PGE - Power, Energy and Therms: Fundamental Concepts, Monitoring Techniques and Load Disaggregation

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 8:30am to Monday, April 30, 2012 - 4:30pm

Also Offered April 02 (Monday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm) San Francisco--PEC
Description Monitoring electrical energy or natural gas use is a common aspect of building performance projects. These systems can be measured at the whole building level or at specific sub-loads depending on the project objectives. This training will explore measurement approaches for these variables using utility meters, sub-meters, dataloggers and building control systems. It will also include example applications for the collected data.

An aspect of energy efficiency and load management projects is to understand which equipment within a facility are the greatest contributors to energy use, peak demand and overall utility costs. This investigation requires the progressive parsing of total building energy use into contributing sub-loads until you ultimately find the component that is the source of increased energy use or peak demand charges. For electrical systems total energy use can be disaggregated from the whole building level to distribution panels to subpanels to individual breakers to relays and ultimately to individual lighting circuits. The lighting circuit data may indicate that the lights never turn off and this in turn can lead to the introduction or repair of a control strategy.

These studies typically include whole building data and these data streams can be used for several specific applications. It is a standard practice to make sure all the measured sub-loads equal the total building energy use. Whole building data can also help identify appropriate demand response (DR) opportunities or even which DR program is best suited for a specific facility. And whole building data is critical information when considering or sizing renewable energy systems.

With the introduction of Smart Meters, whole building electric and natural gas data is now available in more frequent intervals than the traditional monthly utility bill. Facilities without dedicated Smart Meters may export whole building data from utility meters to energy management systems or dataloggers. Alternatively, whole building data can be collected using independent meters or loggers. All of these options will be explored in this training.

Selecting the correct sensors and meters for specific locations within a facility is a big part of the planning process for these projects. Referencing tools available from the Pacific Energy Center’s Tool Lending Library, we will explore appropriate monitoring options for these projects. We will look specifically at the application of power meters, amp meters, light loggers, motor loggers, temperature loggers pulse-output devices and tools that will monitor input-signals from control systems. The training will include instruction on configuring and installing specific meters.

While many tools and approaches exist for monitoring electrical systems, it can be difficult to track the use of natural gas. Traditional approaches required cutting into gas lines or the use of expensive clamp-on flow-meters with uncertain accuracy. However the PEC’s TLL team has been working on methods for measuring natural gas systems at the end use device (furnace, boiler, stove) using simple light, temperature and input-signal data loggers. The data collected at these sub-loads is cross-referenced to data collected at the whole building level. We will share our natural gas monitoring strategies and results as part of this training.

The training will also cover how to plan these investigations using single-line drawings, system floor plans, panel schedules and other resources. Example drawing sets will be the basis for in-class exercise where attendees will develop their own monitoring plan for a real facility. Other lab activities will include reviewing the placement of monitoring devises in real field conditions and the processing of sample data sets in MS Excel. Attendees will also gain exposure to useful tools and techniques appropriate for this project type.

A couple of the class activities will require the use of laptop computers with Acrobat Reader and MS excel installed. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptops to this training. The PEC also has a limited supply of loaner laptops for attendees unable to bring their own. Attendees without a laptop are encouraged to bring a USB jump drive to the training in order to walk out with resources and sample data files we will provide. All attendees are encouraged to have a working knowledge of MS excel.

Audience Level
  • Introductions and Safety Announcements
  • Introductions and class overview
  • Basic concepts for electrical and natural gas systems
  • Monitoring techniques for electrical systems
  • Class exercise: electric meter installations
  • Monitoring techniques for natural gas systems
  • lunch break - 12:00 p.m.
  • Class exercise: natural gas meter installations
  • Planning projects: single-line and other drawings
  • Class exercise: project planning
  • Data processing applications
  • Class exercise: data processing
  • Questions and wrap-up
Instructor(s) Ryan Stroupe
Ryan Stroupe is the Pacific Energy Center's Whole Building Performance Program Coordinator. He worked as the contact for the Center's Tool Lending Library program for several years and continues to support this program in an advisory role. Ryan also supports shading, daylighting, and other studies for architects and designers interested in optimizing the performance of their built projects. He develops and teaches many of the Energy Center's architectural and whole building performance programs. Ryan also teaches for The California College of the Arts and The Academy of Art University. He is currently supporting the monitoring-based commissioning efforts occurring at the University of California and California State University campuses. Ryan is a product of the Bachelor's of Environmental Design program at Miami University in Ohio and the Master's of Architecture Program at University of California, Berkeley.

William Pottinger
Bill Pottinger is responsible for the Energy Center's Tool Lending Library (TLL). Through the TLL program, California energy customers can borrow measurement equipment free of charge. Bill helps borrowers' energy savings efforts by providing the appropriate tools and offering guidance in their proper use. Bill is a graduate of California State University at Long Beach Industrial Technology and Education program, and he has completed coursework in Laney College's Environmental Control Technology program. He is a licensed general contractor with experience in home performance measurement issues.
Resources EDR Design Brief: Demand Response
PG&E Fact Sheet: Automated Benchmarking Service Fact Sheet
PG&E Resource: Large Business Energy Management Solutions and Incentives: Solutions designed for your industry segment.
PG&E Resource: Small and Medium Business Energy Management Solutions and Incentives
Cost No fee for this program
Credits N/A


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