Empowering Energy Efficiency in Existing Big-Box Retail/Grocery Stores (The Big-Box Efficiency Project)
June 01, 2023
Energy Research and Development (500)
Electric Program Investment Charge - EPIC
Rebecca Baptiste, Christopher Vogel, John Woolsey, Austin Beach, Kristin Larson, Ramin Faramarzi, Sammy Houssainy, Khanh Nguyen Cu, Mike Shen, Dhananjay Mangalekar
The Big-Box Efficiency Project evaluated the impacts of installing an integrated suite of pre-commercial energy efficiency technologies to achieve at least a 20-percent reduction in electricity consumption. The multiyear project (early 2018 to January 2022) retrofitted an existing (since 1997) 134,285-square-foot Walmart Supercenter located in Covina, California, in Southern California Edison’s service territory. The following five pre-commercial technologies were installed and evaluated.
i2Systems’ next-gen high-efficiency DC-capable LED lighting
Turntide’s Smart Switch Reluctance Motor System for refrigeration and HVAC motor systems
Integrated Comfort Inc.’s DualCool system, which used both direct and indirect evaporative precooling to reduce electricity use by HVAC equipment
Saya Life’s Smart Water Management System, which evaluated water usage by DualCool and monitored system reliability
Locbit’s IoT platform, which analyzed all the data from the installed technologies and the on-site legacy control system
The total realized whole-building electric savings for the forecasted measurement and verification year (June 2021 to May 2022), when compared with the 2017 baseline (Feb 2017 to Jan 2018), were 1,042,277 kWh (30.2 percent), or 1,115,475 kWh (32.4 percent) after including DC lighting. This is above the project reduction target of 689,592 kWh or 20 percent. LED lighting (i2Systems), DC lighting, and HVAC (Integrated Comfort Inc.’s DualCool/Turntide Smart Motor) upgrades had forecasted savings of 775,111 kWh or 22.5 percent, with an additional 340,364 or 9.9 percent from unidentified end uses. The potential savings from DCpowered lighting were an additional 2.1 percent, or 73,198 kWh.
Lessons learned from this project include improving system submetering granularity and reliability, technology improvements for the installed technologies, and the importance of cybersecurity requirements to successfully deploy an Internet of Things platform. This project directly addressed barriers to California’s ambitious energy goals by validating DC-capable lighting systems, as well as moving toward cost-effectiveness for holistic deep-energy efficiency upgrade projects.