Welcome to the July/August edition of Distributed Energy magazine.
Building automation controls offer an excellent opportunity to reduce energy consumption. In the feature article, Carol Brzozowski highlights several examples of building automation improvements that leveraged technology advancements to realize significant cost savings and energy efficiency gains. In Hamilton County, Ohio, for example, building automation systems and lighting controls enabled officials to have better control of individual areas of Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, and strategic energy and mechanical improvements at Great American Ball Park, where the Cincinnati Reds play, reaped energy savings and sustainability advances.
As John Egan tells us in his feature article, stationary fuel cells are no longer seen as some sort of futuristic power source. The shifting needs of electric utilities’ C&I customers, as well as structural changes underway in the electricity sector, are driving a surge in interest. Egan discusses these drivers and shares insights from several fuel cell company executives and manufacturers who are encouraged by the trends that are positively impacting their businesses.
By leveraging intelligent, interconnected energy management systems, building owners and operators have a unique opportunity to save big money. Systems like SCADA-based metering, connected sensors, and smart controllers provide a high level of granular data that can be used to analyze, identify, and better manage energy inefficiencies — and even predict maintenance needs. Carol Brzozowski discusses several energy management technologies and systems uncovering efficiencies across a broad range of applications. Click to learn more.
Organizations around the world — businesses, universities, hospitals, and others — are embracing microgrids as outage costs spiral and risk of interruption increases. As Asim Hussain explains in his project profile, a microgrid is “a smaller, smarter and more efficient electric grid that allows any organization to operate in parallel with, or independent from, the larger grid.” This is a huge benefit to companies like network and security solutions provider Extreme Networks, who experienced three separate power outages in the summer of 2018 and needed a more reliable source of power.
Another way to ensure reliable power is through the use of microturbine power generation technology. PSECU, Pennsylvania’s largest credit union, recognized the need to mitigate any potential downtime at its Harrisburg data center and headquarters. In the project profile, Carol Brzozowski discusses how PSECU selected an air-bearing, high-pressure, natural gas-powered microturbine system for its combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) application. Not only does the system provide peace of mind but a companion control system analyzes energy data from the turbines and the building automation system to maximize performance, diagnose problems, and troubleshoot the system remotely.
The University of Hawai’i had a monumental objective to achieve: align energy resiliency requirements with efficiency and sustainability goals across 300+ buildings spread over 200 acres. Working toward a state mandate of net-zero energy usage within 20 years, UH’s first step was to get control of its energy data. In his project profile, Eric Reichel explains how university management embarked on a project to streamline its energy assets and systems into a single smart, connected platform.
Don’t forget to check out this edition’s Reader Profile.
Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoy this issue of Distributed Energy!