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Research Tracker

This tool is intended for researchers and program managers to quickly find research projects around the country that are relevant to their work. The four organizations who provided content for this purpose represent the largest energy efficient buildings research portfolios in the country. These organizations each provided the content that they were comfortable sharing publically. Therefore, upon clicking on a particular project, it is possible that certain pieces of content are not present. Where possible, a point of contact is provided so that specific questions can be directed to that person. We welcome your comments! If you would like to provide any feedback on this tool (positive or constructive) please email basc@pnnl.gov.

The Institute for Market Transformation will investigate whether investing in statewide building energy code education, training, and outreach programs can produce a significant change in residential building code compliance rates. The results of these activities provide the necessary business case to influence non-government entities, particularly utilities, to make investments in similar programs, which could lead to substantial national energy savings.

The Window Covering Manufacturing Association will create the Attachments Energy Rating Council to develop an independent rating, certification, labeling, and performance verification program for window attachments. This program will help drive market penetration of energy-saving products and further innovation in the industry.

The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) will conduct energy code field studies in Florida, Nebraska, Iowa, and Nevada to measure the impact of energy codes on commercial building energy efficiency, and identify opportunities for savings through increased compliance.

Demonstrate Strategic Energy Management Analytics (Build Plus) in 2 buildings for 1 year. This research builds on a tool created with funding through BPAs Technology Innovation Research and Development Program. Work has continued to refine the tool and research needs to be conducted to verify savings. The tools will be installed at the facilities for up to 1 year starting in 2016 and analyses will follow in late 2017.

This project will research DC and AC-DC hybrid systems in buildings and develop resource information, end-use templates, and building guidelines that could improve the ability to achieve zero net energy buildings. The feasibility, costs, benefits, market barriers, and customer and education needs will be assessed, including guidelines for residential and small commercial buildings.

This project will assess the DC power market to understand distribution opportunities, technical and analytical gaps for residential and commercial applications, and inform the analysis, design, and planning capabilities of these loads. The team will extend DOEs open-source whole-building energy modeling tools platformthe EnergyPlus engine and OpenStudio software development kitwith power distribution system modeling capabilities to enable evaluation of energy and economic benefits of AC, DC, and hybrid power distribution systems.

The New Buildings Institute will work in a variety cities around the country to systematically identify how energy codes and other policy measures influence energy consumption patterns in municipal buildings. The New Buildings Institute will develop a methodology to measure the impact of codes on municipal building portfolios, and provide local governments with tools to identify which buildings are ripe for energy efficiency-related investments.

The goal of this research project is to determine if it is possible to pre-heat water for swimming pools to save energy. The study is designed to show the efficacy of this application as well as the associated energy savings. In 2016, BPA engineering collected baseline operation data on the existing electric resistance water heater for a residential swimming pool. Early in 2017, the CO2HPWH was installed and monitored. The initial results showed that the system was under performing and a number of modifications are being considered. The current plan is to implement the modifications and monitor the new design through December 2017 to allow for warm and cold weather operation. A final paper will be prepared by February 2018. While this study is focused on the residential sector, the nature and results of this study are also applicable to water heating EE projects in the commercial sector. BPA will generate a summary brief which will inform the region of the results. Its important to build the body of knowledge for CO2 heat pumps and demonstrate the efficacy of a new use case.

In the 7th Power Plan in the Pacific NW region, Advanced Power Strips have been identified as having significant savings potential. BPA would like to test this technology in commercial settings to determine energy savings; to understand unit performance; identify best practices for installation and gather feedback from end users. BPA will work with utilities to identify potential sites.

As part of an ongoing effort to enhance low-power wireless communication, this project will develop a wireless connectivity module made of radio frequency (RF) hardware and systems software that enables RF connectivity at over 50% lower active power consumption for integration into MELs.

This project will help address the challenge of identifying loads within the long tail of consumption by integrating the previously developed PowerBlade wireless AC plug-through meters to measure real, reactive, and apparent power with load monitoring based on extracting high-fidelity electrical waveform features to capture power profiles and automatically identify and categorize MELs in a scalable manner.

BPA is seeking to expand multifamily energy efficiency incentive offerings for new and existing construction. The goal is to identify and work out the technical challenges associated with integrating technologies into multifamily buildings. Part of the BPA new multifamily program development work requires building energy modeling comparing multifamily buildings built to Washington State code versus DOE Zero Energy Ready (DOEZER) standards. The project will assess the low-rise multifamily DOE ZER program against the 2015 Washington State Energy Code (WSEC) to coordinate the DOE ZER modeling for a target home; and model DOE ZER specifications using SEEM and compare the results to existing 2015 WSEC energy use analysis. Energy savings will be summarized and included in a report describing the analysis methodology, DOEZER and WSEC modeling specifications and the above code savings using one set of target measures.

The OEI will capitalize on existing DOE investments to create an integrated open source technology platformthe OpenEfficiency Platform (OEP)capable of supporting a range of energy efficiency program types. Working closely with a group of utility program administrators, the OEI will support the design, planning, and use of the OEP in a series of commercial pilot programs for whole building energy efficiency, local government benchmarking, and auditing.

Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems Inc. and partners will develop models that use communicating thermostat data and interval electricity and gas data to remotely identify homes with significant energy savings opportunities. The tool will identify the top 20% of homes with the greatest potential for energy savings from insulation, air sealing, and/or heating system upgrades, reducing the number of unnecessary energy audits.

The Institute for Market Transformation will develop an innovative toolkit and other resources to enable cities and energy efficiency program administrators to better analyze building energy data and subsequently deliver energy savings more successfully. This project could lead to substantial energy savings gains in U.S. cities.

The Association of Bay Area Governments will perform modeling analysis in nine Bay Area counties to help small and medium businesses achieve the cost effective energy efficiency improvements. The BayREN Integrated Commercial Retrofits project will modify and enhance existing open source tools to perform large-scale building energy modeling analysis on commercial buildings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ecology Action of Santa Cruz will develop a platform for energy efficiency program administrators that offers a comprehensive set of energy-saving measures, integrated financing tools, and expedited project measurement and verification via a contractor-driven delivery model. The platform seeks to average at least 20% energy savings per building.

Lime Energy and partners will implement an energy efficiency service delivery model for small and medium size businesses in low-income communities, aiming to complete more than 1,000 retrofits featuring a performance guarantee and meter-validated savings. The results will create 60 jobs and generate $30 million in economic activity.

SLAC is working with partners Kisensum and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to develop a VOLTTRON Testing Took kit that will enhance the VOLTTRON Open Source platform that is currently under development by adding testing tools. This makes VOLTTRON more accessible and available to small and medium facility owners by allowing for quick analysis of the potential of behind-the-meter storage, integration of renewables and responsiveness to the wholesale energy process.

This project leverages deep-retrofit work completed by NEEA, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and provides BPA with retrofit packages for our Maintenance Head Quarter and Heavy Mobile Equipment Shop buildings. The two retrofit packages are projected to achieve 35 and 50% energy savings through upgrades to the building envelope, lighting and HVAC systems while helping BPA meet Executive Order (EO) 13693 which calls for all new federal buildings to be net zero ready by 2030 and requires that existing buildings reduce building energy intensity by 2.5% annually through 2025 while promoting deep retrofit packages for similar buildings in the region through net zero energy building guidelines. Information from this research will be applied to new retrofit packages for other commercial buildings within the BPA service territory.

This project will leverage the NEEA developed Sparktool, which is a high level decision making tool for deep energy retrofits. Research will demonstrate the tool in one building to assess its future application. This tool can be used by utilities to help their key accounts plan deep energy retrofits.