796 Using NASA's Near Real-Time Solar and Meteorological Data and RETScreen International Plus Software for Monitoring Building Energy Systems at NASA Langley Research Center and Around the World

Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr., NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA; and R. Charles, W. S. Chandler, J. M. Hoell, D. Westberg, T. Zhang, G. Leng, and U. Ziegler

The monitoring, targeting and verification of a building's energy usage depends upon many factors one of the most important of which is the ambient conditions to which it's electrical, heating and air conditioning systems must respond. Incorporating renewable energy systems, including solar systems, to supplement energy supplies and increase energy efficiency is important to saving costs and reducing emissions. Retrofitting technologies to buildings requires a knowledge of building performance in it's current state, projection of potential savings with capital investment, and then monitoring the performance once the improvements are made.

RETScreen International, is a project sponsored by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), dedicated to developing and providing clean energy software for the feasibility design and assessment of a wide range of building projects that incorporate renewable energy technologies. RETScreen has recently developed a new product entitled the RETScreen Suite that includes RETScreen Plus, a performance analysis module that supplies the needed functions of monitoring current building performance, targeting projected energy efficiency improvements and verifying improvements once completed tool. The RETScreen Plues module requires daily average data that is delayed less than a month of real-time. NASA data from the NASA CERES (Clouds and Earth's Radiance Energy System)/FLASHFlux (Fast Longwave and SHortwave radiative Fluxes) provides solar fluxes and the NASA GMAO (Global Modeling and Assimilation Office) GEOS (Goddard Earth Observing System) operational meteorological analysis are directly used for meteorological parameters.

This presentation will provide an overview of parameters and accuracies of the NASA data sets that are currently incorporated into the new RETScreen tool. Then examples of using the tools to identify performance issues in several case studies are shown. Several examples of application of the tool to NASA Langley Research Center buildings are shown, including solar integrated buildings. One example shows that the module and NASA data were accurate to detect specification errors in the setup of the solar power system. These examples show how the tool can be used to estimate energy savings relative to weather and solar resource variability.

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