8/31/2015 8:40 AM
Software is often used to track energy use and perform energy analysis. But the Carolina Union uses it to eliminate heating and cooling empty rooms between events – with a direct impact on energy efficiency.
Kenneth Miskow, Building Operations Manager of the Carolina Union at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, led the implementation of Events2HVAC. He said the Union uses Dean Evans EMS (EMS) to schedule more than 2,000 events and 10,000 meetings each year. They have a Johnson Controls MSEA (MSEA) controls system, but before November 2014, the entire building was running 6 am to 12 pm, whether individual rooms were occupied or empty.
Today, Events2HVAC pulls schedules from EMS and sends commands to MSEA for 26 rooms in the Carolina Union, automatically setting HVAC equipment back to unoccupied settings between events. This represents about one-third of the building, but includes a 5,200 sqft great hall and a 3,100 sqft auditorium.
Miskow partnered with Energy Management at the university to track energy efficiency after implementing Events2HVAC and LED lighting. They tracked electricity, chilled water, and steam use from November 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. They compared the results to the same period for the previous year, normalizing the data for differences in weather by including the number of cooling days and the number of heating days for each time period in their calculations. Average heating and cooling days were calculated over a 5-year period for the November-June time period.
A comparative summary of the results appears below, with energy use the base year pegged at 100%. There was no change in steam use, so it is not included in the graph.
Detailed analysis for each energy use category is provided below.
Miskow provided the charts below, illustrating his data and calculations for energy efficiency at the Carolina Union. Note that the charts represent data for the entire building, while Events2HVAC is controlling just one third of it. Other parts of the building are on a daily building schedule or operate in occupied mode 24/7.
The chart above shows that electricity efficiency related to cooling the building increased 33% over the 8-month time period, compared to the same 8 months of the previous year. During the same time period, electricity efficiency related to heating the building increased almost 17%.
Miskow explained that some of the electricity savings was due to an LED lighting conversion that was completed along with the Events2HVAC implementation.
“We bundled the Events2HVAC with our LED conversion that we did, and we saw a $10,000 reduction contributed by those two programs,” Miskow said.
As shown in the chart above, the efficiency increase for chilled water calculated in a similar manner over the same time period was 29%.
“Unfortunately we did have a much hotter and colder winter and summer during the time period, so it’s not going to show on the bottom line as much.” Miskow said. “But if you look at how efficient we’ve been with the weather normalized data, I think that is where the program really speaks for itself in terms of cost avoidance.”
Before implementing Events2HVAC, Miskow did a 60-day free trial of the software. He said that from the trial, they were able to deduce that the software would save them money in both the short and long term.
When asked if there was anything else he would like to tell other facility managers about Events2HVAC, Miskow said, “It’s such a great opportunity for innovation to bring to your campus. I see it as a step toward the future. It’s always surprising to me to know that this product exists, but it is still not as widely used as it should be. Products like this are the next wave of building automation systems.”
Ken Miskow reported full 12 months results using Events2HVAC (11/2014 - 11/2015):
The savings are enough to power 63 average sized homes for a year and represents a 656% return on investment!
Events2HVAC Event Automation Software (www.events2hvac.com) is designed to save your facility energy, labor, and money by integrating your facility's event/room reservation system directly to the room's environmental controls.
Lighting, door access, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning can all be turned on and off or adjusted automatically based on the scheduled events for that room.
Founded in 1998, Streamside Solutions provides software products, solutions and services for the building automation industry.
Phone: (888) 320-4277
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