We study installations of emerging technologies to look for missed opportunities, verify savings and establish best practices. Closing the information gap boosts confidence in the expected performance of new technologies and approaches, increases savings and expands market penetration.

Go hybrid with HyGCHP (hybrid ground-coupled heat pumps) Reduce the cost of implementing geothermal heat pump systems on your building projects by going hybrid. A hybrid geothermal heat pump system can lower your costs by reducing the peak capacity of your ground loop and allowing you to install a smaller, less expensive ground heat exchanger. HyGCHP is a software module that can help you analyze this option! More
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. More
Application of air source variable refrigerant flow 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. More
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. More
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. More
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: More
What is the relationship between perceived comfort level and actual physiological data? Seventhwave is excited to participate in a research study to help answer this question. More
Plug load energy—from computers to copiers to water coolers—represents a relatively untapped energy savings resource in commercial buildings. And unlike most types of loads like lighting, heating, and other end uses, plug load energy use is increasing nationwide. The energy efficiency industry needs to do more to both identify and quantify strategies for reducing plug load. More