Spotlight on our Partners from the JCERDC proposal
The Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) goes beyond purely academic research and works with partners in the public-private sectors and other key stakeholders to advance energy-efficient building technology.
Here are snapshots of our activities in the building energy efficiency arena featuring some of our current work with industry partners from the consortium that LBNL put together for a proposal for US-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC-BEE) in response to the Funding Opportunity issued by the US Department of Energy and the Government of India.
Berkeley Lab/EETD looks forward to continued and consolidated engagements with our partners.
Berkeley Lab is developing a comprehensive graphical user interface - Simergy - for EnergyPlus, which is the U.S. Department of Energy’s flagship building energy performance simulation engine. Berkeley Lab has built collaborative partnerships with several private sector entities including India’s premier business and IT consulting giant Infosys Technologies. Infosys is leveraging its IT Services expertise to support the development and deployment of Simergy as part of their new thrust in sustainability.
Berkeley Lab recently led a collaboration of the EnergyPlus development team and the Trane Corporation to extend the HVAC system modeling capabilities of the EnergyPlus program. Trane is providing technical support in the form of reusable models from their Trace program, equipment performance specifications for commonly used HVAC systems, and participation in the EnergyPlus development team conference calls.
Berkeley Lab has partnered with Synapsense to design and install a wireless sensor based Building Monitoring and Controls system to increase Energy Efficiency and reliability at Berkeley Lab’s data center. This contains scientific computing clusters supported by IT, as well as key operations and infrastructure servers for the Lab. The system provides real-time data showing the center’s power utilization effectiveness (PUE).
Berkeley Lab Chief Information Officer Rosio Alvarez (left) said it was likely the first real-time use of PUE monitoring using wireless sensors in the entire federal sector. The data center’s PUE–the ratio of energy consumed by the entire data center to that consumed just by the computers — has dropped from 1.65 to 1.45 (compared to a U.S. industry average of 2.0), resulting in a 30 percent energy savings, according to Dale Sartor (right) of EETD. Alvarez and Sartor are pictured with SynapSense CEO Peter Van Deventer.
(Left) : Raju Pandey is co-founder and CTO of Synapsense, a company that helps electricity-gobbling data centers slash their energy usage. This is a hot issue for companies that house servers and computer equipment that must constantly be cooled.
(Right): Rosio Alvarez with Dale Sartor (right) and SynapSense CEO Peter van Deventer.
Berkeley Lab is testing an IT equipment cooling concept by APC (American Power Conversion Corp.) – parent company Schneider Electric that maximizes the use of “warm” water cooling. This concept improves energy efficiency in data centers.
Berkeley Lab is working with St Gobain to develop, test and deploy a new generation of smart glazings for residential and commercial buildings. A recent collaborative project is a detailed simulation study of the performance of these advanced glazings in climates around the world, including hot climates in Asia. Berkeley Lab also works with St Gobain’s partner, SAGE Electrochromics, in demonstration projects that will serve as testbeds for similar projects in other countries. Given the importance of thermal load control and daylight utilization these types of glazings should factor importantly into future projects.
Berkeley Lab is working with Autodesk on a variety of activities across the design-build-operate spectrum of the building life cycle. Autodesk is engaged with Berkeley Lab on improving the energy simulation engine, EnergyPlus and has contributed code to speed up the performance of the engine in advanced simulations.
Both are working on lighting and daylighting simulations that advance energy-efficient building design. Collaboration with with A/E firms is helping Berkeley Lab and Autodesk to better understand how energy decisions are made during the design process, work that will impact the next generation of tools for architects and engineers.
In the operations phase of the building life cycle, one challenge is often the invisibility of building performance to users, leaving them unable to respond with improvements. Autodesk has developed new tools to report local energy use on a granular basis by workstation and pieces of equipment. Berkeley Lab is testing the deployment of these tools in one of its heavily instrumented buildings.
FLEX: Facility for Low-Energy Experiments in Buildings
FLEX will consist of building system test facilities to be located in new and existing structures at the Berkeley Lab. This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with world-class research staff in development, simulation, and validation of efficient building technologies. FLEX will conduct focused research or product development on single components or whole-building systems integration. It will be possible to replace any building system such as exterior building envelope, windows and shading systems, lights, HVAC, energy control systems, roofs and skylights, or interior components such as furniture, partitions, and raised floors. Construction of FLEX has commenced and will be completed in 2013.