Commercial, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency - June 6, 2017
Energy efficiency 'expert in a suitcase' cuts bills 10%
Photo credit: Andrea Starr/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the knowledge and expertise of a seasoned energy efficiency professional is now available in a high-tech suitcase.
The newly developed "Sensor Suitcase" is a portable case that contains easy-to-use sensors and other equipment that make it possible for anyone to identify energy-saving opportunities in small commercial buildings, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, which developed the tool alongside the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The automated and reusable system combines hardware and software in one package so its users can identify cost-effective measures that save small commercial buildings about 10% on their energy bills, the labs said in a news release.
"Most small commercial building owners believe it costs too much to make their facilities significantly more energy efficient," said scientist Michael Brambley, who led PNNL's development team. "But the Sensor Suitcase system can change that. It helps someone with minimal training collect and automatically process building data, which the system uses to generate specific recommendations to improve energy efficiency. The U.S. could reduce its national energy costs by about $5.1 billion if all small commercial buildings used this technology."
Implementing energy efficiency measures in small commercial buildings has been notoriously difficult, said mechanical engineer Jessica Granderson, who led Berkeley Lab’s development team.
"The real innovation is in the streamlining," said Granderson, who is also a deputy director of Berkeley Lab's Building Technology and Urban Systems Division. "It's kind of like the 'for dummies' version of how to identify improvements in your building. Instead of hiring a professional engineer to conduct a full energy evaluation, you could get just about anyone to do it."
Visit PNNL's website or check out the video below to learn more.
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