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Assessment of Load and Energy Reduction Techniques (ALERT) Retrocommissioning Case Study of Two National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Sites
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Portland Energy Conservation Incorporated (PECI) in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) staff performed an Assessment of Load and Energy Reduction Techniques (ALERT) retrocommissioning evaluation on several buildings located at the South Table Mountain site and National Wind Technology Center site located in Golden, Colorado. The retrocommissioning process involved a coordinated effort between PECI and NREL staff and was completed in November of 2002. Retrocommissioning (RCx), or existing building commissioning, is an event in the life of a building that applies a systematic investigation process for improving and optimizing a building's energy-using equipment such as the HVAC and other mechanical equipment, lighting equipment, and related controls. The investigation phase for this project identified 33 findings. This paper gives an overview of the project and discusses a few of the operations and maintenance (O&M) findings as well as capital improvement recommendations that have the greatest potential for energy savings. An update on the progress of implementation will also be discussed. The combined measures recommended for implementation result in an estimated total annual savings of 572,444 kWh, 54,114 therms, and a total utility cost savings of $44,040, which correspond to a 7.0% reduction in annual energy usage and 4.4% reduction in annual utility costs. With the measures already implemented, and those in the process thus far, the total estimated savings are 231,924 kWh, 51,550 therms, and $28,920 annual energy savings. Implementation costs were estimated at $56,380, which would result in a 1.9 year average payback. It cost approximately $0.09 per square foot to perform the ALERT RCx assessment. Of the 33 measures identified, energy savings were not calculated for 14 of them due to insufficient data at the time or they are very general and difficult to estimate. Most of the measures focus on O&M improvements, and many of these measures have been implemented, or under evaluation for implementation. It is not unreasonable to assume that the measures under evaluation, if selected for implementation, could account for an additional 1% energy and cost savings.
Luskay, L.; Haasl, T.; Schwab, J.; Beattie, D. (2003). Assessment of Load and Energy Reduction Techniques (ALERT) Retrocommissioning Case Study of Two National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Sites. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from