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the first of the new "low-E" coatings. Other manufacturers, including most of the largest glass and window firms, have entered the market since. Research on the performance of these glazings by the Windows and Daylighting Research Group at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory has made it possible to understand how the coatings affect the building performance, which in turn, helps to justify their use in buildings like the Pacific Museum of Flight.
An aircraft designer would not dream of designing or testing a modern airplane without first "test flying" it thousands of times in a computer. Similarly, a complete understanding of the energy performance of a building design can be achieved only through simulation with computer-based models which take into account all known aspects of performance. Simulation models which offer such capability are very complex. While a number of such models are available, I found in my work that only one is versatile enough to simulate the energy performance of virtually any building: DOE-2. This model was developed with DOE support by the Building Simulation Group at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the group is continuously upgrading the program with new features. The energy performance of the Pacific Museum of Flight could not have been demonstrated without the use of this model and the building would have required exemption from building codes.
The use of daylight to reduce lighting energy requirements is one of the most important strategies I am asked to evaluate. Daylighting always affects thermal performance. The simulation of this effect in real life projects and buildings was previously not possible and had to be guessed or approximated. The Windows and Daylighting Group and the Building Simulation Group were instrumental in providing one of the most important breakthroughs in the analysis of the energy performance of buildings: the linking of thermal and daylighting performance in the DOE2.1B simulation model. This new tool of analysis permits much better, earlier and more accurate understanding of the energy performance of individual buildings and design solutions.
Everybody benefits from this development. The productivity of professionals like myself has increased dramatically. Architects can justify solutions employing more extensive and complex fenestration systems. Value engineering and life cycle costing can be more accurate. Owners can make more informed decisions on construction and operating costs. Utilities can achieve some of their goals of shifting portions of
demand from peak to off-peak hours. The building industry can better justify investments to develop new products: glazings, lighting systems and controls. The general public can enjoy better indoor working environments. Society conserves energy and reduces pressure on supplies of non-renewable resources.
The Windows and Daylighting Group has also created and operates the only scientific daylighting test facility in the U.S. available to test proposed building designs: a large 24-foot-diameter Sky Simulator. The complexity of daylit environments and the limited available analytical understanding of how to model such environments has made the simulation of daylighting performance with mathematical models satisfactory only in simple situations. For complex building designs, daylighting performance can be reliably predicted only through photometric measurements in scale models of buildings. Such studies require the controlled simulation of the changing illuminance of the sky, which can only be achieved in a sky simulator. In my experience, many energy saving designs, featuring innovative use of glazing, cannot be justified without such photometric studies.
The LBL Sky Simulator has made such studies possible. The facility is used by LBL staff in research studies but it is also available to practitioners such as myself. The designs of several large commercial buildings I have been involved with were justified and accepted only after tests in the Sky Simulator. It is the only facility in the United States which has the ability to simulate the full range of sky conditions, has the instrumentation to take the necessary detailed measurements and the trained staff to help interpret test results. The architectural profession has recognized the value and importance of this unique facility, developed as part of the LBL/DOE building research program, with a Research Citation in the Progressive Architecture Annual Awards program in 1985.
Both of the research groups at LBL I have mentioned are doing work that even the largest firms in the country cannot undertake by themselves, because of the complexity of the tasks and the cost involved. For example, no design firm in the country, not even firms with the largest volume of work, can afford to develop and operate its own sky simulator. The results of the Groups' work are available to everybody; big and small firms benefit alike. The Groups' researchers actively participate in the activities of all major professional societies that influence the design community: ASHRAE, AIA, IES, and others. They continuously contribute basic
technical information; for example, the Windows and Daylighting Group alone has released over 100 publications just on fenestration performance.
Finally, I want to emphasize that those of us who extensively use computer-based models in our consulting work must have confidence that our simulations are reliable representations of performance after a building is built and occupied. We often have to discount information on product performance published by industry groups that stand to benefit from it. It is particularly important that performance studies be done by a technically competent but "disinterested", objective party. Thus we must rely on results of DOE-supported research for field measurements and validation. DOE has supported the development of a unique field test facility, the Mobile Window Thermal Test Facility (MOWITT), to measure the performance of windows under actual operating conditions in the field. The glass and window industry serve in an advisory role to the LBL team conducting the research. This coordinated DOE/industry effort assures me that the results will be useful, relevant and objective. This helps build my confidence in the use of new glazing technology and in the validity of the simulations I use in my consulting work.
I understand that much of the work supported by the Department of Energy may be phased out because of the proposed reductions to the federal budget for Energy Conservation R&D. I am deeply concerned about the future of the work done by the Windows and Daylighting Group and the Building Simulation Group. The private sector (architectural and engineering firms and the building industry) needs the results of this work. Yet, it does not have the concentration of skills and facilities, nor the individual or collective resources necessary to do the work itself. Who else is going to do this work if support for this research is eliminated?
I share the Administration's concern for reducing the federal deficit, but I think it is a false economy to slash support for a unique and very productive research program which provides vital and otherwise unobtainable information that is essential for the economic health of the building sector. Abandoning support for programs as effective as these is counter-productive and clearly not in the best national interest.
I appreciate the opportunity to speak before you today and I would be pleased to answer any questions you might have.
Senator EVANS. Thank you very much.
First, Mr. Ridgeway, you mentioned that Mist Lift powerplants will cost about $1,500 per kilowatt. What is that based on and what does that relate to? Is that construction cost, life cycle cost? Is it in some years standard dollars? Can you tell me?
Dr. RIDGEWAY. The cost was constructed out of a design based on a modest extrapolation of the data we had gotten in the laboratory scale experiments. We assumed that it would work in the large scale that we did in the small scale.
And in particular we put the components in, we added them up, we got bids on some of the components, and then added about 20 or 30 percent for contingencies. In particular it was based on mining the flasks in which the lift takes place out of the face frock of the island on which it would be prepared and the size of the powerplant was 40 megawatts.
Senator EVANS. That is not really life cycle cost; that's initial construction?
Dr. RIDGEWAY. That's what it would cost you to buy the plant. That is when they quote other powerplants, again; when they quote a nuclear plant, that is what it costs to buy it.
Senator EVANS. But it is a considerably different life cycle cost; you do not have an estimate of your life cycle cost in kilowat hour?
Dr. RIDGEWAY. I suspect it is not going to wear out any faster than any other conventional piece of large-scale equipment, and probably it will wear out slower because it uses materials and concepts derived from the hydroelectric power industry and hydroelectric turbines and flow passages and channels are of great durability.
Senator EVANS. As far as I understand it, you have concluded that essentially laboratory scale model and funding has been cut off at that point?
off Dr. RIDGEVANS. Is the laboratory tha
Senator EVANS. Is there any interest in any other resource to continue that beyond the laboratory experiment into what I expect next would be somewhere between that and a prototype full scale.
Dr. RIDGEWAY. We have been under sort of continuous discussions with Solar Energy Institute to pick up and go forward with it. The apparatus is now sitting over there on the beach in Hawaii waiting for money to go forward and expand the data base and prepare the design of a larger system.
But it competes with your other requirements for carrying their ongoing program, which got started long ago and when you are reducing the budget, you can scarcely keep your own organization going, let alone spend a little money on a new idea.
So they want to do it, but they cannot do it.
Dr. RIDGEWAY. They were funded in this area from conservation renewable energy. It is an item in there in the budget that Donna Fitzpatrick
Senator Evans. They are funded by the Federal Government? Dr. RIDGEWAY. Yes.
Senator EVANS. Mr. Bazjanac, the window systems you mentioned—I came to this job from many, many years ago as a structural engineer, so I have some idea of what you are talking about, and then serving on the Pacific Northwest Regional Power Council, I found the opportunities for conservation and better efficiency were astronomical with a lot of them in the commercial side of things.
To what degree have the activities that you have been talking about here and the really striking energy consumption requirements on new buildings, how much of that in your view could be translated to existing or retrofitted commercial buildings?
Mr. BAZJANAC. Retrofitting is a difficult proposition because it requires first cost and expenditure right away, and unless there is a lot of money available for the particular building, it is a little difficult to convince the owner; it is typically simpler to reuse the building in a different way, sell it something like that.
Unfortunately, we are still stuck with a large percentage of old building stock; but we are basically changing our building stock to newer buildings and there is no reason why our future buildings should not be even much more energy efficient than they are now.
Congresswoman Schneider mentioned 150 billion dollars' worth of savings from conservation. Whatever proportion, I understand that the building sector itself accounts for about 40 percent of the national energy consumption. I would think that the energy consumption of buildings that has now been saved from the effect, whatever it is, proportion of the $150 billion could be twice as much.
I really do not see any reason why we could not conserve twice as much money than we are doing now. We are still wasting an awful lot. That is the tip of the iceberg.
Senator EVANS. I would guess that interest in retrofit would rise substantially if energy costs rose.
Mr. BAZJANAC. We are in a situation now where everybody says, "Oh, let us not worry about energy anymore because it is cheap once again.” I really question the wisdom of the reasoning like that. It seems to me that no matter how long we can stretch this low cost of energy of today, eventually it will catch up with us, whether it be 2 years, 20, or 200 years, we are going to run out of renewable resources.
So it is just-really, it is-
Senator EVANS. Well, that is right. I had a personal experience coming from the Pacific Northwest back to our home in Washington, DC. That was an OPEC shock and a half to find out what the electric rates were here compared to there; I got considerably more interested in retrofit.
You mentioned the sky simulator. I would guess that that is really typical in a lot of professions. Now the development of large and maybe quite expensive, but nonetheless exceptionally useful simulators of one kind or another to aid in the design or carrying forward of the profession.
In this case I know it happens in the medical profession and certainly in the architectural and engineering profession. Is it not feasible that something like a sky simulator could be run by an inde