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Title: Commercial Building Technology Demonstration - Final Scientific/Technical Report (FSR) for DOE/EERE

Abstract

The background for this project was a unique and innovative concept that had been proposed and demonstrated by enVerid Systems, reducing the energy consumption in HVAC systems in commercial and public buildings by up to 50% at peak loads. The concept involves selective scrubbing of gas contaminants from indoor air as a practical substitute for outside air ventilation, the latter being the conventional practice today. This scrubbing enables recycling of most of the indoor air and significantly decreasing the amount of outside air, resulting in a reduced HVAC load and commensurate energy savings for the facility. Key to our approach is low cost scrubbing of all gas contaminants from indoor air using novel, efficient and regenerable sorbent materials. The total solution, labeled HLR (HVAC Load Reduction) is implemented by means of compact modules that can be retrofitted onto virtually any building, and utilizes novel sorbents that have been developed and brought to scale production by enVerid. Although the technology had been deployed and demonstrated, the US commercial building and HVAC markets, famously conservative with respect to innovation and new technologies, had yet to embrace the idea or the product. The overarching goal of the project was to help overcome marketmore » hesitancy and enable widespread adoption, by creating a critical mass of success stories across different regions and building types, all under oversight and verification of the DOE and NREL, to ensure credibility and accuracy. The project, overall, was a resounding success. Several installations were deployed and tested comprehensively for the impact on both energy consumption and indoor air quality, and results were not only excellent, but quantitatively in line with expectations. A total number of eight (8) installations were attempted, with 2 aborted due to building issues. Of the six successful installations, however, complete M&V was performed by NREL on 2 (Miami and NYC) and partial analysis on a third site (ArcBest), and these three, along with their results, were therefore presented from a financial and reporting standpoint. Although the number of case studies fell short of the original target of 10, we nevertheless had excellent demonstrations in vastly different climate zones: Southeast, Northeast and Midwest, and in very different building types. This included a modern high-rise office building in New York City and a University Campus health center in Miami, and a mid-rise high-density office in Arkansas. The cooling load reduction was shown to be significant, averaging 37% during the final cooling season in the Miami site. In the NYC site, the cooling energy savings were generally less, at around 12%, as expected. While this is a lower number for average/total savings, two comments are important to note: (i) the outside airflow (OA) reduction was not consistent during the data collection period, at least in part understating the attainable savings through incorrect measurement of the “high energy” reference state; and (ii) the peak impact in NYC is almost certainly as high as Miami, with critical ramifications for peak load reduction and equipment downsizing ability. Importantly, the measured energy savings in all locations were related to the outdoor climate conditions and the actual achievable reduction in outside air, very much in line with models and calculations; this leaves us with increased confidence in our understanding of the interaction between the technology and the building, and our ability to project the impact of this innovation in the future, through broad adoption. Simply put: the energy savings and load reduction impact of the HLR solution has been confirmed quantitatively. The results also confirmed the air quality objective. This may be even more significant, in that air quality is more complex and harder to measure and quantify, and the performance of the HLR as an air scrubber is the linchpin of the entire solution. In all sites, indoor air quality met or exceeded the required parameters, in terms of achieving the target (low) levels of indoor pollutants. Furthermore, the concentrations of outdoor sourced pollutants were markedly lower, as expected, mostly due to the reduction in outside air intake although in part also due to the scrubbing. The success was not immediate nor easy, and early challenges with the systems, especially (but not only) around controls and communication, caused delays in commissioning and undermined some of our M&V schedules. The good news is no fundamental issues were encountered and the number of such glitches was declining quickly by the end of the project. Other challenges had to do with coordinating the control of the building OA dampers, which the HLR needs to have in order to deliver the load reduction, but which the facility manager controls regularly and independently. This is not necessarily a problem for normal HLR operation but interferes with accurate M&V, where switching OA settings back and forth on a precise timetable is essential for clean data. The project provided valuable experience in retrofitting buildings that had been originally designed to operate with less recirculation and more outside air, and some key learnings related to the cyclical regeneration of the sorbents in the operational environment of the building. Some of these learnings gave already been incorporated into ongoing improvements in the design of the HLR module as well as the software that is used to control its operation. The cost and time of retrofit installations is much better understood; so is the test and balance procedure of the building that determines the available range of outside air reduction, which in turn determines the amount of load reduced. We had also implemented at least one annual cycle of sorbent cartridge replacement in the field, after which we tested the used sorbent to assess the rate of degradation of sorbent potency – an important factor affecting the long-term economics of HLR deployments. A notable shortfall of the project, other than the fact that the number of sites was below target, was that we had not (yet) completed testing to measure and verify (M&V) the winter energy savings. This is primarily due to late start on the NYC sites (Miami does not portend any heating savings associated with reduced outside air), combined with the issues of OA damper control. It is by no means suggested that such savings cannot be captured, only that the M&V with respect to winter in NYC has been incomplete. The value of this project and its interest to the general public are hard to overstate. The case studies created from Miami and especially from NYC have, without a doubt, opened up the interest of the broad HVAC industry to HLR in the past year. Major manufacturer reps have signed up to represent and promote the product, and dozens of top tier engineering consultants have introduced HLR as a base of design in upcoming construction and renovation projects – precisely the overarching goal of this project. These would not have happened without the highly visible installation in NYC and its ultimately satisfied customer. Furthermore, the DOE itself issued a report in late 2017 analyzing hundreds of candidate technologies for reducing energy consumption in HVAC; remarkably, the budding HLR solution ranked among the top 3(!); no doubt, its status as a viable and significant contender on this list is informed by the success of these demonstrations. And furthermore, in the wake of these demos, several major energy utilities, led by ConEdison in NYC, have endorsed the HLR solution and now routinely provide substantial cash rebates for customers choosing to incorporate the HLR in their buildings and reap the benefit of the reduced peak load as well as reduced cumulative energy demand. Last but not least, in January of 2019, as this report was being written, the HLR module won the AHR Expo Innovation Award for Green Buildings and, remarkably, the prestigious and only Product of the Year 2019, being selected by an independent professional panel of judges from AHR and ASHRAE. Given the confirmation of the enormous energy saving potential of HLR in widescale deployment, as well as ancillary but significant benefits in terms of equipment downsizing and indoor air quality, the benefit of this effort to the public speaks for itself. Accelerating adoption of HLR, without dependence on subsidies and driven by the private sector, is well under way. There is still much work to be done in terms of educating the HVAC and construction ecosystems and improving the product’s robustness and simplicity, to further facilitate the adoption of this technology and the capture of its potential value. But the American public will greatly benefit both directly and indirectly in the immediate future and beyond.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
enVerid Systems Inc
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Contributing Org.:
enVerid Systems Inc.
OSTI Identifier:
1494123
Report Number(s):
DOE-enVerid-0006739
EERE DE-FOA-0001084
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006739
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; HLR; A/C; HVAC; Air Conditioning; Space Conditioning; Air Quality; IAQ

Citation Formats

Meirav, Udi. Commercial Building Technology Demonstration - Final Scientific/Technical Report (FSR) for DOE/EERE. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1494123.
Meirav, Udi. Commercial Building Technology Demonstration - Final Scientific/Technical Report (FSR) for DOE/EERE. United States. doi:10.2172/1494123.
Meirav, Udi. Thu . "Commercial Building Technology Demonstration - Final Scientific/Technical Report (FSR) for DOE/EERE". United States. doi:10.2172/1494123. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1494123.
@article{osti_1494123,
title = {Commercial Building Technology Demonstration - Final Scientific/Technical Report (FSR) for DOE/EERE},
author = {Meirav, Udi},
abstractNote = {The background for this project was a unique and innovative concept that had been proposed and demonstrated by enVerid Systems, reducing the energy consumption in HVAC systems in commercial and public buildings by up to 50% at peak loads. The concept involves selective scrubbing of gas contaminants from indoor air as a practical substitute for outside air ventilation, the latter being the conventional practice today. This scrubbing enables recycling of most of the indoor air and significantly decreasing the amount of outside air, resulting in a reduced HVAC load and commensurate energy savings for the facility. Key to our approach is low cost scrubbing of all gas contaminants from indoor air using novel, efficient and regenerable sorbent materials. The total solution, labeled HLR (HVAC Load Reduction) is implemented by means of compact modules that can be retrofitted onto virtually any building, and utilizes novel sorbents that have been developed and brought to scale production by enVerid. Although the technology had been deployed and demonstrated, the US commercial building and HVAC markets, famously conservative with respect to innovation and new technologies, had yet to embrace the idea or the product. The overarching goal of the project was to help overcome market hesitancy and enable widespread adoption, by creating a critical mass of success stories across different regions and building types, all under oversight and verification of the DOE and NREL, to ensure credibility and accuracy. The project, overall, was a resounding success. Several installations were deployed and tested comprehensively for the impact on both energy consumption and indoor air quality, and results were not only excellent, but quantitatively in line with expectations. A total number of eight (8) installations were attempted, with 2 aborted due to building issues. Of the six successful installations, however, complete M&V was performed by NREL on 2 (Miami and NYC) and partial analysis on a third site (ArcBest), and these three, along with their results, were therefore presented from a financial and reporting standpoint. Although the number of case studies fell short of the original target of 10, we nevertheless had excellent demonstrations in vastly different climate zones: Southeast, Northeast and Midwest, and in very different building types. This included a modern high-rise office building in New York City and a University Campus health center in Miami, and a mid-rise high-density office in Arkansas. The cooling load reduction was shown to be significant, averaging 37% during the final cooling season in the Miami site. In the NYC site, the cooling energy savings were generally less, at around 12%, as expected. While this is a lower number for average/total savings, two comments are important to note: (i) the outside airflow (OA) reduction was not consistent during the data collection period, at least in part understating the attainable savings through incorrect measurement of the “high energy” reference state; and (ii) the peak impact in NYC is almost certainly as high as Miami, with critical ramifications for peak load reduction and equipment downsizing ability. Importantly, the measured energy savings in all locations were related to the outdoor climate conditions and the actual achievable reduction in outside air, very much in line with models and calculations; this leaves us with increased confidence in our understanding of the interaction between the technology and the building, and our ability to project the impact of this innovation in the future, through broad adoption. Simply put: the energy savings and load reduction impact of the HLR solution has been confirmed quantitatively. The results also confirmed the air quality objective. This may be even more significant, in that air quality is more complex and harder to measure and quantify, and the performance of the HLR as an air scrubber is the linchpin of the entire solution. In all sites, indoor air quality met or exceeded the required parameters, in terms of achieving the target (low) levels of indoor pollutants. Furthermore, the concentrations of outdoor sourced pollutants were markedly lower, as expected, mostly due to the reduction in outside air intake although in part also due to the scrubbing. The success was not immediate nor easy, and early challenges with the systems, especially (but not only) around controls and communication, caused delays in commissioning and undermined some of our M&V schedules. The good news is no fundamental issues were encountered and the number of such glitches was declining quickly by the end of the project. Other challenges had to do with coordinating the control of the building OA dampers, which the HLR needs to have in order to deliver the load reduction, but which the facility manager controls regularly and independently. This is not necessarily a problem for normal HLR operation but interferes with accurate M&V, where switching OA settings back and forth on a precise timetable is essential for clean data. The project provided valuable experience in retrofitting buildings that had been originally designed to operate with less recirculation and more outside air, and some key learnings related to the cyclical regeneration of the sorbents in the operational environment of the building. Some of these learnings gave already been incorporated into ongoing improvements in the design of the HLR module as well as the software that is used to control its operation. The cost and time of retrofit installations is much better understood; so is the test and balance procedure of the building that determines the available range of outside air reduction, which in turn determines the amount of load reduced. We had also implemented at least one annual cycle of sorbent cartridge replacement in the field, after which we tested the used sorbent to assess the rate of degradation of sorbent potency – an important factor affecting the long-term economics of HLR deployments. A notable shortfall of the project, other than the fact that the number of sites was below target, was that we had not (yet) completed testing to measure and verify (M&V) the winter energy savings. This is primarily due to late start on the NYC sites (Miami does not portend any heating savings associated with reduced outside air), combined with the issues of OA damper control. It is by no means suggested that such savings cannot be captured, only that the M&V with respect to winter in NYC has been incomplete. The value of this project and its interest to the general public are hard to overstate. The case studies created from Miami and especially from NYC have, without a doubt, opened up the interest of the broad HVAC industry to HLR in the past year. Major manufacturer reps have signed up to represent and promote the product, and dozens of top tier engineering consultants have introduced HLR as a base of design in upcoming construction and renovation projects – precisely the overarching goal of this project. These would not have happened without the highly visible installation in NYC and its ultimately satisfied customer. Furthermore, the DOE itself issued a report in late 2017 analyzing hundreds of candidate technologies for reducing energy consumption in HVAC; remarkably, the budding HLR solution ranked among the top 3(!); no doubt, its status as a viable and significant contender on this list is informed by the success of these demonstrations. And furthermore, in the wake of these demos, several major energy utilities, led by ConEdison in NYC, have endorsed the HLR solution and now routinely provide substantial cash rebates for customers choosing to incorporate the HLR in their buildings and reap the benefit of the reduced peak load as well as reduced cumulative energy demand. Last but not least, in January of 2019, as this report was being written, the HLR module won the AHR Expo Innovation Award for Green Buildings and, remarkably, the prestigious and only Product of the Year 2019, being selected by an independent professional panel of judges from AHR and ASHRAE. Given the confirmation of the enormous energy saving potential of HLR in widescale deployment, as well as ancillary but significant benefits in terms of equipment downsizing and indoor air quality, the benefit of this effort to the public speaks for itself. Accelerating adoption of HLR, without dependence on subsidies and driven by the private sector, is well under way. There is still much work to be done in terms of educating the HVAC and construction ecosystems and improving the product’s robustness and simplicity, to further facilitate the adoption of this technology and the capture of its potential value. But the American public will greatly benefit both directly and indirectly in the immediate future and beyond.},
doi = {10.2172/1494123},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {8}
}