Advanced Energy Information Systems
Energy Information Systems: Advanced with Web-Based Data vs. Basic
By integrating EMCS with web-based data from smart meters and submeters, energy performance can be tracked in real time and thus optimized.
Item ID: 377
Multiple Energy Systems--Energy Management
Technical Advisory Group: 2011 Energy Management TAG (#4)
Average TAG Rating: 3 out of 5
TAG Ranking Date: 09/29/2011
TAG Rating Commentary:
- This seem to overlap previous items.
- Integration doesn't lead to optimization. Other tools are required to optimize the building operations.
- How would the energy performance be 'optimized' Seem like this is more of an information technology rather than an optimization technology. Data does not necessarily translate into savings, even with trained and motivated users of the data.
As hardware and software are developing and improving at a dizzying pace, collecting and analyzing useful information for managing energy is becoming easier and less expensive to do. Within the last decade (as of 2011) Energy information systems (EISs) have been developed that are web-based portal solutions that consolidate and collect real-time data unobtrusively from multiple building automation systems, instruments, and control systems using multiple device protocols such as BacNet, Lonworks, and Modbus. The EIS provides a suite of tools, web user interfaces, and database engines that collect and normalize energy load and assess real-time monitoring data from meters. It can include meter data from multiple utilities, such as water, air, gas, electricity, and steam (“WAGES”). These data are used to establish energy performance metrics, baselines, and savings to track project energy efficiency measures against International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP).
The EIS uses database engines that characterize the building and provide analytical tools that mine large volumes of complex data, including real-time and historical data and building information, such as real estate information, number of floors, type of equipment, meters, billing, and relevant standards. EIS systems can connect to multiple buildings so different buildings with different types of equipment and loads can be compared.
EISs have just recently been making inroads into the energy-information market in the Pacific Northwest. Used effectively, they can help energy managers save a building or enterprise 10-20% on their overall energy bills.
Baseline Description: Unmanaged commercial building
Baseline Energy Use: 16.7 kWh per year per square foot
Taken from 2007 CBSA (http://neea.org/docs/reports/2009NorthwestCommercialBuildingStockAssessment021CA220F212.pdf?sfvrsn=10). Used overall average of all commercial buildings, since any of them can use integrated design.
Manufacturer's Energy Savings Claims:
Currently no data available.
Best Estimate of Energy Savings:
"Typical" Savings: 8%
Energy Savings Reliability: 3 - Limited Assessment
Energy monitoring by itself does not save energy, but beginning to monitor suggests a new awareness of energy use, and energy usage awareness alone should produce some savings. A new commitment to energy savings will produce much more aggressive results. An automated system will be much easier to keep up with and is therefore more likely to produce sustained results than a manual system.
Energy Use of Emerging Technology:
15.4 kWh per square foot per year
Energy Use of an Emerging Technology is based upon the following algorithm.
Baseline Energy Use - (Baseline Energy Use * Best Estimate of Energy Savings (either Typical savings OR the high range of savings.))
Units: square foot
Currently no data available.
Installed first cost per: square foot
The costs will vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the system, what features are monitored, and what information is desired. The energy savings should be proportional to the size of the project, so the payback can be estimated by evaluating projects that are similar in size to a proposed installation. Small systems can start as low as $1000 plus annual license fees, and can go up to over $1,000,000. Most small to medium systems can get started for somewhere in the range of $1000-3000. We have a call into another vendor for further cost info.
Simple payback, new construction (years): N/A
Simple payback, retrofit (years): N/A
Cost Effectiveness is calculated using baseline energy use, best estimate of typical energy savings, and first cost. It does not account for factors such as impacts on O&M costs (which could be significant if product life is greatly extended) or savings of non-electric fuels such as natural gas. Actual overall cost effectiveness could be significantly different based on these other factors.
The expected simple payback for any one project is likely to be close to four years.
Enterprise Information Systems (EISs) are comprised of a software and hardware interface combined with a modern control system. A dashboard collects information from the control system, normalizes it to make the information relevant, performs calculations, stores it, and presents the information in a manner that is easy to understand.
This approach utilizes advanced trending, benchmarking, analysis and diagnostics – aligned with a comprehensive energy efficiency program – to guide energy-saving measures. These technologies can be verified by ongoing monitoring and re-commissioning as part of the overall energy efficiency program.
Standard practice in the building industry is to have no energy management system or when there is one, the building will often be commissioned only after initial HVAC and humidity control installation, and whenever equipment is renovated or replaced. Typically, there is no overall reassessment of equipment operation or energy use on a regular or even periodic basis. Although energy management control systems have been in use for a long time, they are usually not used as a tool to continually monitor and adjust systems for optimal energy performance.
This technology has been under development since the 1990s around the nation and is in the early stages of market introduction in the Pacific Northwest.
End User Drawbacks:
The only real barrier to implementing this technology is a lack of guidance, information, and services to help interested customers move forward with the purchase and installation of an EIS. Cost is also a barrier without a good understanding of energy savings.
Guidelines, structured support, and incentives could help overcome these barriers.
Operations and Maintenance Costs:
No information available.
The actual hardware, electronics, and equipment involved in implementing this technology should remain serviceable for 20 years. Controls should operate for about 15 years – the same time as most other controls. The software will quickly become obsolete. Look for a system that will be supported by a stable company that will provide periodic updates to keep the system viable for many years. The actual effective life, which is driven by innovation and improvements in the software and monitoring systems, is difficult to estimate.
Contractors in the Pacific Northwest are beginning to provide monitoring and diagnostic services for facilities that use existing energy management control systems with innovative software solutions. This type of service could also offer energy-saving recommendations and solutions.