Demonstrating Scalable Operational Efficiency Through Optimized Controls Sequences and Plug-and-Play Solutions
October 27, 2022
Energy Research and Development (500)
Electric Program Investment Charge - EPIC
Hwakong Cheng, Rupam Singla, Gwelen Paliaga
Existing commercial buildings in California account for roughly 40 percent of total electricity sales in the service territories of the state’s three primary investor-owned utilities: Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Southern California Edison. Successful design and operation of building automation and control systems can reduce energy consumption by heating, ventilating, and air conditioning equipment, but there are many barriers to upgrading existing building automation systems. This project demonstrated the cost effectiveness and energy savings potential of installing optimized control sequences based on American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Guideline 36 in existing commercial buildings. Replacing building control systems achieved between 26 to 35 percent electricity savings with 6-to 8-year simple paybacks, while updating software in buildings that already had modern control systems provided electricity savings of 11 to 17 percent with 2-to 7-year simple paybacks.
Besides improving system performance for individual projects, standardization around Guideline 36 can improve scalability and streamline the value delivery chain, reducing first costs and improving quality in the process. Using extensive stakeholder engagement and lessons learned from field demonstrations, the project’s research team identified technical and market barriers before developing and testing strategies to overcome these barriers and accelerate successful market adoption. Anticipated outcomes from the completed activities:
Project results will raise industry awareness of the value of Guideline 36.
A best practices guide will help increase industry stakeholder understanding and improve the design, installation, and operation of systems using Guideline 36.
A pilot tool to quickly screen sites for potential energy savings and a utility incentive program design concept can help with initiating retrofit projects.
Software tools can streamline implementation and improve quality control.
Potential codes and standards improvements may increase measure adoption.
Outreach to industry stakeholders and key market actors can accelerate industry awareness and adoption of this new guideline and opportunity.
The estimated statewide potential benefits of implementing Guideline 36 and networked lighting controls in existing commercial buildings in California over the next 15 years include reducing electricity use by 2,387 gigawatt hours, which will save Californians $373 million in energy costs and eliminate 1,742 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.