end.

  37. Return Fan - A fan which is applied in an air handling system when the restrictions in the return air flow path from the occupied zone to the air handling unit would cause the building to become overpressurized. Without a return fan, the supply fan must pressurize the occupied zone to a value that is high enough to overcome the return path restrictions. If this pressure exceeds 0.10 – 0.15 inches w.c., a variety of problems can ensue, including a reduction in supply flow and doors that are blown open.

  38. RTU – Roof Top Unit – A packaged air-handling unit, defined as either "recirculating" or "once-through" design, made specifically for outdoor installation. They most often include, internally, their own heating and cooling devices. RTUs are very common in some regions, particularly in single-story commercial buildings.

  39. Scheduled Start/Stop – Starting and stopping equipment based upon the time of day, and the day of the week.

  40. SEER - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio - Measures BTU of cooling/watt. Higher SEER = more efficiency Old systems typically around 7 – 10, newer ones up to 15. Worst one you can buy today is 13.

  41. Setpoint - The target value that an automatic control system controller will aim to reach.

  42. Setback - To save energy, the temperature inside public buildings is allowed to fluctuate after business hours by lowering the space heating setpoint or raising the space cooling setpoint.

  43. Stack Effect - (aka chimney effect) - The movement of air into and out of buildings, chimneys, flue gas stacks, or other containers, and is driven by buoyancy. When the building is warmer than the ambient environment, the air in the building is less dense than the air outside at ground level. Thus, outdoor air tends to enter the building through cracks and open doors on the lower levels. This air then moves upward through the building via shafts and other vertical openings, and exits the building through cracks and openings in the upper levels. The flow pattern reverses during the summer months when the temperatures inside the building are cooler than the ambient environment. The stack effect helps drive natural ventilation and infiltration.

  44. Static Pressure - The pressure in a duct system. This pressure is similar to our blood pressure. In this case the system fan (also known as the blower) creates the pressure, instead of the heart. High static pressure can cause low airflow.

  45. SWAC - Sea Water-based Air Conditioning - Uses cold seawater near coastlines to supply air-conditioner coolant, could significantly reduce electric utility loads during high summer demand periods. SWAC is a proven technology currently used in Hawaii, Stockholm and Ottawa.

  46. Thermal Comfort - Dependant primarily on the following six factors: air temperature, mean radiant temperature, air movement/velocity, relative humidity, activity levels, and the isolative properties of clothing.

  47. Thermal Mass - Material within a building, such as concrete or brick, that absorbs and holds heat, lessening energy costs. Building thermal mass can be used to reduce the peak cooling load. For example, in summer, the building mass can be pre-cooled during non-peak hours in order to reduce the cooling load in the peak hours. As a result, the cooling load is shifted in time and the peak demand is reduced. The building mass can be cooled most effectively during unoccupied hours because it is possible to relax the comfort constraints.

  48. Thermal Zone - A single or group of neighboring indoor spaces that the HVAC designer expects will have similar thermal loads. Building codes may require zoning to save energy in commercial buildings. Zones are defined in the building to reduce the number of HVAC subsystems, and thus initial cost. For example, for perimeter offices, rather than one zone for each office, all offices facing west can be combined into one zone. Small residences typically have only one conditioned thermal zone, plus unconditioned spaces such as unconditioned garages, attics, and crawlspaces, and unconditioned basements.

  49. Tons – Cooling capacity is rated in tons. Equivalent to a ton of ice. 1 ton = 12,000 BTU per hour. Typically, a window unit is under 1 ton, central home AC is 1 to 3 tons and commercial is over 3 tons.

  50. U-value - (or U-factor), more correctly called the overall heat transfer coefficient, describes how well a building element conducts heat. It measures the rate of heat transfer through a building element over a given area, under standardized conditions. The usual standard is at a temperature gradient of 24C, at 50% humidity with no wind (a smaller U-value is better).
    U is the inverse of R with SI units of W/(m²K) and US units of BTU/(h °F ft²)

  51. VAV – Variable Air Volume – Technique for controlling the capacity of a HVAC system. An air handling system wherein the supply flow varies as a function of some process requirement. Usually the driving requirement is cooling load, but systems where the volume varies as a function of the heating load or pressurization requirements can also be found. In load driven applications, varying the flow can have a major impact on the energy required to serve the process on several fronts.

    • Fan energy is saved because the amount of air moved varies with the load. This is a powerful, non-linear relationship and all other things being equal, a 25% reduction in flow translates to a 58% reduction in fan horsepower. The need in most systems to maintain some fixed discharge pressure at the inlet to the terminal units detracts from this some, but there are still significant savings to be realized.
    • Control energy is saved in most applications since the need for less capacity is matched by a reduction in available capacity. This is in contrast to constant volume system approaches like reheat, multi-zone, or double duct where the need for a reduction in capacity is addressed by imposing a false load on the system. For instance a constant volume reheat system operating at part load eliminates unnecessary cooling capacity by heating the supply air at the terminal location with a reheat coil.
    • HVAC process energy is saved at the air handling system since the flow through the heat transfer equipment is reduced with load.
    • Dehumidification is greater with VAV systems than it is with constant volume systems which modulate the discharge air temperature to attain part load cooling capacity.
    Control of the system's fan capacity is critical in VAV systems. Without proper and rapid flow rate control, the system's ductwork, or its sealing, can easily be damaged by over-pressurization. Includes reheat coil, fan.

    A BAS could reset VAV static pressure by scanning all the VAV damper positions and gradually changing the static pressure until only one damper was completely open. At that level of static pressure the fan draws the least amount of power required to distribute sufficient air to all the boxes. Stand alone controllers usually cannot rest static pressure in this manner because they typically have no way of sensing VAV damper position. (also called an Inverter): Variable Frequency Drive; a variable speed drive technology that varies the speed of an alternating current (a.c.) motor by varying the frequency of the ac power applied to it. In general terms, the drive circuitry rectifies the incoming a.c. utility power into pulsed direct current (d.c.; hence the term inverter), modifies the frequency and voltage, then coverts the power back to a.c. for use by the motor. There are a variety of technologies used to accomplish the rectification and wave form modification. VAV often provide too little outside air on normal days.

  52. VFD – Variable Frequency Drive (also called an Inverter)a variable speed drive technology that varies the speed of an alternating current (a.c.) motor by varying the frequency of the ac power applied to it. In general terms, the drive circuitry rectifies the incoming a.c. utility power into pulsed direct current (d.c.; hence the term inverter), modifies the frequency and voltage, then coverts the power back to a.c. for use by the motor. There are a variety of technologies used to accomplish the rectification and wave form modification.

    • Motors provide power for pumps and fans for the heating and cooling of buildings.
    • Only a small percentage of large motors are controlled by variable speed drives as opposed to traditional fixed drives which run at full speed all the time.
    • A U.S. motor challenge study indicated that 85 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) per year could be saved using variable drives and high-efficiency motors. A variable speed drive can reduce a motor’s energy consumption by as much as 60%.
    • A variable speed drive can be enabled to respond automatically to pricing signals from the utility; this could have a major impact on a firm’s total consumption requirements and costs, as well as energy-efficiency benefits for society at large

  53. Warm Up/Cool Down Ventilation & Recirculation – Controls operation of the Outside Air dampers when the introduction of OA would impose an additional thermal load during warm-up or cool-down cycles prior to occupancy of a building…often poorly executed.


Smart sensors can identify overcycling wears out machinery and wastes energy.

3. Business Case
  • A Smart Grid is a key enabler in integrating smart building controls with the goal of peak reduction.
  • For commercial and industrial customers, an energy management system linked to a system of internal sensors and controllers can leverage the continual load and rate structures to allow both demand response operations and demand bidding operations.
  • Testing is under way on using web services to integrate BAS’s with utility systems which would implement control strategies based on real-time pricing.
  • Energy storage is another mechanism to optimize building energy usage in response to real-time pricing (RTP) signals. The RTP system provides the pricing schedule through email or direct transfer to the Building Automation System that can perform the necessary activities to optimize the building energy usage.
  • Because electrical demand charges can make up 40% of a utility bill, many building automation systems have demand limiting or load shedding functions. For example, when the demand on a building meter or piece of equipment, such as a chiller, approaches a predetermined setpoint, the BAS does no allow the equipment to load up any further. Another way to minimize peak demand is to program time delays between the start-up of major pieces of electrical load equipment, so several pieces of equipment do not start up at the same time.
  • Global-zone temperature set point adjustment is an ideal DR strategy for HVAC systems with direct digital controls. The acceptability of set point adjustment strategy depends on how much, how fast, and how often it is executed, as well as other occupant related issues such as occupants’ preparation and the information provided to them.
  • .StandardEfficient
    Energy100KBTU/sf/yrLess than 40
    Fan0.9 W/CFM0.3
    Pump30 W/GPM10
    Air Cooling1.4 kW/ton0.9
    Water Cooling1.0 kW/ton0.5
    Percent Free Cooling40%60%
    Boiler Efficiency80%95%
    Condensing
    ReheatYesNo
  • Finally, decoupling ventalation from heating/cooling can provide the opportunity to optimize both systems rather than making compromises in each.

4. Benefits
  • Cost Savings – Simulation results and field tests confirmed tests increasing the zone temperature set-point by four degrees can reduce chiller electricity consumption by about 33% and HVAC electricity consumption by about 25% over a four hour shed, even on hot days. The results also indicate the value of pre-cooling in maximizing the electrical shed in the on-peak period. By lowering the zone temperature by two degrees in the morning off-peak period, the on-peak shed resulting from raising the set-point by four degrees is increased by about 50%. Whether or not pre-cooling is used, the dynamics of the shed need to be managed in order to avoid charging the thermal capacity of the building too quickly, resulting in high cooling load and electric demand before the end of the shed period. An exponential trajectory for the zone set-point during the shed yielded good results.
Example of Smart Thermostat Response for Small Commercial Customer



5. Risks/Issues
  • Unempowered Facilities Organization
    • System is only as good as the operators
    • Tends to be short of resources with many responsibilities.
    • Rarely understands past, current or future energy markets.
    • Lacks the ability to quantify demand reduction and the prerogative to execute these strategies if there are potential negative consequences.
    • Automation is highly technical and requires special knowledge of both building/process systems and communication technologies
    • Perceived loss of control by plant managers
    • Energy use practices change over time as personnel and building conditions change
  • Unempowered Inhabitants - When people feel in control of their environment, they feel more pleasure, comfort, productivity and have more tolerance for less than ideal conditions.
  • User Error
    • Act in response to random external events
    • Use switches after event
    • Overcompensate to minor annoyance
    • Wait some time until taking action
    • Leave system in switched state, do what is most convenient and easiest.
  • Insulative Properties of Clothing - The socially/culturally acceptable clothing styles that we grow up with, which are part of the norms we learn from our family, peers, schooling, company policies, and the mass media, and which vary by activity/task/job description, gender, age, class, and culture, are part of what generate the experience of being thermally comfortable in a given situation. There may be thermal comfort conflicts among different demographic groups possessing different clothing norms (and therefore different insulative values of dress) — including the classic modern conflict between male and female office workers.
  • Individual vs. Collective Comfort
  • Humidity - Dewpoint can be important relative to HVAC process temperatures. Controlling humidity may be a subject of special concern in buildings with very high occupant densities
  • Integration - The trick is getting the sensors and control systems to work together. For example, Air Handler and Terminal Unit Controls Not Coordinated - Independent control loops upstream and downstream, but part of the same duct system, each with its own set point, is a source of waste. Each acts without regard to the other
  • BAS Companies Not Energy Focused
    • Business model focuses on low first cost
    • No “upside” for facilitating participation in DR marketplace – usually requires their most experienced (and profitable) people
    • Understand that most customers only use a fraction of a system’s capabilities (i.e. optimized start, chilled water reset, demand limiting)
  • Inefficient Design - Peak energy use is further amplified by the natural tendency of designers and contractors to provide a larger capacity system than necessary, resulting in excessive and inefficiency cycling of the compressor. Increased cycling of a direct expansion air conditioning system reduces overall efficiency through cycle start-up losses which occur until the cold liquid refrigerant returns to the evaporator coil. The results of over sizing single-speed units include increased electric peak and, in some cases, increased energy consumption.

6. Success Criteria
  • The HVAC industry and market will be transformed to ensure that its energy performance is optimal for California.
  • Market Transformation Programs need to have longer horizons
  • Incentives may vary, yet a consistent structure will lead to wider acceptance
  • Education and simplicity are critical
  • Even when one buys a Porsche, it does not come with a driver and a mechanic – the system is only as good as the people involved in the process

7. Next Steps
  • California should investigate a new efficiency metric for residential and nonresidential direct expansion, air cooled air conditioning system that appropriately rates performance in hot and dry California climate zones.

8. Companies
  1. Greentechmedia - Eleven Cool Names and Concepts to Watch in Air Conditioning. Companies and concepts to keep your eye on.

  2. Chromasun - (Splash Screen Only So Far) - San Jose, CA - Ausura Founder Developed a solar air conditioner from Ausra co-founder Peter Le Lievre. Heat is captured with a rooftop device similar to a solar thermal power plant. The heat is then used, instead of natural gas, to boil a refrigerant in a solution in a sealed chamber. Through heat exchangers and manipulating the pressure inside the sealed chambers, the refrigerant is re-condensed into a low-temperature liquid and employed create cold air. The evaporation-condensation cycle goes as long as the sun provides enough heat. Chromasun's device is 75 percent efficient. The device – at 10 foot by 4 foot sealed box – is essentially a utility scale solar thermal plant and a utility-scale concentrating solar PV plant in miniature. It contains mirrors, receivers and a concentrator for generating solar thermal energy as well as silicon solar cells.

  3. CUE - Clean Urban Energy - Chicago, IL -  CUE’s software as a service (SaaS) platform captures the performance and electric demand of building HVAC systems, and then evaluates temperature-setting strategies that shift HVAC electric consumption to take advantage of lower night-time/early morning temperatures and electric prices. CUE’s SaaS operates via a Niagara interface and communicates with the wide range of proprietary building automation systems. CUE technology can be applied to any existing building regardless of age, and requires minimal capital investment and no space requirement.   In July 2011, CUE announced a $7 million investment from VCs Battery Ventures and Rho Ventures.

  4. Ice Energy, Windsor, CO - Provides distributed energy storage and smart grid solutions for optimizing energy system efficiency through peak load management and integration of intermittent, renewable resources onto the grid. Pairing its Ice Bear energy storage module with a standard commercial air conditioner, Ice Energy delivers the industry's first hybrid cooling solution specifically developed to reduce air conditioning energy demand for small to mid-sized commercial businesses. With $63 million of VC funding raised since 2005, and Goldman Sachs as a backer, the company is probably thinking of an IPO.

  5. InThrMa - Intelligent Thermal Management - Oakland, CA - Web based services for Proliphix Thermostats

  6. Octus Energy - Davis CA - Trying to commercialize a technology out of UC Davis called WicKool that collects the condensate (i.e., water drops) extracted from the cool air flows created by an air conditioner and uses that to pre-cool incoming air. Octus Energy's design also lets building managers get rid of a condensation ejection system. It's a passive system but can improve air conditioner efficiency by 3 percent to 5 percent. It's been tested at a Walmart and Target in the Sacramento, Calif. area. WicKool may license to other companies.

  7. Optimum Energy LLC, Seattle, WA - Makes software (and some hardware) for controlling the chillers inside skyscrapers.

    Optimum has devised a software-as-a-service system that monitors and controls the chilling systems, which provide the water for air conditioners in large buildings. Control systems for water chilling have existed for years, but often go for overkill. The systems are geared towards keeping the water at a relatively steady 44 degrees, and they keep the flow rate about the same. That means on moderately warm days, more cool air is produced than is required, leading to super chilly rooms or ejected cold air.

    In Optimum's system, the water temperature can rise without impacting the temperature inside the building. Depending on environmental conditions and occupancy, the software can reduce the number of pieces in operation at any given time and also reduce the power going to the machinery in operation. Trend data is also collected, which can be used to anticipate equipment failure.

    The water temperature is ultimately set by an algorithm that analyzes current data on pressure, flow, ambient termperature, water temperature, occupancy, history and other factors.

  8. Radio Thermostadt Company of America - San Francisco - In 2010 Radio Thermostadt expanded to the holy grail of home improvement retail: Home Depot. Ecobee and iThermostat both offer similar products, but Radio Thermostat is hoping the price of $99 and space on the shelves of one of the nation’s largest retailers will compel the masses to pick up its product.

    “The 'programmable' got you part of the way there, but no one lives in a Leave it to Beaver household anymore,” said Dan Goodman of Radio Thermostat Company of America. Instead, people need a device that is easy and user-friendly, as well.

    The product, sold under the 3M Filtrete brand, isn’t that different from others on the market, and one could argue it’s even a little more simplistic in terms of its touch screen and offerings. However, Ecobee retails for nearly $500 in the U.S., and while iThermostat is free, that is only through a utility partner.

    The thermostat’s website, which is free, and requisite iPhone app, are both simple to use. The interface is less than flashy, completely utilitarian, and easy to understand. For now, it is just a place to adjust the temperature of the thermostat, as opposed to a home energy management portal.

  9. Smartcool Systems Inc (TSXV: SSC) - Vancouver, BC - Specializes in energy and cost reduction technologies for the HVAC and refrigeration systems of commercial, industrial and retail businesses. The Smartcool product line of green technologies reduces the electricity consumption (kWh) and demand (KW) of air conditioning and refrigeration compressors. Agorithms that optimize the compressor in commercial or residential air conditioners, the component that can account for up to 70 percent of the power consumed by some systems. More than 26,000 of its energy saving modules have been installed. Smart Cool Systems has been around for nearly 20 years and is still small.

  10. Transformative Wave - Kent, WA - Since 2009, Transformative Wave has been committed to developing, and bringing to market a growing line of energy saving and environmentally responsible solutions to address deficient packaged HVAC rooftop units (RTUs).

    Transformative Wave’s CATALYST is a RTU Retrofit solution that reduces HVAC energy usage by 25 – 50% and the recognized leader in RTU optimization and control.

    The CATALYST is more than a controller and more than a variable frequency drive (VFD). It is a complete HVAC energy efficiency upgrade that includes numerous components, adds 5-6 new sensors and has been developed as an easy-to-install pre-wired kit. When applied, it radically lowers the energy use and improves the overall performance of constant volume HVAC systems. The CATALYST assures proper ventilation, maximizes the use of outside air for free cooling beyond standard economizer logic, and reduces fan energy use by an average of 69%.

9. Links
  1. Simultaneous Heating and Cooling, The HVAC Blight by Steve P. Doty, PE, CEM
  2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report, "Energy Cost and IAQ Performance of Ventilation Systems and Controls"
  3. Evaluation of Demand Shifting Strategies with Thermal Mass in Two Large Commercial Builidngs - Peng Xu - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  4. International Facility Management Association. Temperature Wars: Savings vs. Comfort" [PDF], The purpose of this 2009 study is to identify when most thermal complaints occur, the nature of the complaints, and what building actions and improvements are made to make workers comfortable and able to concentrate on their jobs

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Enterprise Building Management

Whether managing all systems in a building, or managing one system across several buildings, EBM enhances the ability to manage energy consumption.

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1. Background
2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Benefits
5. Risks/Issues
6. Success Criteria
7. Companies
8. Links


Enterprise Controls Provide a Single Cohesive Network


1.Background
  • In large organizations there are control systems that manage building functions, and there are enterprise systems used to manage operations. Usually these two types of systems are not integrated. Each has much to offer the other, but they rarely intermingle.

  • Information systems, such as SAP and Oracle, help manage resources, supply chains, and relationships with the enterprise's stakeholders and clients. They cover management decisions and actions requiring information. The objective is to gather data from disparate systems and deliver it as useful information. This requires information to be normalized for meaningful correlations.
    • Building controls include HVAC controls, sensors, meters, fire alarms, access control etc.
    • Enterprise systems include financial software, Capacity Requirements Planning (CRP), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Facility scheduling, load profile models, power purchasing and asset management.

  • There are major integration challenges even within building controls, Various building level systems just don’t inherently communicate. Intelligence has ended up scattered across disparate networks of sensors, logic and actuators. Badge readers don’t talk to chillers, which don’t talk to elevator controllers, which don’t talk to surveillance cameras. Alarms, video and other data may be consolidated to show up on a shared console, but that’s only a small step forward.

  • It’s common to see energy use profiles generated from data collected with energy monitoring systems, but it’s very uncommon to have an analysis solution that includes information about the physical operation, the day-to-day operation that caused the energy profile. Managers end up studying the data resulting from energy consumption, not the root causes of energy consumption.

  • The global market for building data integration technologies continues to grow as vendors begin to understand and develop solutions that process large amounts of facility data. Today, the challenge lies in organizing data sets that come with various formats, naming conventions, and syntaxes. While new building energy management systems (BEMSs) can be implemented to enhance data collection and processing, existing systems present challenges in performing functional data analyses.


2. Acronyms/Definitions
  1. Building Integration - Making diverse systems in multi-building and campus environments communicate Best example is the public sector Campus built over time systems installed by lowest bidder Results in – multiple systems that do not communicate.

  2. EBM – Enterprise Building Management - Bridges the gulf between the business and operational layers of the enterprise. Font end for performing advanced data analytics, data aggregation, data archiving, fault detection and fault diagnostics on building automation information across the enterprise.

  3. EEM - Enterprise Energy Management

  4. Facility Master System Integrators - Performance contractors who need to be hired and managed as if they are IT contractors.

  5. EUI's - Energy Use Indices -Such as kilowatt hours used per square foot (kWh/SF) can be compared between similar buildings to gauge if any particular building is using more energy than necessary. EUIs can also be compared to previous data to ascertain if a particular building’s energy usage has increased. Since equipment efficiency tends to decrease over time, observations of energy usage can indicate when equipment is in need of service or replacement.

  6. FDD – Fault Detection and Diagnostics – Data analytics capable of crunching hundreds of thousands of points from the now-integrated enterprise into understandable and manageable action items. These analytics can be quickly applied to the BAS system in order to begin optimizing it. For example, FDDs can generate a report of all the zones, in the portfolio, which are unoccupied and yet receiving conditioned air.

  7. XML For multi-building developments — whether that means university campuses, government buildings, medical centers or corporations with buildings scattered in various locations — XML may offer a way to manage operations and share important data via Web services over the Internet or campus intranet system.

3. Business Case
  • Fully integrated BEMSs can process data from building systems, the grid, and weather information to provide actionable insights and improve facilities management. According to a 1Q16 research report from Navigant Research, global building data integration revenue is expected to grow from $89.9 million in 2016 to $971.3 million in 2025.
  • Multi building owners have a huge maintenance problem. They are looking for an Internet friendly, real-time, loosely coupled, peer-to-peer integration framework that bridges the gap between the business layer and the operational layer of the enterprise.
  • Building level systems integration includes:
    • Fire alarm and smoke control systems. Fire Alarms often run on their own network due to liability concerns and are not certified for LonWorks. Building control systems can Integrate with fire alarms to close dampers for smoke control
    • Security and Access control systems
    • Energy Control and Monitoring Systems
    • Electrical Infrastructure, Switchgear, Lighting
    • Digital Signage, Communication Systems, Voice/Data
    • HVAC Systems and Equipment
    • Multiple Vendor DDC for campus environments
  • Enterprise Integration includes:
    • Back office data systems, accounting, email, HR, aggregated energy reporting, real-time utility pricing, hotel guest service systems, continuous commissioning.
    • XML Web Services, multiple BMS integrations
    • Linking real time information to business applications
  • EBM Markets include:
    1. Large Enterprises - Typically serve the needs of a huge number of people and comprise a large variety and number of buildings within their respective real estate portfolios. Large enterprises also face pressure to reduce cost while increasing service levels.
    2. Data Centers - Without 24/7 awareness of the physical environment, data centers, and the enterprise that depends on it, are at risk. While cooling, power and security systems often operate outside the standards set by I.T and protocols like Modbus, LON and BACnet, are not within the standards set by IT, EBM can provide an integrated operating picture of operations.
    3. Defense
    4. Education – Universities and School Systems
    5. Government
    6. Healthcare - Hospitals often operate with gross inefficiencies, un-integrated systems, no enterprise network and poor diagnostic tools. The main reason for this lack of visibility is that there is typically little or no integration between the various systems in the hospital. In addition to standard interfaces, hospital systems typically also include Patient Tracking, Nurse Call, Medical Gas, Mobile Refrigerated Case, Asset Management and Human Resources systems. Space management dynamics of a hospital make it impossible to effectively manage energy and building operating expenses at the building systems level. Regulators demand compliance from hospitals via patient-safety reporting measures such as JHACO.
    7. Retail Chains
    8. Real Estate

4. Benefits
  1. Reduced Energy Costs - The most clearly evident and tangible benefit of EBM is near-term cost savings. Adoption is driven by net realized savings; I can save x%, but at what cost? Whether managing all systems in a building, or managing one system across several buildings, EBM enhances the ability to contain energy consumption. Evolving energy markets create opportunities to reduce energy costs, but taking advantage of those opportunities is increasingly complex. For example, with an EBM a facility manager can set a policy to run major pieces of laboratory equipment at times that take advantage of time-of-day utility tariffs. EBM systems can:
    • Track energy use and savings for the enterprise via executive level dashboards
    • Analyze historical and near real-time energy consumption and demand by site.
    • Compare HVAC operational data to metered energy consumption data
    • Compare energy use, costs, and savings between sites
    • Provide short and long term energy forecasts by site and by enterprise
    • Zoom to sites with utility bill discrepancies

  2. Managed Capital Costs – EBM give building owners tools to understand which building systems to change and would it be cost effective to do so.

  3. Visibility – EBM provides executives and management easily understood information related to the energy efficiency of their facilities and helps to identify how well buildings are performing overall with respect to commissioned state of systems and maintenance activities. The introduction of a web browser interface allows a user to access and view resources. Users can dramatically enhance their ability to manage a facility by networking the BAS’s for multiple buildings so that they can be controlled from one location through the internet. Integration allows energy information to be elevated to the management level, increasing usefulness.

  4. Share Information - Simply stated: Data is Valuable. Aggregated data is compounded value. Sharing building and energy data empowers decision making. EBM eliminates silos of systems.

  5. Proactive Maintenance - EBM reduces maintenance costs and changes the way asset management works. Instead of reacting to failures, an enterprise can be proactive about maintenance and reduce repair costs. Parts inventories can be smaller, and replacement parts can be ordered in anticipation of needed service. A simple example is replacing air filters based on the actual run time, instead of the calendar, improving HVAC performance and indoor air quality, while reducing the time and expense of needlessly changing filters. Expanding this example to a larger scale, a maintenance management system that interacts with a building control system can monitor run times and performance for all equipment. Based on real-time information, the system detects a compromised motor and submits an order for replacement parts before the motor fails. When parts are delivered, that event generates work requests, scheduling the work for the off hours. A repair technician arrives with the right parts, ready to complete the maintenance in one visit, minimizing truck rolls and costs.

  6. Reliability - EBM improves reliability by anticipating situations, allowing management to act, rather than react.

  7. Centralized Support - Moving functions to Enterprise level allows for talent in proper discipline. EBM enables connecting existing systems, to achieve new levels of centralized monitoring and control. It enables management from anywhere -- on campus, or off. As needs change, new systems can be integrated ad hoc, through Web Services, often without human intervention. When support or systems management are required, the skills are mainstream and readily available.

  8. Reduced Demand on Facilities Management Staff- The integration of building systems brings control to those who need it, reducing demand on facilities management staff. For example, a secretary uses a desktop application for conference room scheduling, audio-visual control, and temperature setpoints. For example, an employee swipes an access card to enter a building on the weekend. This activates HVAC and lighting in her space, so she is safe and comfortable. Administration accurately bills the department for use of the environmental systems.

  9. Manage Microgrids - EBM provides information to help efficiently operate energy-producing utilities on campus. For example, load modeling, combined with hourly electric tariffs and meteorological data, enable optimization of combined cycle and thermal storage systems.

  10. Compliance - EBM allows health officials to examine conditions such as indoor air quality directly, without the support of facilities management staff. Historical data establishes a visible pattern of satisfactory conditions.

  11. Education - Sensor data and other real-time information can be used in classroom activities to enhance teaching of certain subjects. A university provides a living laboratory for students whose careers will require experience with these technologies. A business professor can assign projects that use live data to develop new business models for energy purchasing. Architecture students can get practical experience with LEED verification. Engineering students can work with advanced controls.

  12. Continuous Commissioning - Energy models and construction documents are used in commissioning. They become part of the EBM system after project completion, making it possible to continuously commission a building. Actual data gathered through the life of one building becomes input for planning the next.

  13. Streamlined Business Processes - Current processes, such as metering and internal billing, can be streamlined with EBM. Energy data can be incorporated into management reports and spreadsheets, and thus included in all levels of decision making.

  14. Revealed Hidden Data, Discovering New Uses -It would be impossible to anticipate every benefit of EBM, because of the many unforeseeable ways in which data might be used. Imagine predicting, in 1993, the numerous ways in which the Internet would be used. Many envisioned online newspapers, but few imagined iTunes or Google Maps. The availability of any new resource sparks the imaginations of enterprises and entrepreneurs who match unmet needs with the newly discovered potential.

Remote Connectivity Efficiently Manages a Distributed Organization



5. Risks/Issues
  • Silo Building Control Systems - Each building control system is optimized for its intended purpose, the "best of breed" available at the time of purchase. The engineers who developed them applied the best practices in their applications. Each of these systems has a narrow focus of operation. A small part of an enterprise is served by each system and, as a result, a small portion of the potential value is delivered. Sharing data is not a priority for individual systems, so they have a limited amount of integration. Islanded systems make it difficult to increase functionality -- most have achieved the peak of their abilities within their narrow scope. A facilities manager might ask, "If all I have after the upgrade is a newer version what I have now, why upgrade before current systems fail?"

  • Data Quality - Macro trends in technology are making it increasingly cost effective to instrument and collect data about the operations and energy usage of buildings. We are now awash in data and the new problem is how to make sense of it. Today most operational data has poor semantic modeling and requires a manual, labor intensive process to "map" the data before value creation can begin.

  • Maintenance - Balancing interoperability with dependence on a single vendor. This is an especially important issue for owners of multiple buildings being developed over time such as a school district. Maintenance costs could be much higher if each location is different.

  • Legacy - Campus built over time systems installed by lowest bidder Results in – multiple systems that do not communicate.

  • Market Power - Lock in to single vendor. Centralized administration is nonexistent, seen as a disadvantage by vendors who prefer to lock customers into their products.

  • Lack of Visibility – Energy bills only go to the accounting department. Not having metered information at the building level.

6. Success Criteria
  • Master Planning – Sit down with decision makers. Determine do we want to go. What are we trying to do. We have multiple building of different ages with different automation systems from different companies. Several meetings to develop master plan, what protocol will support all these buildings what information do you want out of this. Once you do the planning up front, then it becomes clear. Once all the buildings can communicate on a common factor. Come out of that how to train the people. Personnel will become more effective because they are working on one standard. Open standard scenario. Then it becomes clear what systems have to migrate. Maintenance cost will be reduced.
  • Common Web HMI - Reduces costs and increases productivity
  • Open Architecture Gateways - Makes individual buildings easier to transfer ownership and ensure re-integration.
  • Communication Infrastructure - Unifying BAS communication enables HMI choice.
  • Open Standards - Enable IT to develop multi-vendor systems and networks, decreasing the cost of integration and ownership.
  • Open Architecture – Directory enabled and discoverable, to minimize administrative overhead. Stateless, to reduce network burden, and designed to support failover measures.

7. Companies
  1. BuildingIQ, Rushcutters Bay, NSW, Australia & Palo Alto, CA - Their building energy management software can learn and forecast your building's energy requirements, and continuously optimize BMS settings to increase energy efficiency. BuildingIQ’s “predictive energy optimization” system, based on technology from Australian national research lab CSIRO, balances tenant comfort and energy savings by crunching weather reports, building control system data, energy pricing information, and online surveys of tenant comfort, among other sources of information. That allows the system to fine-tune building control systems with energy prices in mind.

  2. Candi Controls - Oakland, CA -  A "Cloud-Assisted Network-Device Integration." They solve for interoperability by enabling data exchange between incompatible devices and services via a flexible, open translation layer at the edge of the network. Using a service bus architecture, they abstract and simplify the difficulty of multiple protocols. This has the effect of "normalizing" machine-to-machine and machine-to-cloud communications. Their streamlined Internet of Things Protocol™ ("IOTP") API allows developers and other parties to quickly realize and connect innovative services and apps to endpoint hardware, without the hassle of interpreting countless low-level protocols. Candi’s target market is service providers in the energy and telecommunications/data industries, specifically utilities, telecoms, MSOs, and the systems integrators and manufacturers associated with those industries.

  3. CBRE - Los Angeles, CA - The world’s largest real estate services company.

  4. CISCO San Jose, CA (Nasdaq: CSCO ) - A backbone of CISCO's enterprise building management initiative is the mediator technology which came through Cisco’s acquisition of a California company, Richards-Zeta Inc., in 2009. Mediator provides a centralized Internet protocol (IP)-based management of multiple systems running in a building including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electricity, water, telephony and data.

  5. Cooper Tree Analytics - Surrey, BC - Unit of Delta Controls. One one of the largest providers of building analytics software, with offices and distributors around the world. CopperTree Analytics provides energy management and fault detection diagnostics with our Kaizen software, which delivers you the power to optimize your building performance.


  6. Cylon Controls, Dublin, Ireland  US Division Cylon Energy,  Manchester, NH - provides smart energy control systems for buildings and has been used in industrial, commercial, educational and medical facilities.

  7. Ecova - Spokane, WA - An energy and sustainability management company - leading building efficiency intelligence company. Helps utility providers use meter and asset data analytic-enabled approaches to dramatically scale energy efficiency savings in the commercial sector.

    Acquired Retroficiency in October 2015 . Retroficiency uses data to transform the manual process of identifying energy efficiency opportunities, and the resulting glut in the market that creates. Utilities, which have tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of customers, are the key to unlocking that potential. When harnessed effectively, smart grid and smart meter data can provide deep insights about how a building is using energy and how it can improve in minutes and without ever going on site. This information can be used to target, engage, convert, and track customer energy efficiency more effectively than ever before.

  8. GridPoint, Arlington, VA. -  In its first decade of existence, GridPoint raised nearly $300 million in VC funding, bought a half-dozen smaller startups -- and then ousted CEO Peter Corsell, laid off much of its staff, and more or less disappeared from view in the smart grid, EV charging and home energy analytics fields it had sought to command. At that point, many industry observers wrote it off as a has-been from the go-go green technology fundraising days of the prior decade.

    But in the past two years, the Arlington, Va.-based startup has raised $22 million in new funding, hired a new CEO, and rebuilt itself as a commercial building energy management player, expanding on the business it acquired when it bought startup ADMMicro.

    Now GridPoint has about 11,000 commercial building sites under its management, with a combination of energy monitoring hardware, portfolio management software, and a services arm to help achieve and maintain efficiency improvements for customers like big-box retail, fast-food restaurants and pharmacy chains.

  9.  ICONICS Foxborough, MA - By providing a clear view of energy consumption patterns, ICONICS helps companies with their energy conservation efforts. By visualizing, aggregating and summarizing energy usage by location and forecasting energy costs over time, organizations can identify how and where to optimize consumption. Energy optimization means cost savings for the organization, reduction of carbon footprint and an increase in sustainability.

  10. Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) Acquired Grid Logix in 2008. Gridlogix's Automated Enterprise Management solution empowers anyone in an organization with the real time data that allows the organization to improve the facility efficiency.

  11. Lucid Design Group - Oakland, CA - Sells a software and sensor service that monitors the real-time use of electricity, natural gas and water. The sensors collect data on electricity and other resources consumed, then use a dashboard to display the amount of money both spent and saved. The company is hoping to add more of a social network component, so consumers can, say, compare their savings to their buddies online. Their Building Network Dashboard can create community-wide comparisons and facilitate real-time energy reduction competitions.

  12. Schneider Electric (ADR: SBGSY) purchased two French companies in building management in December 2010 as the race to build a suite of comprehensive suite of energy services rolls on. Vizelia provides real-time energy management software for commercial buildings, while D5X provides services to optimize how energy gets consumed in buildings.

  13. SCIenergy (SCI)- Dallas, TX - Atlanta Technology Center - Provides energy efficiency solutions via Predictive Diagnostics and Analytics for the commercial building market. The company’s suite of energy management solutions uses the industry’s first software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to help reduce annual energy spending by comparing predicted energy and system efficiencies against real-time operation.

    In June 2011 SCI signed a definitive agreement to acquire Servidyne, Inc. (NASDAQ:SERV) Atlanta, GA, an energy management and demand response company, for a price of $3.50 per share in an all-cash transaction. The transaction, approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, is expected to close on or before Q4 2011, pending Servidyne shareholder and customary regulatory approvals. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will take on the name SCIenergy Inc. (SCIenergy™).

    SCIenergy will combine Servidyne’s extensive experience in Energy Efficiency, Demand Response and Facilities Maintenance with SCI’s core competency in cloud-based energy management. Servidyne also has deep domain knowledge in Retro Commissioning (RCx), LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EBOM), and is the nine-time recipient of EPA’s Energy Star® Partner of the Year Award.

  14. Siemens Building Technologies (ADR NYSE: SI) Acquired Site Controls - Austin, TX - in October 2010. Site controls specialized in energy management and facilities intelligence solutions for retail chains, restaurants and bank branches.

    Through Site-Command Energy Management System, Michaels Stores produced a more than 25 percent drop in consumption among the retailer’s nearly 1,000stores as a result of the equipment monitoring and control and Web-based business intelligence provided by the Site-Command system.

  15. Skyfoundry - Glen Allen, VA - Provides analytics software for energy management and building systems optimization. It offers SkySpark, which allows domain experts to capture their knowledge in ‘rules’ that automatically run against collected data. The company’s analytics engine provides the ability to automatically identify issues worthy of attention. Its solution aggregates, organizes, and manages real-time and time-series data; imports data from Excel, CSV, relational databases, or oBIX; and ships with a suite of apps that allow users to manage and visualize their data using Web browser. The company offers its software for applications, including building commissioning, equipment fault detection, energy analysis, load profiling, facility benchmarking, asset performance tracking, and carbon and greenhouse gas reporting.

  16. Tridium - Richmond, VA - As of November 29, 2005, Tridium, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Honeywell.    Provides open platforms, software frameworks, automation infrastructure technology, energy management, and device-to-enterprise integration solutions for Internet of Things. It offers its solutions for building automation, energy management, security management, industrial automation, convergence retailing, medical, lighting control, maintenance repair operations, smart services, machine-to-machine, total facilities management, smart homes, and telecommunications applications.

  17. Verisae Minneapolis, MN Makes software designed to track carbon and energy consumption, to keep records detailing the company's own energy consumption. Helps measure, manage and reduce equipment and energy costs including the related business and environmental impacts of carbon emissions. The platform consists of web-enabled enterprise management solutions that improve operational efficiency, protect brand integrity and ensure regulatory compliance for distributed enterprises across multiple industries.

  18. ViaLogy, (LSE: viy) Altadena, CA - Enable real-time fusion of inputs from tens to thousands of sensors of different types. Intelligently combining multiple sensor inputs provides a more complete operational picture and reduces false positives, nuisance alarms, and missed events. Founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Jet Propulsion Laboratories. In 2006, the company merged with its largest investor, Original Investments PLC, and became a publicly-quoted company on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market.

  19. Viridity Energy, Conshohocken, PA, Has developed a technology platform that transforms a customer’s portfolio of buildings and energy investments into a 24/7 virtual power plant. With Viridity Energy’s guidance, facility and energy managers are able to optimize their energy use by dynamically shifting and balancing their load across a variety of energy resources such as, distributed generation and energy storage devices, in response to usage, weather and market prices. Selected as a finalist for the first Innovation Competition at GreenBeat 2009, the seminal conference on the Smart Grid.This company received an undisclosed amount of early growth funding in 1Q09 from an undisclosed investor and is likely to require further funding next year. 

    In August 2012, Viridity raised $15 million from Japanese conglomerate and big green investor Mitsui & Co. It looks like a trans-Pacific partnership that could open up markets to both companies.The Series C round comes on top of a $14 million round in January 2011 and $10 million previously, as well as millions in state grants and investment, to bring total funds raised to about $40 million. Previous investors include Braemar Energy Ventures and Intel Capital.

8. Links
  1. 'X’ Marks New Controls Hot Spot Industry - Groups work to realize promise of XML and Web SErvices to broaden access to building systems data

  2. Automated Buildings.com - Enterprise Building Management for Universities -

  3. Project Haystack is an open source initiative to develop naming conventions and taxonomies for building equipment and operational data. They standardize semantic data models and web services with the goal of making it easier to unlock value from the vast quantity of data being generated by the smart devices that permeate our homes, buildings, factories, and cities. Applications include automation, control, energy, HVAC, lighting, and other environmental systems.  Pragmatic use of naming conventions and taxonomies can make it more cost effective to analyze, visualize, and derive value from our operational data

    Project Haystack is a 501C tax-exempt non-stock corporation formed May 28, 2014.  he management and operations of the Corporation are governed by a Board of Directors of the Corporation. Board members are appointed by the following companies that participated and funded the formation of the Corporation:
    The following companies are Associate members of Project Haystack:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Smart Meter Data Management


Now that utilities have millions of smart meters in place collecting data in near-to-real-time, the question of how to manage terabytes and petabytes of information will need to be solved. The software killer apps for Smart Grid operations at both utility and regional grid levels will be found in data analytics solutions.





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1. Background

2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Benefits
5. Risks/Issues
6. Success Factors
7. Companies/Organizations
8. Links

1.Background
  • In May 2011, total U.S. smart meter installations passed the 20-million meter mark. In 2013, U.S. electric utilities had 51,924,502 advanced (smart) metering infrastructure (AMI) installations. About 89% were residential customer installations.    In 2014, advanced meters grew a further 12.7% to 58. 5 million with a 40.7% penetration rate.  Now that utilities have millions of smart meters in place collecting data in near-to-real-time, the next question is be how to manage all that information.

  • There are a number of devices in addition to smart meters being used in the energy and utilities industry to collect data, including line default detectors, sagometers which generate 12 readings per hour at 50 bytes per read and storage devices such as batteries that produce 100 byte reads per hour. A synchrophasor- a phasor measurement unit that tracks electrical waves across the power grid to monitor the health of the system (see my blog article Phase Synchronizer) - takes readings sixty times a second. This adds up to 494 megabytes a day,  176 gigabytes of data a year per synchrophaser. Together, these devices create an astronomical amount of data.

  • To meet that need, utilities have turned to a number of companies offering meter data management services – software that can integrate the new flood of data with utility systems for billing, customer account management and a host of new uses that are expected to emerge.

  • There will be Terabytes, (1024 GB) and Petabytes (1024 TB) of information to manage. Merely moving from monthly kilowatt-hour reads to hourly interval meter reads increases data handling requirements more than 730 times. There is also additional rich information available in smart meters including: amps, volts, watts, vars, total harmonic distortion, and momentary interruptions.

  • As an early example, in Austin Energy's Smart Grid 1.0 , phase one roll-out which included 500,000 meters, the data storage went from 20 TB to 200 TB, with disaster recovery redundancy. This is for 15 minute sampling, and first stage (home-oriented) integration. Ignoring shorter sampling frequencies (resulting in much higher data storage) necessary for some Smart Grid functionality, this presents a model of about 400 MB per meter per year. A lot of utilities don't have resources to manage the type of volume of smart meter information.

  • With Time of Use pricing and user charge recovery for power generated, a sizable subset of this data will no longer be simply transient and used in the aggregate. Individual elements will need to be captured and tagged for later retrieval over whatever period is chosen by regulators as appropriate for looking back.

  • Analysis may be done on an extremely large scale so algorithms must be automated.



Uploaded by on Jan 25, 2010
Utilities face a coming wave of data beyond anything they have ever experienced. This one-hour Webinar will bring in some of the worlds most experienced professionals to explain how to prepare for, and benefit from, the coming data surge. For more go to www.SmartGridNews.com.
2. Acronyms/Definitions
  1. Access Control - The goal of access control is to prevent the unauthorized use of HAN resources. Access control includes resource control; for example, preventing logon to local HAN Devices. For the purposes of smart grid standards, access control is not concerned with denying physical access. Access control is applied to an entity based on an identity or an authorization. An identity may represent an actual user, a process with its own identity (e.g., a program making a remote access connection), or a number of users represented by single identity (e.g., role-based access control).

  2. Accountability – A special type of non-repudiation, in that the accountability security service is basically holding each network entity responsible for its actions on that network.

  3. Audit Functionality - A critical element of the layered defense strategy for a system. Audit contributes to user and device accountability by recording security critical user actions while using HAN services. Audit also contributes to domain boundary enforcement services by recording activities of HAN services related to proper operation of security critical functions. In addition to auditing users and system activities, audit must be able to monitor the status of audit data to ensure its integrity and accuracy.

  4. Anonymity - A service which prevents disclosure of information which leads to the identification of the source or end-user of the information.

  5. Confidentiality - The security services, which prevent unauthorized disclosure of data (both stored and communicated). Confidentiality services prevent disclosure of data in transit and data at rest. Confidentiality services also include anonymity. Because of its role in limiting authorized disclosure of information, confidentiality services are closely linked with access control services.

  6. Data Logging – Compiling an hour-by-hour record of energy use.

  7. Green Button - a feature that allows residential and commercial customers to download detailed energy-use information in a standardized format to better manage electricity consumption and cost.

    Green Button is an industry-led effort that responds to a White House call-to-action: provide electricity customers with easy access to their energy usage data in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format via a "Green Button" on electric utilities' website. Green Button is based on a common technical standard developed in collaboration with a public-private partnership supported by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology. Voluntary adoption of a consensus standard by utilities across the Nation allows software developers and other entrepreneurs to leverage a sufficiently large market to support the creation of innovative applications that can help consumers make the most of their energy usage information. Initially launched in January, utilities committed to provide Green Button capability to nearly 12 million households in 2012. Two utilities - Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric - have implemented live functionality on their websites. Numerous companies are already developing Web and smartphone applications and services for businesses and consumers that can use Green Button data to help consumers choose the most economical rate plan for their use patterns; deliver customized energy-efficiency tips; provide easy-to-use tools to size and finance rooftop solar panels; and conduct virtual energy audits that can cut costs for building owners and speed the initiation of retrofits.

  8. Grid Metadata - Data about the data that provides context, such as network models and topology that show what is connected to what in what order) Grid metadata is famously inaccurate as much as 20% to 50% inaccurate. We can fix some of the metadata problems through technology. But much of the solution depends on people. The biggest metadata challenge is "built versus as operated." A substation might be built one way, then changed and operated another. With the smart grid bringing constant additions and upgrades to all parts of the system, the situation has become very fluid and dynamic. Not only that, but with dynamic feeder circuit switching, topology changes can occur quite quickly under either normal or stress conditions on the grid.

  9. MDMS – Meter Data Management System - Performs long term data storage and management for the vast quantities of data that are now being delivered by smart metering systems. This data consists primarily of usage data and events that are imported from the head end servers that manage the data collection in Advanced Metering Infrastructure (see my AMI article) or Automatic meter reading (AMR) systems. An MDM system will typically import the data, then validate, cleanse and process it before making it available for billing and analysis.

  10. MIU – Meter Interface Unit - Captures and stores usage data over a period of time

  11. MRE - Meter Reading Export - A file that contains completed meter reading route information that is transmitted from the meter reading host processor back to the mainframe computer.

  12. MRI - Meter Reading Import - A file that contains route information that is transmitted from the utility mainframe computer to the meter reading host processor. This file contains customer and meter input records for each account to be processed. When the MRI file is processed into routes, blank customer and meter output records are created for each account. As the meter reader collects meter reading information during the day, these output records are filled in, uploaded to the IHP, and the MRE file is created.

  13. Registration - The registration and authenticating requirements are used in conjunction with most other security services. That is, the first step of most security services is to determine the identities of one or more of the parties participating in an action. A trusted identity must be used for access control decisions and to provide accountability evidence. Knowing the identity of an entity and the existence of a peer relationship is also fundamental to establishing communication with confidentiality and integrity. If the identity of the peer in a secure communications path is not properly established, it leaves open the possibility that an unauthorized principal (an adversary) could masquerade as an authorized principal, exposing the data to disclosure or manipulation

    .
  14. VEE - Validation, Editing, and Estimation of meter data.
Meter Data Management Flowchart including WiMax, 3G and Mesh Network paths.   Source: AusNet Services
3. Business Case
  • The need for higher speed enterprise communications and Smart Grid opens Pandora’s Box of data. Huge quantities of otherwise untapped data will be available. However, this data won’t be reach its full potential without the ability to collect, store and provide data independent analytics
    .
  • Meter Data Management Features
    • Connections to meter systems
    • Built in out-of-the-box validations
    • Critical Validations
    • Usage Validations
    • Error Handling
    • Estimations
    • Custom Business Rules
    • Meter Data Access
    • Meter Inventory Management
    • Revenue Protection
    • Common Meter Data Repository
    • Supports Open Technologies
    • Auditing
    • Reporting
  • Application Areas
    • Balance Analysis
    • Profitability Analysis
    • Product Development
    • Flexible Portfolio Analysis
    • Demand Side Management
    • Energy Settlement
    • Unbilled Revenue
    WiMax and 3G Roll-out View  Source: AusNet Service and Bitstew
    4. Benefits
    • Interoperability - Collaboration between companies for energy delivery - The re-shaping of utilities’ organizational boundaries is a growing, global trend, and these new models require information systems with a higher degree of flexibility. A common platform integrates process and information flow between companies and supports the unique operations and information needs of each entity.
    • Comparative Context to Motivate People to Act - If all I know is my own energy consumption then I don’t know if that is good or bad. I reduced my usage by 10%, but still could be using more than average neighbor.
    • Improved Customer Service – Processing smart meter interval data as well as events such as new customer registrations, and communicating them in real‐time or as needed to market participants enables higher levels of customer service for fundamental operations such as customer service requests, connection/disconnection and billing.
    • Conservation - Encourages behavioral change among customers by helping them understand how their energy consumption levels impacts not only their wallets, but also the environment.
    • Asset Management - Ability to match asset parameters with observed readings and expected load patterns for effective asset utilization (increased reliability), perform condition-based and predictive maintenance (postpones expensive replacements), plan future enhancements and grid optimizations (enables decision making). Including real-time status/events and GIS data with this enables visualizations that provide additional insights for managing distributed grid assets.
    • Demand Response - Analyze customer load profiles, consumption patterns, demographic and weather information to match customers with the DR programs they are likely to participate in and to design new DR programs that are better aligned to customer demand patterns. Also determine the success of DR programs in load shedding and load shifting by analyzing customer behaviors and patterns during DR events. Being able to do this can help utilities manage and predict load better and reduce the need to purchase/generate costly ‘peak’ power.
    • Identify Revenue Leakage (Theft) - Ability to correlate reads, alarms and customer profile information to detect theft and revenue leakage. For example, use frequent power off/power on meter alarms with consecutive reading gaps and/or static reads from the premise to flag a potential theft event.
    • Target Education - Use consumer usage patterns and post DR event analysis to provide targeted education to customers on energy efficiency and conservation goals.
    • Dynamic pricing - Use customer consumption patterns, weather and demographic data to segment customers and offer dynamic pricing programs and tailored energy efficiency initiatives.
    • Distributed generation management - Ability to analyze the combined effect of existing generation resources and distributed energy resources (such as intermittent renewable power sources) to determine when/if peaking generation plants or virtual power plants need to be brought online. Using this information in near real-time provides the ability to switch between distributed generation sources based on demand so that utilities achieve the lowest cost of power while reducing the carbon footprint.

    ICT Fault View - Source: AusNet and Bit Stew 
    5. Risks/Issues
    • Data Storage - The massive amount of data generated by smart-grid technology could itself pose a practical problem. Right now, a utility with five million meters has about 30,000 devices for monitoring the grid. As the smart grid develops, that number could increase a thousandfold, with each device conveying a thousand times as much information as one of its counterparts does now, says Erik Udstuen, a general manager at GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. Though so much data may be difficult to process, it could also create opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop new monitoring applications, especially if open standards are developed.
    • Missing Data - One of the triggers for the Bakersfield Smart Meter controversy was the story of when the power went out at Tim Vanderhorst's house in east Bakersfield for almost six hours on April 20. When the lights came back on, was his computer showing that his electricity usage had tripled during that time When a SmartMeter does not transmitting a signal as it should, the utility's computer system automatically filled in the blanks with data patterned after his past power usage, or that of customers like him. While this glitch did not affect billing, it undermined consumer confidence in the system. According to TURN, this does not instill confidence in a system designed to give customers accurate and timely information about their own power usage
    • Insecurity of Existing Meter Communication Standards - In C12.18 the password is sent unencrypted. This is not a problem for a point-to-point connection from a handheld device to an optical port on a meter, but when data is transmitted over the Internet, it’s a serious security problem. A hacker with a computer loaded with freely available packet sniffing software can look at the packet and see the password. C12.21 has an alternative authentication mechanism, which provides for encrypted authentication, but the encryption is only used for authentication and all subsequent data reads and writes are done unencrypted. With a point-to-point connection via dialup telephone lines, this is not a problem because intercepting such communications is very difficult, but if the data is transmitted over the Internet, we once again have a problem because hackers can easily intercept the data. In both of these cases, the problem created is that a hacker, having successfully monitored the login, can now freely interfere with the meter and the automated meter reading (AMR) system. C12.22 will enable data encryption without requiring it, so no additional communications resources are used until encryption is actually used.
    • Data Integration - Utility mergers, open energy markets, and the integration of alternative supply into the grid are driving many utilities to adopt new business models in the transition to Smart Grid. With the responsibility of managing operations that span companies, borders and regulatory bodies, utilities are often required to link multiple CIS, logistics and AMI systems, each with differing process flows and data models.
    • Data Retention - What Smart Grid data to keep, what to archive, how long to archive the data, which data should be used for analytics, and which data needs to be maintained to meet security, data privacy and legal requirements. Failure to meet data security, privacy and legal retention requirements can lead to costly fines. That said, keeping massive quantities of data for long periods of time also comes at a cost.
    • Physical Infrastructure - IT equipment that is put in the field needs to be hardened to protect it from the electro-magnetic environment in which it will operate.

    Mesh Pilot Overlap - Source: AusNet Service and Bit Stew
    6. Success Factors
    • Expand data storage capabilities - The types and volume of data associated with Smart Grid use will mean a new need to bring Internet-style data centers into the complex mesh of utility control systems.
    • Data Analysis - A rigorous understanding of the importance of each piece of data to Smart Grid business processes.
    • Creative use of Data Storage Technologies - including virtualization, data de-duplication, multi-tiered archiving, and data encryption.

    ICT Dashboard  -  Source: AusNet and Bit Stew
    7. Companies/Organizations
    According to a 4Q 2015 Leaderboard Report from Navigant Research, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Oracle, and Siemens eMeter lead the global MDMS market in terms of strategy and execution.

    Navigant Research MDMS Leaderboard


    1. Aclara Software - Wellesley, MA - Aclara MDMS -  TWACS® (Two-Way Automatic Communications System) and eTWACS® utility networks and its iiDEAS® (Intelligent Infrastructure: Data Efficiency, Analytics and Services) operational data management platform, Aclara takes AMI beyond the meter with a comprehensive set network and software tools that provide control and visibility across your power-distribution network.

    2. Auto-Grid -  Redwood City, CA - AutoGrid's Energy Data Platform (EDP) mines the wealth of the structured and unstructured data generated by the grid and the assets connected to it to uncover usage patterns, establish correlations between pricing and consumption, or analyze the interrelationships of tens of thousands of variables. With this data, utilities can forecast how much power will be required weeks -- or even minutes and seconds -- ahead of time in order to add renewable resources, such as solar and wind, to the grid in a way that minimizes their intermittent nature.

      Total Equity Funding $21.75M in 2 Rounds from 4 Investors

    3. Bitstew - Burnaby, ON, Canada -  By uniting centrally managed data sources with connected devices across a utility’s infrastructure, Bit Stew’s MIx Core platform and MIx Director application combine real-time data management, analytics and rich visualizations. The Mlx solutions help utilities increase awareness, discover new business insights, improve operations and asset performance. Information is unified into a common data model, providing an enterprise-wide foundation for deploying powerful applications that give control back to the operator and enable utilities to unlock the potential of the Industrial Internet of Thing

    4. Siemens, Berlin and Munich, Germany - In December 2011, eMeter, San Mateo, CA was acquired by Siemens (NYSE: SI)

      The eMeter platform is being used in a large number of smart grid deployments around the world. The firm will join the Smart Grid Division of the Siemens Infrastructure Group within Siemens Industry in the United States.

      Siemens Energy, which was an investor in eMeter, said that eMeter's software will be an integral piece to its product line aimed at utilities. "Ever-increasing demand for solutions to improve the effectiveness of the smart grid for cities and utilities makes this acquisition even more important. eMeter is renowned for its superior software and services capabilities that enable electric, gas and water utilities to realize the full benefits of the smart grid," Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Smart Grid division of the Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector said in a statement.

      eMeter's software is designed to collect data from two-way meters and feed it into utilities' back-end business systems. The venture capital-backed company is headed by former Oracle executive and Veritas CEO Gary Bloom.

      eMeter is also building analysis software that processes reams of data two-way meters and other grid equipment for business reports and analytical applications. The company this year introduced a cloud version of its EnergyIP meter data management software with Verizon.

      EMeter  received more than $70 million in venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital, Foundation Capital, and others.

    5. EnergyICT Belgium,  a subsidiary of Elster (NYSE: ELT) Customers include DTE Energy (2.8 million electric meters) and NSTAR (Netherlands).


    6. Ferranti Computer Systems - Antwerp, Belgium - Product: MECOMS 

    7. Itron - Liberty Lake, WA, (Nasdaq: ITRI ) - Itron Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management is an enterprise-wide data management solution for interval, register and event data for residential and C&I customers. It is a scalable, open-architecture system that manages data from many different collection systems. It also provides secure, accurate, reliable data to a wide array of utility billing and analysis systems.  Several big customers in the US, including Dominion (C&I customer base), Georgia Systems Operations Corp., Pepco Holdings, Seattle City Light, and Xcel Energy (over 5 million meters).

    8. Metersence - Ottawa Ontario, a division of Harris Utilities - Meter Sense Over 20 utilities in North America, including Peterborough Distribution (30,000 smart meters in Ontario, Canada), Tillsonburg Hydro (Ontario, Canada), and Groton Utilities (Connecticut).

    9. Oracle – Redwood Shores, CA, (Nasdaq: ORCL ) - Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management is a commercial off-the-shelf application with built in out-of-the-box functionality to support the loading, validation, editing, and estimation (VEE) of meter data. It is designed for the highest levels of automation and scalability to meet the current and future needs of utilities. Bought utility meter data management software company Lodestar Corp. in 2007. and SPL WorldGroup which makes revenue and operations management software for utilities in 2006. Over 15 MDM deployments, including US multi-utility Modesto Irrigation District (100,000 smart meters), Lakeland Electric (US; 125,000 smart meters), Acea Distribuzione (Italy).

    10. OSIsoft San Leandro, CA Product: PI - System Consumer Energy - Using familiar, easy-to-use energy management dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs) the PI System informs decision makers with mission-critical knowledge for better decisions regarding efficient energy use and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

    11. Retroficiency - Boston, MA - Acquired in October 2015 by Ecova, Spokane, WA,  an energy and sustainability management company - leading building efficiency intelligence company.   Helps utility providers use meter and asset data analytic-enabled approaches to dramatically scale energy efficiency savings in the commercial sector.  Retroficiency uses data to transform the manual process of identifying energy efficiency opportunities, and the resulting glut in the market that creates. Utilities, which have tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of customers, are the key to unlocking that potential. When harnessed effectively, smart grid and smart meter data can provide deep insights about how a building is using energy and how it can improve in minutes and without ever going on site. This information can be used to target, engage, convert, and track customer energy efficiency more effectively than ever before.

    12. SAP - SAP software helps optimize warehouse and workforce processes for device installation and meter maintenance. Streamlined planning and execution processes help operations managers install meters and devices more quickly and with less effort. With on-time receipt of high-quality data from field devices, teams in marketing, sales, and customer service can create personalized offers that attract customers,  gain higher satisfaction levels and stronger revenue streams.

    13. Schneider Electric  - In 2011, Telvent  and its Meter Data Management products were acquired by the Schneider Electric group.     Schneider Electric’s Conductor MDM™ Solution boosts traditional meter data management functionality with robust data analytics and operational data storage/management capabilities – making it a comprehensive solution

    Business Operations Dashboard - Source: AusNet and Bit Stew
    8. Links
    1. Big Data, the Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition and Productivity - McKinsey Global Institute May 2011 - Looks at the vast amount of enterprise information that exists, and the challenges that organizations will face in trying to manage it. The report explores topics such as the state of digital data and how organizations can use large data sets to create value.
    2. Metering.com – Meter Data Management
    3. Greentech Media - Meter Data Management