Emerging Technologies

Energy Solutions’ emerging technologies practice focuses on evaluating the value and impacts of cutting edge energy efficiency innovations. Our efforts aim to accelerate the commercialization and adoption of the latest and best energy efficient technologies. In reviewing new technologies, we provide economic and market opportunity analyses, functionality and performance assessment, and occupant and host site acceptance evaluation.

In association with utility, state and federal efforts, Energy Solutions has conducted over a dozen emerging technology assessments. Among the technologies, we have evaluated are LED applications, advanced wireless lighting controls, and wireless HVAC controls. These assessments provide the energy management community with the information required to help transition these energy-saving technologies to the marketplace.

PROJECT: LED Street Lights

Energy Solutions has industry-leading expertise in outdoor lighting demonstrations and evaluations, particularly in the area of LED street lighting. We have provided monitoring, data collection, and data analysis services for several LED Street Lighting Assessment projects on behalf of PG&E’s Emerging Technologies Program. Energy Solutions’ LED street lighting demonstration and analysis methodology has been adopted by the US DOE and presented to others seeking guidance on conducting best practice LED performance evaluations. Energy Solutions’ product assessments contributed to PG&E’s development of a Street Light LED business unit and rebate program that works with municipalities to incentivize and install street lights.

PROJECT: DART Wireless HVAC Demonstration

Energy Solutions managed a demonstration of a Dual Air Regulation Technique (DART) system manufactured by Federspiel Controls in support of PG&E’s Emerging Technology Program. The DART system uses wireless sensors networked to a central controller to monitor interior building temperatures. Based on temperature, it dynamically adjusts supply and return fan speeds for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Energy Solutions employed monitoring data to estimate average annual energy savings, finding that employing the DART fan control system resulted in reduced energy consumption and costs while maintaining a desirable interior temperature. As part of this project, Energy Solutions also assessed customer acceptance and market opportunity for this measure. PG&E used these findings to support rebate applications for this technology and to develop a simple model for estimating energy use and savings for other installations.

PROJECT: Raley’s Parking Lot – Bi-level Lighting

Energy Solutions monitored, collected, and analyzed data for an assessment of bi-level LED lighting installed in a Raley’s supermarket parking lot for PG&E’s Emerging Technologies Program. The project, undertaken in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as part of DOE’s SSL GATEWAY Demonstration Program, replaced metal halide (MH) luminaires with new LED luminaires and incorporated bi-level operation (dim state and full state). Results of Energy Solutions’ analysis indicated an energy savings potential approaching 70% on an annual basis, a more uniform lighting distribution, and payback periods of less than five years when maintenance savings were considered.

PROJECT:  Demand Response Enabled Wireless Lighting

Energy Solutions evaluated the performance of three wireless lighting control technologies in commercial office spaces for PG&E’s Emerging Technologies Program. As part of our work to evaluate the technologies’ energy efficiency and demand response capabilities, we coordinated installation of the technologies, managed scheduling of demand response events, collaborated with the Demand Response Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and logged and analyzed data to assess lighting circuit power impacts. Our evaluation of wireless lighting control products found that all three had potential to deliver energy efficiency savings of up to 50% or greater, demonstrating that comprehensive lighting controls systems exist that are easier and cheaper to install than wired control options.