Residential Tier 2 Advanced Power Strips
In support of California’s strategic plan to accelerate the penetration of energy efficiency technologies, this report presents the findings of a field evaluation of Tier 2 advanced power strips (APS) installed at residential audio/video (A/V) systems and commercial office and computer lab workstations (PC). The work was executed by Alternative Energy Systems Consulting, for the San Diego Gas and Electric Emerging Technology program. RMS Consulting, CalPlug, CalTF, and the power strip vendor and manufacturer contributed additional direction, assistance, and field work in support of the project.
The primary goal for this project was to determine the energy savings and demand reduction of recent generation advanced power strips in residential A/V systems and commercial PC workstations. Each Tier 2 APS controls power to the plug loads using inputs of aggregate system power and monitored user activity. A field trial was conducted at 42 residential A/V sites and 51 university PC workstations for an average of 13 days. The M&V approach used a CalPlug approved method that simultaneously collects baseline data and simulates the controlled state. Additionally, post-installation monitoring was performed at 9 residential A/V sites in order to gain insight into the behavioral effects not entirely captured by the CalPlug method.
The study found that the APS devices functioned as designed and operation was intuitive with simple, quick installation. Energy savings, demand reduction, and estimated simple payback from the CalPlug method are presented in Table 1.
Tier 2 APS models have differences from past generations that should provide increased energy savings, demand reduction, and user acceptance. Both the A/V and PC models were successful in lowering energy consumption and demand profiles. Despite this, market penetration remains low and utility encouragement and programs should be considered for aiding the uptake of this emerging technology. Several correlations were found that could aid in the streamlining of programs development and evaluation. Customer acceptance and persistence after installation remains uncertain due to entrenched customer A/V and PC expectations and complications with IT protocols and software concerns in large commercial settings.
Additional study using a post-installation methodology could clarify some of the uncertainty surrounding behavioral effects. Vendors should work to address the IT concerns of large commercial customers in order to increase customer acceptance at valuable, high-volume implementations. Despite these uncertainties, it is expected that the total resource cost and benefits to society could be significant if a Tier 2 APS program is effective. One effective program approach using typical methods could be a direct install program free to residential and light commercial customers and with a buydown for larger commercial customers.