6784174_sUSA: The Energy Department is to provide up to $6m in funding for four emerging energy-saving technologies in commercial buildings across the country. 

The projects have been chosen as likely to help businesses cut energy costs through improved efficiency in a country where commercial buildings are estimated to account for 20% of all energy demand at an estimated cost of nearly $180bn.

The four selected projects include indoor air filters, a cloud-based energy efficiency software, high efficiency fans and advanced lighting controls. Specifically, the are:

EnVerid Systems

A retrofit building ventilation system from enVerid Systems of Houston, Texas, which removes indoor air pollutants such as carbon dioxide, enables air to be recycled and reduces the amount of outside air ventilated into the building. As a result, the system reduces the load on the HVAC system. Ten separate commercial building demonstrations will be conducted over three years. 

Building IQ

BuildingIQ of Foster City, California, will optimize HVAC energy use across commercial buildings using Predictive Energy Optimisation (PEO), a cloud-based software application that runs on top of existing building automation systems. PEO uses data from weather forecasts, utility tariffs, demand response event signals, and occupant schedules to automatically adjust energy-consuming building systems. These adjustments are based on building-specific modelling that PEO uses over time employing building use data, as well as predictive algorithms and advanced control strategies. Sixteen separate building demonstrations will be conducted.

QM Power

QM Power of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, has developed high efficiency 7-16W fan motors that are often used in commercial refrigeration systems.  

The motors are said to be based on a novel yet simple magnetic circuit that uses something called Parallel Path Magnetic Technology to provide higher power, efficiency and reliability without an increase in cost.

QM Power intends to install and demonstrate approximately 12,000 high efficiency fans in more than 50 grocery stores throughout the US, focusing on open display case retrofits that could result in significant efficiency improvements. If fully adopted, the motor application has the potential to achieve more than 0.6 quads in energy savings and reduce energy costs by $1bn.

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships

A project designed to encourage the use of advanced lighting controls (ALCs), which turn off or dim lights when not in use. 

The project from Lexington-based Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships will demonstrate and evaluate two or more ALC technologies in 10 buildings, which should experience significant energy savings compared to a traditional lighting retrofit without controls.

Designers and installers will be trained to use the technologies. The demonstration results will be used to support development of utility incentive programmes to help further drive adoption of ACLs.