Thursday, 11 January 2018: 4:45 PM
Room 15 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
In the US, residential and commercial building infrastructure combined consumes about 40% of total energy usage and emits about 39% of total CO2 emission (DOE/EIA “Annual Energy Outlook 2013”). Thus, increasing the energy efficiency of buildings is paramount to reducing energy costs and emissions. Building codes, as used by local and state enforcement entities are typically tied to the dominant climate within an enforcement jurisdiction classified according to various climate zones. These climates zones are based upon a 30-year average of local surface observations (temperature and precipitation) and are developed by DOE and ASHRAE (formerly known as the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers). A significant shortcoming of the methodology used in constructing such maps is the use of surface observations (located mainly near airports) that are unequally distributed and frequently have periods of missing data that need to be filled by various approximation schemes. Additionally, ASHRAE requires information such as relative humidity and solar irradiance information for design decisions in heating and air conditioning information. Other decision support tools such as RETScreenTM require access to these sorts of meteorological parameters up to the daily averaged time scale. Building designers and engineers are requiring access to this information more rapidly on various devices. This paper demonstrates the usefulness of using NASA’s Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA-2) atmospheric data assimilation to derive the ASHRAE climate zone maps and then using MERRA-2 to define the last 30 years of variability in climate zones. It also describes the provision of solar information from satellite analysis data products such as from the GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Cycle) SRB (Surface Radiation Budget) and CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) data products up the daily averaged basis. The data products, together with documentation and validation are made available from a revitalized web site featuring Esri GIS enabled web services and applications. The web applications are made available through a scalable web site providing access via mobile devices. The provision of data sets and documentation in more accessible ways is furthering the use of such data products in energy efficiency sectors.
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