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Title: Analysis of Space-Conditioning Loads in Commercial Buildings

Abstract

Space conditioning end-uses, which include heating, cooling, and ventilation, represent a significant fraction of commercial building energy use, with a wide variety of heating and cooling technology options available in the market. In the interest of improving the overall efficiency of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) technologies, governments, utilities and private sector entities have implemented a variety of market transformation policies that aim to influence consumer purchase decisions. To evaluate the costs and benefits of such programs, analysts typically postulate a hypothetical default equipment choice, and compare it to one that provides comparable service with lower energy and/or power use. The corresponding reduced operating cost provides a benefit that offsets the potential higher cost of improved efficiency. Typically, life-cycle cost or cash-flow analyses are used to quantify the net economic benefit. These analyses require the capability to assess how a given equipment design would perform across a broad range of characteristics, both of the building and of the local weather. While these assessments can be performed using customized building simulations, it is generally not practical to develop and validate detailed building simulation code to cover all the potential variations of equipment design and installation. An alternative, and somewhat simpler, approachmore » is to solely use detailed building simulations to generate time series of heating and cooling loads in commercial buildings. These loads can then be used as input to more detailed, stand-alone engineering models that simulate HVAC system performance under different equipment designs. This approach was used to evaluate a range of high-efficiency commercial packaged air conditioner design options for the Department of Energy’s Appliance and Equipment Standards Program (DOE-EERE 2015). While there may be some loss of precision relative to full simulation, the accuracy of this approach is sufficient for practical applications of cost-benefit analysis. This report describes the development of a database of commercial building heating and cooling loads, generated using the EnergyPlus software package, a whole building energy use model supported by the Department of Energy (DOE-EERE 2020a). EnergyPlus takes as input a set of configuration files that describe the building itself (size, zoning, envelope characteristics, etc.) and the various systems within it (HVAC, lighting, water heating, etc.). This analysis uses a publicly available collection of commercial reference buildings (CRB), comprised of sixteen building types and three vintages (DOE-EERE 2020b; Deru et al 2011). Each building is simulated in eighteen different locations, covering a wide range of climatic conditions. The prototype building description files assign the type of HVAC equipment used, and capacities across climate zones.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy Analysis & Environmental Impact Dept.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Energy Efficiency Office. Building Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1637324
Report Number(s):
LBNL-2001339
ark:/13030/qt08j7d65t
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Coughlin, Katie, Cubero, Edward, Mathur, Akhil, and Rosenquist, Greg. Analysis of Space-Conditioning Loads in Commercial Buildings. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.2172/1637324.
Coughlin, Katie, Cubero, Edward, Mathur, Akhil, & Rosenquist, Greg. Analysis of Space-Conditioning Loads in Commercial Buildings. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1637324
Coughlin, Katie, Cubero, Edward, Mathur, Akhil, and Rosenquist, Greg. 2020. "Analysis of Space-Conditioning Loads in Commercial Buildings". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1637324. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1637324.
@article{osti_1637324,
title = {Analysis of Space-Conditioning Loads in Commercial Buildings},
author = {Coughlin, Katie and Cubero, Edward and Mathur, Akhil and Rosenquist, Greg},
abstractNote = {Space conditioning end-uses, which include heating, cooling, and ventilation, represent a significant fraction of commercial building energy use, with a wide variety of heating and cooling technology options available in the market. In the interest of improving the overall efficiency of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) technologies, governments, utilities and private sector entities have implemented a variety of market transformation policies that aim to influence consumer purchase decisions. To evaluate the costs and benefits of such programs, analysts typically postulate a hypothetical default equipment choice, and compare it to one that provides comparable service with lower energy and/or power use. The corresponding reduced operating cost provides a benefit that offsets the potential higher cost of improved efficiency. Typically, life-cycle cost or cash-flow analyses are used to quantify the net economic benefit. These analyses require the capability to assess how a given equipment design would perform across a broad range of characteristics, both of the building and of the local weather. While these assessments can be performed using customized building simulations, it is generally not practical to develop and validate detailed building simulation code to cover all the potential variations of equipment design and installation. An alternative, and somewhat simpler, approach is to solely use detailed building simulations to generate time series of heating and cooling loads in commercial buildings. These loads can then be used as input to more detailed, stand-alone engineering models that simulate HVAC system performance under different equipment designs. This approach was used to evaluate a range of high-efficiency commercial packaged air conditioner design options for the Department of Energy’s Appliance and Equipment Standards Program (DOE-EERE 2015). While there may be some loss of precision relative to full simulation, the accuracy of this approach is sufficient for practical applications of cost-benefit analysis. This report describes the development of a database of commercial building heating and cooling loads, generated using the EnergyPlus software package, a whole building energy use model supported by the Department of Energy (DOE-EERE 2020a). EnergyPlus takes as input a set of configuration files that describe the building itself (size, zoning, envelope characteristics, etc.) and the various systems within it (HVAC, lighting, water heating, etc.). This analysis uses a publicly available collection of commercial reference buildings (CRB), comprised of sixteen building types and three vintages (DOE-EERE 2020b; Deru et al 2011). Each building is simulated in eighteen different locations, covering a wide range of climatic conditions. The prototype building description files assign the type of HVAC equipment used, and capacities across climate zones.},
doi = {10.2172/1637324},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1637324}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {6}
}