Running Building Systems Can Be Counterintuitive
Buildings are made to run better when they are set at an optimal setpoint. Setpoint is the target value that a thermostat is set to.
For a building with only heating, you'll only need to work with heating degree days, so you'll only need to estimate the heating base temperature. Similarly, for a building with only cooling, you'll only need to work with cooling degree days, so you'll only need to estimate the cooling base temperature.
For a building with both heating and cooling, you'll need to estimate the heating base temperature and the cooling base temperature as you'll be working with both.
Different locations will be subject to different variants in outside temperature, so there would be no reason to select one arbitrary setpoint for multiple locations. Each location should have its own setpoint.
Buildings are designed to protect humans from the elements. Most common insulation materials work by slowing conductive heat flow and, to a lesser extent, convective heat flow.
Radiant barriers and reflective insulation systems work by reducing radiant heat gain.
Regardless of the mechanism, heat flows from warmer to cooler until there is no longer a temperature difference.
Buildings should also provide comfort in terms of temperature. But the comfort threshold is different in men than in women and women are especially prone to getting cold in office buildings in the summer.
Buildings also provide safety, i.e. when HVAC redirects ventilation during a fire and when elevators are redirected to the ground floor and locked down, in the case of an earthquake or a fire.
Ways for building managers to make buildings efficient
Energy efficient buildings (new constructions or renovated existing buildings) can be defined as buildings that are designed to provide a significant reduction of the energy need for heating and cooling, independently of the energy and of the equipment that will be chosen to heat or cool the building.
Cycling down HVAC in unoccupied space is not the solution!
It can actually can cost you more as the setpoint is never reached, so overcompensation happens. And, in some instances it’s illegal, as is the case in California with title 24.
Title 24 is a broad set of requirements for “energy conservation, green design, construction and maintenance, fire and life safety, and accessibility” that apply to the “structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems” in a building.”
A demand-side energy management tool can assist with the precise calculations across hundreds of locations for the perfect setpoint at any given point in time.
PhoenixET can provide help in calculating this unique, precise setpoint for hundreds of locations daily, within a fraction of a degree to keep buildings at their ideal setpoint between 70-76 degree range.
For more information on our solutions, click here.