David Robertson, Director of Student Programs at Appalachian State University, is very aggressive on energy management and sustainability. But he did not have digital controls in place to allow him to implement Events2HVAC in the entire student union, so he decided to test the software in just 20 rooms (9,860 square feet).
Energy Analyst Patrick Richardson was assigned to implement Events2HVAC and track energy savings. It wasn’t the easiest task because Richardson ran into several roadblocks related to the building automation system. But with support from Brian Russell at Streamside Solutions that Richardson described as “phenomenal,” the implementation was completed and analysis began.
Richardson said support from Streamside Solutions was “phenomenal.”
Richardson’s first step was to compare the fan speed of one air handler unit (AHU) over three days, from the week before implementation to the week after implementation. The graph below shows Richardson’s initial three-day analysis of an AHU that feeds seven variable air volume (VAV) boxes, serving conference rooms and a small theater in the student union.
The AHU was already set back to 20% at night, but it was previously running all day, as indicated by the blue line above. After Events2HVAC was implemented, the AHU was automatically controlled based on event schedules, and fan power was reduced 70% compared to the same three days of the previous week, as indicated by the red line above.
AHU fan power was reduced 70% compared to the same three days of the previous week.
Though it was a rudimentary comparison, it was enough to get Richardson excited. He continued to track fan power savings due to Events2HVAC. Based on the data he accumulated, Richardson estimated the electricity savings per year for those 20 rooms, as shown in the chart below.
The result, savings of $3,955 per year doesn’t sound like a whole lot of money. But when you realize that this represents just 10% of the student union building, and only a tiny fraction of the entire campus, the numbers are much more impressive. And that’s just electricity.
Richardson quickly realized that electricity is just the tip of the iceberg – chiller and steam consumption would also be significantly reduced. Unfortunately, he could not separate out the savings in those areas for the 20 rooms controlled by Events2HVAC.
ROI: Electricity savings from AHU fans alone will pay for Events2HVAC in five months.
So Richardson turned his attention to calculating the return on investment (ROI) of the project – based on electricity savings alone. Considering only the electricity savings for the AHUs, he calculated that Events2HVAC would pay for itself in five months.
Richardson continued to collect the data that was attainable, and began to compare savings realized with Events2HVAC to another project on campus using occupancy sensors. He presented his findings at the 10th Annual Sustainability Energy Conference in Raleigh, NC. Both methods of HVAC scheduling resulted in significant energy savings. Events2HVAC had a lower up-front cost, but Richardson likes the flexibility of occupancy sensors to handle laboratories and other spaces where people come and go unpredictably. For more information, view Richardson’s presentation, Building and Room Scheduling: Two Approaches to Occupancy-based HVAC Energy Management.
David Robertson is now working to upgrade the HVAC controls in the remainder of the student union at Appalachian State University so that Events2HVAC can be used throughout the building. Patrick Richardson would like to see Events2HVAC implemented in other buildings on campus too.
Events2HVAC Integrated Systems:
Dean Evans EMS® Professional
Johnson Controls Metasys System Extended Architecture (MSEA)
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.