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Projects Updates for ECE Net-Zero Energy Building

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  1. ECEB Energy Kiosks

    In the atrium of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (ECEB), there are two kiosks where people can sign various pledges related to decreasing energy use. Two solar-powered phone chargers will be raffled off to those who have signed the pledge during Campus Sustainability Month, October 2021.

    Nearly 20% of energy is unnecessarily wasted each day; very simple steps exist to reduce that number, such as turning off the lights when you leave a room or unplugging devices and cords when we aren’t using them. Other examples include replacing inefficient appliances (like lightbulbs!), which can also save money! Signing the pledge to be more conscious of your energy is a great step toward leading a more sustainable life. Here are a few other ways to learn more and get involved with sustainability on campus:

    If you have any questions about energy consumption or sustainability in general, feel free to reach out to campus sustainability staff at sustainability@illinois.edu

  2. Real-time energy dashboards now available

    After discussions with Michael McKelvey at MSTE and Aaron Mason and Ian Bonadeo at Hawkeye Energy Solutions, since Morgan White put them in contact back in April, the ECE building’s energy dashboards are now available without requiring a login and via domain name rather than IP address! Here are the dashboards:

    ECE Building – Energy Dashboard

    ECE Building – Net Zero Energy Dashboard

    You can view the listing of dashboards currently available at the U of I Building Energy Dashboard Home Page.

     

  3. ECE energy dashboard refinement in discussion

    Joyce Mast is working with Patricia Franke to refine the ECE energy displays to include the effect of local weather on the solar panels. F&S Utilities and Energy Services is connecting Joyce with the contact people at Hawkeye Energy Solutions, who incorporated real-time energy data in the ECE energy dashboard, using campus data provided by F&S.

  4. 2021 – ECEB is 100% Solar Powered!

    Associated Project(s): 

    ECEB solar panels have been generating power since April 2020. Building energy use is offset by the ECEB solar panel production and, since February when a contract between F&S and ECE has been in place, the excess energy use not offset by the ECEB solar panels is being replaced through solar renewable energy credits (SRECS) from Solar Farm2. These credits are being paid for by the ECE Power and Energy group.

  5. Brainstormed Ideas for the ECE Lobby Display and Kiosks

    A document of ideas brainstormed for the displays and kiosks in the ECE lobby was sent to Joyce Mast by F&S contacts. These ideas were created with the goal of having students actively engage with the display through physical interaction, as well as passive engagement while students look at the stations in passing.

  6. Resources for Engagement and Displays

  7. ECE energy dashboard

    Objectively, everyone knows you should conserve energy resources, but it is easy to lose track of that goal in the hundreds of other things our brains need to think about each day. One way to encourage people to be more cognizant is to give them a tangible reminder. The local electric company, for example, sometimes send a reminder notice that tells you how well you’re doing with energy consumption compared to other homes the size of yours in the area. In a similar idea, F&S has developed an improved energy dashboard that will be used in campus facilities. Beginning with the Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) Building, Energy Dashboards will be deployed to show the utility use for a specific building. It will also show if that use is above or below average for the last 30 days or one year. The dashboard appears in the rotation of the ECE digital signage in the lobby of the building. The plan is to expand it to other buildings to help promote energy awareness and conservation on campus.

    http://ecebenergykiosk.web.illinois.edu/

    Attached Files: 
  8. Meeting with Joyce, Nynika, and Morgan

    Associated Project(s): 

    We met today to discuss the plans for the ECE Net-Zero Energy certification.

    • Joyce and Nynika found that we had lost access to the certification site, so Joyce is going to work with the certification agency to get us back into their system.
    • Joyce and Morgan agreed that based on the feedback from the certification agency, we will need to wait for the official designation until the Solar Farm 2.0 has been live for a year.
    • Nynika is going to review the guidebook (attached here) and their website FAQs (at https://support.living-future.org/collection/59-help-desk) to help us clarify the expected answers to the certification questions.
    • Morgan checked the building records and found a site plan and the 3d renderings.
    • Joyce will look for some building photos to include and send them to this group.
  9. Net-Zero Energy meeting

    Associated Project(s): 

    During the first meeting, Morgan gave Nynika (undergraduate volunteer) an overview on details relating to the certification including RECS and how the certification program works. Her next steps include:

    • Writing up a small spiel for the International Living Future Institute as to why we would like to use the "use data" from the calendar year of 2020 with the production data from 2021 towards the certification.
    • Looking through the Living Institute's certification requirements and understanding what information is needed and where to find it.

    The next meeting will be on March 10th.

  10. ECEB Net-Zero Updates & Clarifications

    As of March 01, 2021, many small edits and content ideas were suggested for ECEB-related project pages on the iCAP Portal. These suggestions to update the pages were provided by Joyce Mast and include the following:

    • The North Campus Parking Solar Project was canceled.
    • The ECE department was looking to buy Solar Farm 2.0 Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from F&S to try and achieve net 0 emissions.
    • They are working to secure grant money for a monitor inside the ECEB where students can interact with their current progress. I attached more information about it.
    • The ECE Building Audio Tour video can also be used to identify any additional and supplementary information.
  11. SSC Funding Request & Approval for ECE Lobby Displays

    On February 28, 2021, Catherine Somers sent out an email to Professors Bruce Hajek and Philip Krein regarding the ECE lobby displays. As written in the exciting email:

    "I have a bit of good news!  The Student Sustainability Committee-funded lobby display which will eventually have interactive features to encourage energy savings, is taking shape.  The kiosks and the touchscreen panel are installed and rotating informational slides.  Joyce Mast continues to make excellent progress on the real-time display of solar energy production." -Catherine Somers

    This approval follows suit after the Mast's submitted application for SSC funding for the lobby displays. In Step 2 of the funding application, $30,000 was requested from the SSC for "Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (ECEB) Interactive, Energy Education/Production/Use Display."

    See the attached file to view the SSC funding application.

  12. discussion with Morgan and Joyce

    Associated Project(s): 

    Joyce Mast from ECE and Morgan White from F&S met today to review the status of the ECE Net Zero Energy Certification efforts.  Joyce is going to review the open questions Morgan sent earlier this year, and reach out to the Living Futures folks to clarify whether we can pursue the certification for calendar year 2020 using solar power produced in calendar year 2021 from Solar Farm 2.0.  Morgan is going to find a student in the sustainability circles to help complete this paperwork and have her intern calculate the total energy consumption for ECE from calendar year 2020, using EBS data.

  13. Info from Andy Robinson at F&S

    I am on the team that did the Retrocommissioning project in 2018 and I would be happy to share some of our knowledge from that process.  Below is the link to a presentation of that project that we took to a Big Ten energy conference.   Some of our main takeaways are that the combination of chilled beams, dual HX wheels, coil sizing, occupancy ventilation, and thoughtful building pressurization have led to one of the most efficient buildings on campus.  Also, the heat pumps work well to heat/cool with electricity, but would be optimal if there were more of a reheat load, or a hot water loop to send reject heat to a neighboring building in summer, which campus is looking into in certain locations. 

     

    https://www.fs.illinois.edu/services/utilities-energy/energy-conservation/rcx-energy-results

    https://webtest2.fs.illinois.edu/docs/default-source/retro/big10-friends-mechanical-energy-conference-2018-09-30.pdf?sfvrsn=7a85cbea_2

     

    Andy Robinson, LEED-AP, CEM

    DDC Specialist, F&S Energy Services - RCx

  14. archived - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    Excerpt from the ECE building website:

    "With the new ECE building the University is determined to achieve LEED platinum certification, and is striving for a net-zero energy design that will enable the building to supply all of its own energy. From a vast array of photovoltaic cells, to a chilled beam system to cool and heat the classroom tower, ECE wil accomplish a major campus addition with maximum space and minimal carbon footprint.

    “This is no small achievement,” explains ECE Professor Phil Krein. “Currently the Department of Energy reports only eight net-zero energy buildings in the U.S., and the largest is only 14,000 square feet. To achieve this in a building nearly 20 times that size reflects the University’s sincere commitment to sustainable design while capturing the spirit of a department that’s always pushing the limits of technological innovation.”

    In addition to its sustainable design, the building will incorporate many notable contributions of ECE faculty and staff, including the most recent LED and fluorescent lighting advances, energy conversion and systems that exploit new achievements in power electronics, and intelligent systems and interfaces that apply recent breakthroughs in computer technology. “In other words,” explains Krein, “visitors won’t just be entering the ECE building, they’ll be entering the ECE experience, enjoying the benefits of technology that had its genesis here.”

  15. Next steps phone call

    Morgan White and Joyce Mast discussed next steps for acheiving Net-Zero status for the ECE Building.  Mike Marquissee is working on a draft MOU about using Solar Farm 2.0 Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

    Joyce is seeking student input about what should go on the ECE Building interactive display.  If you are interested in working with her on this, contact her at jmast@illinois.edu

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