Minnesota’s small commercial sector

Minnesota’s small commercial sector: a characterization study

In this work, Slipstream conducted primary and secondary research on the small commercial sector in Minnesota. The objective of this research is to provide insights on energy use and attitudes toward energy and to inform energy efficiency program designs that address barriers to participation. Watch our webinar recording. Continue reading
heating and cooling system study

Minnesota heating and cooling system study

We conducted research on residential heating and cooling systems in Minnesota homes to help improve installation and maintenance practices for furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps. Continue reading
Data center

Small embedded data centers in Wisconsin

View full infographic Small embedded data centers (SEDCs) are one of the fastest growing end uses of electrical energy in commercial buildings and are estimated to account for nearly one percent of the total electricity use in the U.S. By some accounts, as much as one third of this usage is unnecessary, but this premise has not been addressed by Focus on Energy programs or by most device manufacturers. Continue reading
Warehouse

Light level analysis in buildings: a market characterization study

On behalf of Focus on Energy’s Environmental and Economic Research and Development Program (EERD), Slipstream collected information from Wisconsin businesses on their light levels and associated lighting system characteristics. This information will help Focus on Energy address savings opportunities from optimizing light levels by identifying appropriate program offerings and resources. Continue reading
daylight controls

Commissioning for optimal savings from daylight controls

Proper commissioning can lead to energy savings—often 60% or more Daylighting control, or daylight harvesting, has become a common energy savings strategy in many sustainable building projects, but several barriers still prevent successful implementation of this strategy in mainstream construction. Considerable effort is expended in the architectural and lighting design of daylighting controls, with actual execution being an afterthought. Continue reading
VRF

Cold climate VRF systems

Application of air source variable refrigerant flow (VRF) in cold climates Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems use variable speed, split heat pumps to provide space heating and cooling to a building's conditioned areas. Air source VRF systems perform best in moderate climates, as they typically lose capacity and efficiency at low ambient temperatures—or moderately low wet bulb temperatures where defrost is required—and may be supplemented by an additional heat source. Continue reading
Seventhwave Madison

Adjusting lighting levels in commercial buildings

Task tuning can lead to energy savings without loss of occupant comfort. Task tuning is one form of lighting control that can be used in commercial buildings to save energy. It involves dimming lights in a space so that the average illuminance at the working plane is appropriate for the type of use in that space. Continue reading
Piping

Save energy by reducing excess ventilation

Energy savings and lessons learned from observed, practical approaches to demand control ventilation Demand control ventilation (DCV) systems use sensors — generally either CO2 or occupancy sensors — to estimate the actual number of people in an area and supply only as much ventilation air as is needed at a given time. DCV has the potential to save a substantial portion of building energy use in extreme climates like the northern Midwest. Continue reading
RTU

Commercial roof-top units in Minnesota: characteristics and energy performance

RTUs are used in more than one third of U.S. commercial buildings, the highest of any cooling equipment type. Why? They are reliable and have a low capital cost, as well as established service and distribution networks. There is anecdotal evidence, however, that these systems operate inefficiently. To validate or refute this evidence, we conducted a multi-level field study sponsored by Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Resources: Continue reading
Comfort study

“I’m cold.” (or am I?)

What is the relationship between perceived comfort level and actual physiological data? Slipstream is excited to participate in a research study to help answer this question. Continue reading