Editorial: ASHRAE Energy Modeling Conference -- Day 1

Alan Jackson bio photo By Alan Jackson Comment

I’ll skip the fluff and head straight to the meat of the day, but I should note one thing. I was anxious for this event like a child on Christmas Eve. I knew I would be confronted with some of the “rock stars” in the world of energy modeling. This may sound lame, but I have a history with the tools and the community and it was extremely exciting and rewarding to meet and hear speak some of these individuals including folks from NREL, LBNL, ARUP and AtilierTen.

Notable speaker of the day was Shanta Tucker from AtelierTen. She represented to me a veteran of the modeling industry. Someone who worked on a full range of projects and systems types and understood the way it actual is. Very well spoken and confident, I didn’t have a chance to speak with her directly but her topics were excellent. The topic of “ASHRAE 90.1: Appendix G Design Model, ASHRAE 90.1: Appendix G Baseline & Design Model Differences ” was more like a war story of the way things are in the trenches. Workarounds are required and this was a resounding theme for the conference. I proceeded to the elements track were I listened to great discussion on research for green roofs “Estimating Heat and Mass Transfer Processes in Green Roof Systems: Current Modeling Capabilities and Limitations” ,_ Paolo Tabares, NREL_ and an eye opener on residential cooling with “What You Should Know About Data-driven Models of Cooling Technical Systems” Neal Kruis, National Renewable Energy Labs. My take-away from each of those is that a substantial amount of research has gone into both green roofs and residential cooling systems but the complexity and accuracy has not been transfered over to the the modeling side. Green Roofs are a very dynamic creature that are difficult to model and the savings and performance can vary drastically from one project to the next. On the residential cooling side it was clear that even when manufacturer data exists it doesn’t translate to good modeling. One other notable speaker was Tim McDowell, from TESS who spoke towards a topic important to me “Difficulties in and Techniques for Modeling Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems and Demand Controlled Ventilation”. DOAS systems are difficult to model, they are complex beasts with a wide rang of state points within the ‘box” and controlling them is key to accurately reflecting their performance benefits.

On to Day 2