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Is Net Zero Energy Possible?

Feb 12

Written by:
2/12/2015 10:23 AM  RssIcon

To answer this question, first we must determine the path to net zero energy. In a recent FM Link article titled “Reducing Energy Use to Achieve Net Zero: The Role of Facilities Management,” three components of achieving net zero are identified:

  1. Energy efficiency
  2. On-site, renewable energy production
  3. Renewable energy purchased from the grid

The article emphasizes that “Without taking smart steps toward efficiency and conservation of energy, it will be difficult or impossible for a building to achieve and maintain net zero, and it is here that facilities managers can play the largest role.”

“Without taking smart steps toward efficiency and conservation of energy, it will be difficult or impossible for a building to achieve and maintain net zero, and it is here that facilities managers can play the largest role.”

(FM Link)

The article goes on to list several general ways that facilities managers can work toward energy efficiency. While it does mention setting HVAC systems to unoccupied settings at night, it says nothing about setting them back between events during the day or optimizing start and end times for equipment based on scheduled events for each individual day.

Most facility managers already set HVAC systems back to unoccupied settings during the night. But most of them waste energy by running buildings all day, regardless of whether or not each individual zone or room is being used. Some managers are trying to use occupancy sensors to trigger HVAC since they work so well for lighting. But because occupancy sensors are reactive, rooms are often uncomfortable when occupants arrive. There is a better way to automatically set individual rooms or zones to unoccupied when they are not in use – and pre-start them before the next scheduled event so that they are ready when occupants arrive.

Event automation software maximizes energy savings by pulling schedules from room scheduling software and sending commands to HVAC systems to automatically control room conditions based on individual room or zone schedules. It maximizes energy savings and eliminates redundant data entry related to scheduling HVAC systems.

Events2HVAC is one example of event automation software that can help you achieve net zero.

To setup Events2HVAC, you map your rooms to your equipment, set your poll rate for pulling schedules, and set pre-start times that are appropriate for each piece of equipment. Then you stand back and watch as schedules are pulled and commands are sent. Events2HVAC makes your rooms comfortable for users while maximizing your energy savings – with no extra effort from facilities managers.

If you have individual VAV boxes in rooms, Events2HVAC can be fine-tuned to the individual room level. If you have equipment that serves multiple rooms, you can create a zone in Events2HVAC that will control that equipment any time one or more of the rooms in that zone are scheduled. If you have large building air-handlers that you don’t want to set back between events, you can use Events2HVAC to trigger those systems off the first scheduled event of each day and the last scheduled event of each day, rather than setting a fixed daily schedule that is inflexible.

Events2HVAC maximizes energy savings and eliminates redundant data entry. It is the “facility manager’s autopilot.”

Events2HVAC is truly the “facility manager’s autopilot.” Managers can subscribe to daily reports or alerts that are sent if a command is missed for any reason, such as a power outage or network interruption. But they rarely need to login to Events2HVAC unless they need to add rooms, change equipment, or change a pre-start time.

Though the concept of event automation software is still relatively new, Events2HVAC is in use at more than 30 sites across the U.S. and one site in Canada. Sites include university and college campuses, K-12 schools, convention centers, churches, and government agencies. But office buildings can also benefit from Events2HVAC by integrating conference room schedules for HVAC control.

Events2HVAC is compatible with many different types of room scheduling software and HVAC controls. To determine if your systems are compatible, please send a brief description of your systems and building or campus to sales@events2hvac.com.

You can also use the link above to schedule an online demo of Events2HVAC, receive a quote for your facility, or begin a free 60-day trial of Events2HVAC for up to 50 rooms.

Contact us today and stop heating and cooling empty rooms to make net zero possible!

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Founded in 1998, Streamside Solutions provides software products, solutions and services for the building automation industry.


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