Our friends at the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) outdid themselves this year at the 2018 Minnesota Energy Expo, hosted at the Radisson Blu in Bloomington, Minnesota. Programming spanned three rooms with 13 presentations, including the keynote speaker, ASHRAE National President, Sheila Hayter, plus energy project deployment stories, projections about the future of energy and building automation.
So find a cozy seat and enjoy some of our key takeaways from the 2018 ASHRAE Minnesota Energy Expo!
From the Expo Floor
This was our third year presenting on the floor of the 2018 MN Energy Expo and we were glad to see growth of the conference and the participating companies. In addition, we were able to connect (and reconnect) with some attendees to show how our product suite has evolved and added a new member of the family, the Smart Stat!
75F visitors learned about our vertically integrated portfolio of solutions and walked away with our Making Your Building Work for You handout and a USB thu
mb drive stocked full of video, including our How It Works video, and our white papers. What can we say, as a building automation platform that can help businesses save 30-50% in their energy costs plus other OpEx savings, we want to equip the attendees with as much insight as we can to help push their buildings into the 21st century!
Now, let's visit what a few of the session speakers had to say!
University of Minnesota Commissioning Building Renovations: Lessons Learned
It's not everyday that you get to hear the ins and outs of a major renovation project. Better yet, it's even more rare to learn more about the project and discover where the project succeeded and when it took a little longer to get to where it needed to be.
Javier Navar Payan, the Senior Energy Engineer at the University of Minnesota, started off with the differences between a building renovation and new construction. For instance, new construction would entail that all systems will be new while a renovation will not always include an all new system, often using new, retrofitted systems that will mesh with some that are pre-existing. One common issue they experienced was the high level of uncertainty that comes with a renovation. For example, many retrofitted systems do not adapt to how a building operates. [75F is happy to share that retrofit IoT building automation systems can allow software-defined flexibility to remotely adjust for changes in the environment, and can apply machine learning, sensing load patterns to learn and predictively deliver both energy efficiency and an ideal occupant experience! ]
Next, Jay Denny, the Principal Energy Engineer at the University of Minnesota, won over the crowd with his "Joliet Jake" Blues Brothers reference that mirrored the project he and Javier were asked to join later in its adoption. Jay made it clear that a key takeaway for him and his team was that all major stakeholders, including HVAC engineering and management representatives, should be a part of the project from the start to ensure that the equipment design will function as desired and, ultimately, conserve energy along the way.
For instance, at one point, 3 constant air volume (CV) systems were serving one area. As a result, the systems were over working, the temperatures were inconsistent, and the pressurization of the space was not balanced. Once the Cx team rebalanced the CAV area, the VAV system was happy and the AHU fans were controlling the duct static pressure set point. However, later that evening, they discovered the general exhaust duct had very little static pressure, resulting in the use of an alternate duct. So after a few bumps in the road, as his team was brought in later into the project, it ended in a success!
Keynote: 2018-2019 ASHRAE National President, Sheila Hayter
Just coming off of her session covering the integration of renewable energy systems into buildings, ASHRAE National President, Sheila Hayter, took the stage for the keynote presentation. In this talk, Sheila noted her family's storied past with building operations, including the fact that her father, Dick Hayter, was once the President of ASHRAE, as well. After covering why the initiatives of ASHRAE meant so much to her, Sheila outlined the 3 steps that we need to take to build our new energy future.
Sheila spoke about the new opportunities that ASHRAE has created and will be providing to ASHRAE members and beyond, including the:Step 1: Become Aware
- Smart Grid Application Guide, a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) for a project dealing with a subject in which members or their institution have either been recommended or have expressed interest.
- Distinguished Lecturer Program, a program that provides ASHRAE Chapters with lecturers equipped to speak on relevant subjects of interest to ASHRAE members and guests without incurring huge costs.
- Building Our New Energy Future primer, a document tailored to prepare buildings professionals for the challenges and opportunities of designing efficient and grid-responsive buildings within the changing energy sector.
Step 2: Get Engaged
Leave the marital vows at home, Sheila believes that by engaging the community, you can inspire change. She encouraged attendees to join smart grid, cyber security, and wellness communities to inspire change and lead the implementation of the future of energy. If you want to see change, you need to lead and be the change!
Step 3: Start Now
Sheila ended her presentation with a real life call-to-action to 'Start Now!' She promoted the use of Living Lab Environments and chapter opportunity funds on resilience and suggested partnering with the APPA (American Public Power Association). Sheila also reference the 2019 Applied Engineering Challenge in Puerto Rico as a great opportunity on how to inspire change now and in the future.
Johnson Controls: Building Controls Diagnostics & Analytics
Johnson Controls commands a large share of the installed building controls market and they shared insights on market demands and trends. James Plotz, the Area Controls Sales Manager for the western United States, spoke of the growing demand for data and connection to the Internet of Things (IoT). He noted that more project specifications and job sites are requiring Ethernet/IP networking functionality. He identified the hype is a result of IT vendors pushing Ethernet/IP technology and creating demand for their IT equipment. He stated that the reality is that Ethernet/IP provides faster network performance with enhanced options and more bandwidth, which provides a future-proof building.
As a result, the number of installed IoT devices is continuing to climb, especially in the Home, Enterprise, and Government/Infrastructure sectors, and is forecasted to grow even more! As a building automation company that utilizes the IoT, you can imagine we were dancing in our seats when James shared this forecast!
- Easily pinpoint inefficiencies and reduce energy costs
- Reduce operation and maintenance costs, while justifying the payback on these investments
- Identify equipment problems and increase equipment up-time
- Meet compliance with regulatory requirements more easily and showcase efforts to reduce energy and their carbon footprint!
Lastly, James spoke about the future and what current clients are expecting. An interesting case example is a California airport wishing they
could have pre-conditioning in terminals triggered by sensing airport-destined Uber passengers en-route to departure gates. This geofencing functionality with pre-conditioning of zones based upon sensing occupant arrival is currently available from 75F in our Occupant App , which is a standard included feature for 75F zone management solutions.
Dynamic customer demands are driving technological innovations to make buildings (and those that manage them) more efficient and better equipped for the decades to come.
It's reassuring to see projections around the future of our industry coming to real world realization and implementation today!
To learn more about how your business or building can increase operational efficiency and improve the occupant experience, check out our FREE sustainability white paper. It's chocked full of the latest industry-related findings on green buildings, sustainability and beyond!