Rooftop Unit Savings Research Project
NBI is working with a number of utilities in the Pacific Northwest to establish the savings potential from servicing light commercial package rooftop unit air-conditioners and heat pumps. The second phase of this research project includes bench testing the economizer controls, field testing of repair protocols, devising an approach for M&V, and developing a methodology for developing savings estimates.
Bench Test Report
Hot Dry Air Conditioner Project (HDAC)
Working with the Market Connections team on the first phase of this PIER project which involved reengineering a 3-ton residential split system a 5-ton package unit for optimum energy and demand performance efficiency. Tests from the second phase showed that it was possible to reduce demand by up to 35% and energy use by 20%.
Field Test Report (phase 1)
Field Test Report (phase 2)
Advanced Automated HVAC Fault Detection and Diagnostics Commercialization Program (FDD)
NBI managed the Market Connections component of PIER’s FDD Program. This Program resulted in several commercially available FDD tools including the Sentinel from Field Diagnostic Services and Enforma Diagnostics from Architectural Energy Corporation. In addition, the Advanced Rooftop Unit project has been adopted by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) as a priority activity.
The Advanced Rooftop Unit (ARTU)
The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) is working on the ARTU concept with its members and industry partners. The ARTU is composed of a number of features that support the performance efficiency of the unit which includes enhancements to maintenance and repair needs as well as embedded FDD capabilities. A number of the ARTU features are available in the market, but only on the highest tier product lines. The intent of the project is to encourage the industry to migrate ARTU features downward through a greater range of RTU product lines.
ARTU Product Definition Report
ARTU Cost Benefit Analysis
Field Research on Indirect Evaporative Air Conditioner
NBI conducted lab and field technical assessments of eight Desert CoolAire prototype indirect evaporative air conditioners on behalf of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). The field research showed much promise as it demonstrated a 50% demand savings and increased capacity during times of peak energy use.
Western Cooling Challenge
Launched in June 2008 by UC Davis, the Western Cooling Challenge (WCC) encourages cooling-unit manufacturers to deliver more energy-efficient products, and helps building owners install and use those products in their new and existing low-rise, nonresidential buildings (such as suburban retail and office buildings).
NBI staff serve on the advisory committee of the Western Cooling Efficiency Center's Western Cooling Challenge program that will catalyze the development of high efficiency rooftop HVAC units optimized for the hot dry west. To meet the design criteria, units will have to combine vapor-compression cooling with advanced evaporative cooling components.