Demonstrate Energy Component of the Installation Master Plan Using Net Zero Installation Virtual Testbed
Dr. Alexander Zhivov | U.S. Army ERDC-CERL
Objectives of the Demonstration
The objective of this project was to demonstrate a holistic Energy Master Planning (EMP) concept and the Net Zero Planner (NZP) Tool at two defense installations: the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, NY, and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY), Kittery, ME. The demonstration was designed to test whether the implementation of this concept and tool together would reduce the time and cost of conducting an energy planning process in pursuit of Department of Defense (DoD) energy goals, compared to working without the tool. Such goals may include achieving Net Zero Energy (NZE) in a way that meets or exceeds the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) (2005) and U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) (2007) criteria for energy intensity, that meets energy security requirements at a lower cost, and that controls electrical capacity growth requirements. If the tool could be demonstrated to reduce the time and cost of planning, then deployment of such a tool, together with a dissemination of lessons learned through pilot EMPs, would support achievement of DoD’s mid- and long-term energy goals.
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) has developed an Integrated Energy Master Planning (IEMP) concept and the automated Net Zero Planner (NZP) Tool to support U.S. DoD energy policy. The energy concept minimizes energy use at the building level, improves the efficiency of energy conversion and distribution, and uses energy from renewable sources to balance fossil fuel based energy to achieve a net zero fossil fuel energy status. Energy goals are achieved through synergy among energy use reduction in building-related systems, energy supply, and distribution systems. The NZP Tool incorporates the concept and various automated modules to integrate optimization across buildings, and their energy generation and distribution systems. The Figure shows the planning process applied in the NZP Tool.
Several alternative scenarios were analyzed, including building energy efficiency improvements, decentralization of energy conversion systems, conversion from steam to hot water distribution systems, trigeneration, and energy supply from renewable sources. Analyses conducted for the USMA showed that, despite additional loads due to new construction and a new requirement for cooling in barracks, all analyzed scenarios, the Base Case, and four alternatives would significantly reduce energy use. Compared to the Baseline, the alternatives reduced energy use from 31 to 51% for site energy and from 27 to 84% for source energy, and they reduce energy costs from 27 to 84%. NZE status for the selected area can be achieved by switching from natural gas to syngas in the future if its cost becomes comparable with that of natural gas.
For PNSY, the reduction of building and process loads with Energy Efficiency Measures (EEMs) and the reduction of distribution and conversion losses were not enough to cost-effectively meet the installation’s energy goals. Navy installations can purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), but PNSY leadership expressed a preference for not exercising that option to attain the targets. At both installations, the NZP Tool method and Subject Matter Expert (SME) manual method showed very similar modeling results at the building loads step of the process, and they also showed the same trends in Life Cycle Cost (LCC) when conversion alternatives were compared.
The investment cost and energy usage results for both methods were generally within 10–20% of each other for all the scenarios, despite the differences in the process used in each method. Furthermore, the energy usage and investment cost rankings, which were the same for both groups, ultimately resulted in the same recommendations for both installations.
A comparison of a budget allocated to conduct the energy analysis manually (using the two groups of SMEs and time and labor cost of ERDC researchers) with a budget to conduct a similar analysis using the NZE Planner Tool, showed that the application of the NZP Tool costs about 20% of the cost of the alternative (manual) method.
The EMP concept and the NZP Tool were refined during the project, including the introduction of a “Baseline” (current situation) and a “Base Case” (future situation under a business as usual scenario). Procedures for calibration of the Baseline and Base Case using utility bills and data from energy meters became an important step in the beginning of the study. There was a need to define installation-specific energy goals, which establish the type of study that needs to be performed, i.e., a planning or pre-engineering analysis. Two groups of users were determined, each with different output requirements. Installation master planners have a need for NZP, which helped to provide a Sustainability Component Plan to overlay their Master Plans. The Sustainability Component Plan was a new concept that Corps of Engineers began using to add energy implications to Master Plans. The other identified user was the installation energy manager; whose need was for help in identifying and sequencing coordination of projects, which required a pre-engineering assessment. Other technical changes were incorporated throughout the Tool as defined by the user’s needs and requirements; for example,
- Energy goals were added to the decision model to clarify and focus on customer program intents.
- Login and installation security were added.
- Speed and performance upgrades were made.
- Reporting capabilities were added, e.g., peak demands, source energy, site source conversions.
- Costing capabilities were added, e.g., detailed costing for the building and installation.
- Installation and plant device data (net-zero installation optimization [NZI-OPT]) were expanded to account for equipment at legacy steam systems.
- Thermal Network Analysis and Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Data were augmented to allow needed steam or Hot Water (HW) systems to have data to determine the modeled performance for an integrated solution.
- A Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) tool was integrated to help quantify data and perform a qualitative analysis in a quantitative decision tool.
Another area of the analysis directly affected by the ESTCP project was the reporting for buildings, and for supply and distribution sections. One of the reports that was added was the Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis report, which helps rank alternative solutions. This report was related to the energy goals described in the study details tab and was directly associated with the decision model for the study.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) or Directorate of Public Works (DPW) typically either develops Installation Master Plans in-house, or subcontracts the development to private sector companies. NZP can be used either by in-house personnel or by contractors. The limited number of USACE energy master planners can easily be trained to apply EMP concepts and use the NZP Tool. However, all potential contractors involved in EMP would require training to make effective use of NZP. An initial training course, which was developed and delivered to the PNSY planners and energy manager in November 2014, was instrumental in creating a course for USACE personnel that was offered in January 2015. NZP course material derived from these courses has been integrated into the USACE PROSPECT Sustainability Course.
Points of Contact
Dr. Alexander Zhivov
U.S. Army ERDC-CERL
Energy and Water
SERDP and ESTCP