A methodology to pre-screen commercial buildings for potential energy savings using limited information

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Title: A methodology to pre-screen commercial buildings for potential energy savings using limited information
Author: Zhu, Yiwen
Abstract: Typical energy audits are sufficiently expensive and time -consuming that many owners and managers of buildings are not willing to invest the time and money required for a full audit . This dissertation provides a methodology to identify buildings with large potential energy savings using limited information , specifically , utility bills , total area and weather data . The methodology is developed based on the hypothesis : if a commercial building is properly designed , constructed , operated , and maintained , the measured energy consumption should approximately match the simulated value for a typical building of the same size with the most efficient HVAC system ; otherwise , there may be potential for energy savings . There are four steps in the methodology : 1 ) testing to determine whether the utility bills include both weather -dependent and weatherindependent loads ; 2 ) separating weather -dependent and weather -independent loads when both are present in the same data ; 3 ) determining the main type of HVAC system ; 4 ) estimating potential energy savings and recommending an energy audit if appropriate . The Flatness Index is selected to test whether the utility bills include both weatherdependent and weather -independent loads . An approach to separate the utility bills based on thermal balance is developed to separate utility bills into weather -dependent and weather -independent loads for facilities in hot and humid climates . The average relative error in estimated cooling consumption is only 1 .1 % for 40 buildings in Texas , whereas it is -54 .8 % using the traditional 3P method . An application of fuzzy logic is used to identify the main type of HVAC system in buildings from their 12 -month weatherdependent energy consumption . When 40 buildings were tested , 18 systems were identified correctly , seven were incorrect and the HVAC system type cannot be identified in 15 cases . The estimated potential savings by the screening methodology in eight large commercial buildings were compared with audit estimated savings for the same buildings . The audit estimated savings are between 25 % - 150 % of the potential energy savings estimated by the screening procedure in seven cases . The other two cases are less accurate , indicating that further refinement of the method would be valuable . The data required are easily obtained ; the procedure can be carried out automatically , so no experience is required . If the actual type of HVAC system , measured weather -dependent , and weather -independent energy consumption are known , the methodology should work better .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /3179
Date: 2006-04-12

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A methodology to pre-screen commercial buildings for potential energy savings using limited information. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /3179 .

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