System And Method For Estimating Periodic Fuel Consumption for Cooling Of a Building With the Aid Of a Digital Computer

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First Claim
1. A system for estimating periodic fuel consumption for cooling of a building with the aid of a digital computer, comprising:
 a nontransitory computer readable storage medium comprising program code;
a computer interfaced to the storage medium and configured to execute the program code to performs steps to;
find thermal conductivity, thermal mass, effective window area, and HVAC system efficiency of a building based on empirical testing of the building over a monitored time frame;
record a difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures of the building during the monitored time frame;
define a time span over which to estimate;
retrieve an average occupancy, average internal electricity consumption, average solar resource, HVAC system rating, and HVAC system status as applicable to the building over the monitored time frame; and
estimate the periodic fuel consumption for cooling over the modeled time span based on the building'"'"'s thermal conductivity, temperature difference, number of time periods comprised in the modeled time span, average occupancy, average internal electricity consumption, effective window area, and average solar resource.
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Abstract
A system and method to determine building thermal performance parameters through empirical testing is described. The parameters can be formulaically applied to determine fuel consumption and indoor temperatures. To generalize the approach, the term used to represent furnace rating is replaced with HVAC system rating. As total heat change is based on the building'"'"'s thermal mass, heat change is relabeled as thermal mass gain (or loss). This change creates a heat balance equation that is composed of heat gain (loss) from six sources, three of which contribute to heat gain only. No modifications are required for apply the empirical tests to summer since an attic'"'"'s thermal conductivity cancels out and the attic'"'"'s effective window area is directly combined with the existing effective window area. Since these tests are empirically based, the tests already account for the additional heat gain associated with the elevated attic temperature and other surface temperatures.
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20 Claims
 1. A system for estimating periodic fuel consumption for cooling of a building with the aid of a digital computer, comprising:
a nontransitory computer readable storage medium comprising program code; a computer interfaced to the storage medium and configured to execute the program code to performs steps to; find thermal conductivity, thermal mass, effective window area, and HVAC system efficiency of a building based on empirical testing of the building over a monitored time frame; record a difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures of the building during the monitored time frame; define a time span over which to estimate; retrieve an average occupancy, average internal electricity consumption, average solar resource, HVAC system rating, and HVAC system status as applicable to the building over the monitored time frame; and estimate the periodic fuel consumption for cooling over the modeled time span based on the building'"'"'s thermal conductivity, temperature difference, number of time periods comprised in the modeled time span, average occupancy, average internal electricity consumption, effective window area, and average solar resource.  View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
 11. A method for estimating periodic fuel consumption for cooling of a building with the aid of a digital computer, comprising the steps of:
finding thermal conductivity, thermal mass, effective window area, and HVAC system efficiency of a building with involvement of a computer through empirical testing of the building over a monitored time frame; recording with involvement of the computer a difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures of the building during the monitored time frame; defining with the computer a time span over which to estimate; retrieving with the computer an average occupancy, average internal electricity consumption, average solar resource, HVAC system rating, and HVAC system status as applicable to the building over the monitored time frame; and estimating the periodic fuel consumption for cooling over the modeled time span based on the building'"'"'s thermal conductivity, temperature difference, number of time periods comprised in the modeled time span, average occupancy, average internal electricity consumption, effective window area, and average solar resource.  View Dependent Claims (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
1 Specification
This patent application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/096,185, filed Apr. 11, 2016, pending; which is a continuationinpart of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/664,742, filed Mar. 20, 2015, pending, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/631,798, filed Feb. 25, 2015, pending, the priority dates of which are claimed and the disclosures of which are incorporated by reference.
This application relates in general to energy conservation and, in particular, to a system and method for estimating indoor temperature time series data of a building with the aid of a digital computer.
Concern has been growing in recent times over energy consumption in the United States and abroad. The cost of energy has steadily risen as power utilities try to cope with continually growing demand, increasing fuel prices, and stricter regulatory mandates. Power utilities must also maintain existing infrastructure, while simultaneously finding ways to add more generation capacity to meet future needs, both of which add to the cost of energy. Moreover, burgeoning energy consumption continues to impact the environment and deplete natural resources.
A major portion of the rising cost of energy is borne by consumers, who, despite the need, remain poorlyequipped to identify the most cost effective ways to lower their energy consumption. Nocost behavioral changes, such as adjusting thermostat settings and turning off unused appliances, and lowcost physical improvements, such as switching to energyefficient light bulbs, may be insufficient to offset increases in monthly utility bills, particularly as seasonal space heating and air conditioning (AC) together consume the most energy in the average home. As a result, appreciable decreases in energy consumption can usually only be achieved by investing in upgrades to a building'"'"'s heating or cooling envelope or “shell.” However, identifying and comparing those improvements to a building'"'"'s shell that will yield an acceptable return on investment in terms of costs versus energy savings requires determining buildingspecific parameters, especially the building'"'"'s thermal conductivity (UA^{Total}).
Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) energy costs are tied to a building'"'"'s thermal conductivity UA^{Total}. A poorly insulated home or a building with significant sealing problems will require more HVAC usage to maintain a desired interior temperature than would a comparablysized but wellinsulated and sealed structure. Reducing HVAC energy costs is not as simple as choosing a thermostat setting that causes an HVAC system to run for less time or less often. Rather, HVAC system efficiency, duration of heating or cooling seasons, differences between indoor and outdoor temperatures, and other factors combined with thermal conductivity UA^{Total }can weigh into overall energy consumption.
Conventionally, an onsite energy audit is performed to determine a building'"'"'s thermal conductivity UA^{Total}. A typical energy audit involves measuring the dimensions of walls, windows, doors, and other physical characteristics; approximating Rvalues of insulation for thermal resistance; estimating infiltration using a blower door test; and detecting air leakage using a thermal camera, after which a numerical model is run to solve for thermal conductivity. The UA^{Total }result is combined with the duration of the heating or cooling season, as applicable, over the period of inquiry and adjusted for HVAC system efficiency, plus any solar (or other nonutility supplied) power savings fraction. The audit report is often presented in the form of a checklist of corrective measures that may be taken to improve the building'"'"'s shell and HVAC system, and thereby lower overall energy consumption. As an involved process, an energy audit can be costly, timeconsuming, and invasive for building owners and occupants. Further, as a numerical result derived from a theoretical model, an energy audit carries an inherent potential for inaccuracy strongly influenced by physical mismeasurements, lack of measurements, data assumptions, and so forth. As well, the degree of improvement and savings attributable to various possible improvements is not necessarily quantified due to the wide range of variables.
Therefore, a need remains for a practical model for determining actual and potential energy consumption for the heating and cooling of a building.
A further need remains for an approach to quantifying improvements in energy consumption and cost savings resulting from building shell upgrades.
Fuel consumption for building heating and cooling can be calculated through two practical approaches that characterize a building'"'"'s thermal efficiency through empiricallymeasured values and readilyobtainable energy consumption data, such as available in utility bills, thereby avoiding intrusive and timeconsuming analysis with specialized testing equipment. While the discussion is herein centered on building heating requirements, the same principles can be applied to an analysis of building cooling requirements. The first approach can be used to calculate annual or periodic fuel requirements. The approach requires evaluating typical monthly utility billing data and approximations of heating (or cooling) losses and gains.
The second approach can be used to calculate hourly (or interval) fuel requirements. The approach includes empirically deriving three buildingspecific parameters: thermal mass, thermal conductivity, and effective window area. HVAC system power rating and conversion and delivery efficiency are also parametrized. The parameters are estimated using short duration tests that last at most several days. The parameters and estimated HVAC system efficiency are used to simulate a time series of indoor building temperature. In addition, the second hourly (or interval) approach can be used to verify or explain the results from the first annual (or periodic) approach. For instance, time series results can be calculated using the second approach over the span of an entire year and compared to results determined through the first approach. Other uses of the two approaches and forms of comparison are possible.
The empirically derived buildingspecific parameters can be formulaically applied to determine seasonal fuel consumption and indoor temperatures pertaining to the heating season, the summer or year round. To generalize the approach as set forth for winter, the term used to represent furnace rating is replaced with HVAC system rating. As total heat change is based on the building'"'"'s thermal mass, heat change is relabeled as thermal mass gain (or loss). This change creates a heat balance equation that is composed of heat gain (loss) from six sources, three of which contribute to heat gain only. No modifications are required for applying the empirical tests to summer since an attic'"'"'s thermal conductivity cancels out and the attic'"'"'s effective window area is directly combined with the existing effective window area. Moreover, since these tests are empirically based, the tests already account for the additional heat gain associated with the elevated attic temperature and other surface temperatures.
Furthermore, the net savings in fuel, cost and carbon emissions (environmental) provided by an investment in an electric energy efficiency can be determined. The net effect that a proposed electric energy efficiency investment has in reductions in the fuel consumed for a building'"'"'s heating and cooling can be weighed by taking into account the efficiencies of electricity generation as supplied to a building and of the building'"'"'s cooling and heating systems, fuel costs, and carbon emissions.
One embodiment provides a system and method estimating indoor temperature time series data of a building with the aid of a digital computer. Thermal conductivity, thermal mass, effective window area, and HVAC system efficiency of a building are found with involvement of a computer through empirical testing of the building over a monitored time frame. A difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures of the building during the monitored time frame are recorded with involvement of the computer. A time period for each interval in a time series is defined. An average occupancy, internal electricity consumption, solar resource, HVAC system rating, and HVAC system status as applicable to the building are retrieved over the monitored time frame. The time series, including temperature data based on the building'"'"'s indoor temperature, thermal mass, thermal conductivity, temperature difference, occupancy, internal electricity consumption, effective window area, solar resource, and the rating, efficiency and status of the HVAC system, is built.
A further embodiment provides a system and method for estimating periodic fuel consumption for cooling of a building with the aid of a digital computer. Thermal conductivity, thermal mass, effective window area, and HVAC system efficiency of a building are found with involvement of a computer through empirical testing of the building over a monitored time frame. A difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures of the building is recorded with involvement of the computer during the monitored time frame. A time span over which to estimate is defined with the computer. An average occupancy, average internal electricity consumption, average solar resource, HVAC system rating, and HVAC system status as applicable to the building over the monitored time frame is retrieved with the computer. The periodic fuel consumption for cooling over the modeled time span is estimated based on the building'"'"'s thermal conductivity, temperature difference, number of time periods comprised in the modeled time span, average occupancy, average internal electricity consumption, effective window area, and average solar resource internal electricity consumption internal electricity consumption.
A further embodiment provides a system and method for estimating seasonal net fuel savings with the aid of a digital computer. Efficiencies of electricity generation as supplied to a building and of the building'"'"'s cooling and heating systems are obtained with a computer. A cooling season duration and a heating season duration that together comprise seasonal changes affecting the building are defined with the computer. A net fuel savings afforded by an electric energy efficiency is evaluated as a function of a reduction in electricity consumption afforded by the electric energy efficiency times an inverse of the electricity generation efficiency less an inverse of the heating system efficiency based on the heating season duration plus an inverse of the cooling system efficiency based on the cooling season duration.
A further embodiment provides a system and method for estimating seasonal net cost savings with the aid of a digital computer. Efficiencies of electricity generation as supplied to a building and of the building'"'"'s cooling and heating systems are obtained with a computer. Prices of electricity and natural gas are obtained with the computer. A cooling season duration and a heating season duration that together comprise seasonal changes affecting the building are defined with the computer. A net cost savings afforded by an electric energy efficiency is evaluated as a function of a reduction in electricity consumption afforded by the electric energy efficiency times the electricity price plus an inverse of the cooling system efficiency based on the cooling season duration less the natural gas price over the heating system efficiency based on the heating season duration.
A further embodiment provides a system and method for estimating seasonal net carbon emissions savings with the aid of a digital computer. Efficiencies of electricity generation as supplied to a building and of the building'"'"'s cooling and heating systems are obtained with a computer. Carbon emissions of electricity and natural gas consumption are obtained with the computer. A cooling season duration and a heating season duration that together comprise seasonal changes affecting the building are defined with the computer. A net carbon emissions savings afforded by an electric energy efficiency is evaluated as a function of a reduction in electricity consumption afforded by the electric energy efficiency times the electricity consumption carbon emissions plus an inverse of the cooling system efficiency based on the cooling season duration less the natural gas consumption carbon emissions over the heating system efficiency based on the heating season duration.
The foregoing approaches, annual (or periodic) and hourly (or interval) improve upon and compliment the standard energy auditstyle methodology of estimating heating (and cooling) fuel consumption in several ways. First, per the first approach, the equation to calculate annual fuel consumption and its derivatives is simplified over the fullyparameterized form of the equation used in energy audit analysis, yet without loss of accuracy. Second, both approaches require parameters that can be obtained empirically, rather than from a detailed energy audit that requires specialized testing equipment and prescribed test conditions. Third, per the second approach, a time series of indoor temperature and fuel consumption data can be accurately generated. The resulting fuel consumption data can then be used by economic analysis tools using prices that are allowed to vary over time to quantify economic impact.
Moreover, the economic value of heating (and cooling) energy savings associated with any building shell improvement in any building has been shown to be independent of building type, age, occupancy, efficiency level, usage type, amount of internal electric gains, or amount solar gains, provided that fuel has been consumed at some point for auxiliary heating. The only information required to calculate savings includes the number of hours that define the winter season; average indoor temperature; average outdoor temperature; the building'"'"'s HVAC system efficiency (or coefficient of performance for heat pump systems); the area of the existing portion of the building to be upgraded; the Rvalue of the new and existing materials; and the average price of energy, that is, heating fuel.
Still other embodiments will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, wherein are described embodiments by way of illustrating the best mode contemplated. As will be realized, other and different embodiments are possible and the embodiments'"'"' several details are capable of modifications in various obvious respects, all without departing from their spirit and the scope. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive.
Conventional Energy AuditStyle Approach Conventionally, estimating periodic HVAC energy consumption and therefore fuel costs includes analytically determining a building'"'"'s thermal conductivity (UA^{Total}) based on results obtained through an onsite energy audit. For instance, J. Randolf and G. Masters, Energy for Sustainability: Technology, Planning, Policy, pp. 247, 248, 279 (2008), present a typical approach to modeling heating energy consumption for a building, as summarized by Equations 6.23, 6.27, and 7.5. The combination of these equations states that annual heating fuel consumption Q^{Fuel }equals the product of UA^{Total}, 24 hours per day, and the number of heating degree days (HDD) associated with a particular balance point temperature T^{Balance Point}, as adjusted for the solar savings fraction (SSF) divided by HVAC system efficiency (η^{HVAC}):
where T^{Set Point }represents the temperature setting of the thermostat, Internal Gains represents the heating gains experienced within the building as a function of heat generated by internal sources and auxiliary heating, as further discussed infra, η^{Furnace }represents the efficiency of the furnace or heat source proper, and η^{Distribution }represents the efficiency of the duct work and heat distribution system. For clarity, HDD^{T}^{Balance }Point will be abbreviated to HDD^{Balance Point Temp}.
A cursory inspection of Equation (1) implies that annual fuel consumption is linearly related to a building'"'"'s thermal conductivity. This implication further suggests that calculating fuel savings associated with building envelope or shell improvements is straightforward. In practice, however, such calculations are not straightforward because Equation (1) was formulated with the goal of determining the fuel required to satisfy heating energy needs. As such, there are several additional factors that the equation must take into consideration.
First, Equation (1) needs to reflect the fuel that is required only when indoor temperature exceeds outdoor temperature. This need led to the heating degree day (HDD) approach (or could be applied on a shorter time interval basis of less than one day) of calculating the difference between the average daily (or hourly) indoor and outdoor temperatures and retaining only the positive values. This approach complicates Equation (1) because the results of a nonlinear term must be summed, that is, the maximum of the difference between average indoor and outdoor temperatures and zero. Nonlinear equations complicate integration, that is, the continuous version of summation.
Second, Equation (1) includes the term Balance Point temperature (T^{Balance Point}). The goal of including the term T^{Balance Point }was to recognize that the internal heating gains of the building effectively lowered the number of degrees of temperature that auxiliary heating needed to supply relative to the temperature setting of the thermostat T^{Set Point}. A balance point temperature T^{Balance Point }of 65° F. was initially selected under the assumption that 65° F. approximately accounted for the internal gains. As buildings became more efficient, however, an adjustment to the balance point temperature T^{Balance Point }was needed based on the building'"'"'s thermal conductivity (UA^{Total}) and internal gains. This further complicated Equation (1) because the equation became indirectly dependent on (and inversely related to) UA^{Total }through T^{Balance Point}.
Third, Equation (1) addresses fuel consumption by auxiliary heating sources. As a result, Equation (1) must be adjusted to account for solar gains. This adjustment was accomplished using the Solar Savings Fraction (SSF). The SSF is based on the Load Collector Ratio (see Eq. 7.4 in Randolf and Masters, p. 278, cited supra, for information about the LCR). The LCR, however, is also a function of UA^{Total}. As a result, the SSF is a function of UA^{Total }in a complicated, nonclosed form solution manner. Thus, the SSF further complicates calculating the fuel savings associated with building shell improvements because the SSF is indirectly dependent on UA^{Total}.
As a result, these direct and indirect dependencies significantly complicate calculating a change in annual fuel consumption based on a change in thermal conductivity. The difficulty is made evident by taking the derivative of Equation (1) with respect to a change in thermal conductivity. The chain and product rules from calculus need to be employed since HDD^{Balance Point Temp }and SSF are indirectly dependent on UA^{Total}:
The result is Equation (4), which is an equation that is difficult to solve due to the number and variety of unknown inputs that are required.
To add even further complexity to the problem of solving Equation (4), conventionally, UA^{Total }is determined analytically by performing a detailed energy audit of a building. An energy audit involves measuring physical dimensions of walls, windows, doors, and other building parts; approximating Rvalues for thermal resistance; estimating infiltration using a blower door test; and detecting air leakage. A numerical model is then run to perform the calculations necessary to estimate thermal conductivity. Such an energy audit can be costly, time consuming, and invasive for building owners and occupants. Moreover, as a calculated result, the value estimated for UA^{Total }carries the potential for inaccuracies, as the model is strongly influenced by physical mismeasurements or omissions, data assumptions, and so forth.
Building heating (and cooling) fuel consumption can be calculated through two approaches, annual (or periodic) and hourly (or interval) to thermally characterize a building without intrusive and timeconsuming tests. The first approach, as further described infra beginning with reference to BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
if in units of $ per therm and
if in units of $ per kWh) are used by way of example; other conversion factors or expressions are possible.
Fundamentally, thermal conductivity is the property of a material, here, a structure, to conduct heat. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In this first approach, the concepts of balance point temperatures and solar savings fractions, per Equation (1), are eliminated. Instead, balance point temperatures and solar savings fractions are replaced with the single concept of balance point thermal conductivity. This substitution is made by separately allocating the total thermal conductivity of a building (UA^{Total}) to thermal conductivity for internal heating gains (UA^{Balance Point}), including occupancy, heat produced by operation of certain electric devices, and solar gains, and thermal conductivity for auxiliary heating (UA^{Auxiliary Heating}). The end result is Equation (34), further discussed in detail infra, which eliminates the indirect and nonlinear parameter relationships in Equation (1) to UA^{Total}.
The conceptual relationships embodied in Equation (34) can be described with the assistance of a diagram.
In this approach, total heating energy 22 (along the yaxis) is divided into gains from internal heating 25 and gains from auxiliary heating energy 25. Internal heating gains are broken down into heating gains from occupants 27, gains from operation of electric devices 28 in the building, and solar gains 29. Sources of auxiliary heating energy include, for instance, natural gas furnace 30 (here, with a 56% efficiency), electric resistance heating 31 (here, with a 100% efficiency), and electric heat pump 32 (here, with a 250% efficiency). Other sources of heating losses and gains are possible.
The first approach provides an estimate of fuel consumption over a year or other period of inquiry based on the separation of thermal conductivity into internal heating gains and auxiliary heating.
In the first part of the approach (steps 4143), heating losses and heating gains are separately analyzed. In the second part of the approach (steps 4446), the portion of the heating gains that need to be provided by fuel, that is, through the consumption of energy for generating heating using auxiliary heating 18 (shown in BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Specify Time Period
Heating requirements are concentrated during the winter months, so as an initial step, the time period of inquiry is specified (step 41). The heating degree day approach (HDD) in Equation (1) requires examining all of the days of the year and including only those days where outdoor temperatures are less than a certain balance point temperature. However, this approach specifies the time period of inquiry as the winter season and considers all of the days (or all of the hours, or other time units) during the winter season. Other periods of inquiry are also possible, such as a five or tenyear time frame, as well as shorter time periods, such as one or twomonth intervals.
Separate Heating Losses from Heating Gains
Heating losses are considered separately from heating gains (step 42). The rationale for drawing this distinction will now be discussed.
Heating Losses
For the sake of discussion herein, those regions located mainly in the lower latitudes, where outdoor temperatures remain fairly moderate year round, will be ignored and focus placed instead on those regions that experience seasonal shifts of weather and climate. Under this assumption, a heating degree day (HDD) approach specifies that outdoor temperature must be less than indoor temperature. No such limitation is applied in this present approach. Heating losses are negative if outdoor temperature exceeds indoor temperature, which indicates that the building will gain heat during these times. Since the time period has been limited to only the winter season, there will likely to be a limited number of days when that situation could occur and, in those limited times, the building will benefit by positive heating gain. (Note that an adjustment would be required if the building took advantage of the benefit of higher outdoor temperatures by circulating outdoor air inside when this condition occurs. This adjustment could be made by treating the condition as an additional source of heating gain.)
As a result, fuel consumption for heating losses Q^{Losses }over the winter season equals the product of the building'"'"'s total thermal conductivity UA^{Total }and the difference between the indoor T^{Indoor }and outdoor temperature T^{Outdoor}, summed over all of the hours of the winter season:
where Start and End respectively represent the first and last hours of the winter (heating) season.
Equation (5) can be simplified by solving the summation. Thus, total heating losses Q^{Losses }equal the product of thermal conductivity UA^{Total }and the difference between average indoor temperature
Q^{Losses}=(UA^{Total})(
Heating Gains
Heating gains are calculated for two broad categories (step 43) based on the source of heating, internal heating gains Q^{GainsInternal }and auxiliary heating gains Q^{GainsAuxiliary Heating}, as further described infra with reference to
Q^{Gains}=Q^{GainsInternal}+Q^{GainsAuxiliary Heating} (7)
where
Q^{GainsInternal}=Q^{GainsOccupants}+Q^{GainsElectric}+Q^{GainsSolar} (8)
Calculate Heating Gains
Equation (8) states that internal heating gains Q^{GainsInternal }include heating gains from Occupant, Electric, and Solar heating sources.
Occupant Heating Gains
People occupying a building generate heat. Occupant heating gains Q^{GainsOccupants }(step 51) equal the product of the heat produced per person, the average number of people in a building over the time period, and the number of hours (II) (or other time units) in that time period. Let
Q^{GainsOccupants}=250(
Other conversion factors or expressions are possible.
Electric Heating Gains
The operation of electric devices that deliver all heat that is generated into the interior of the building, for instance, lights, refrigerators, and the like, contribute to internal heating gain. Electric heating gains Q^{GainsElectric }(step 52) equal the amount of electricity used in the building that is converted to heat over the time period.
Care needs to be taken to ensure that the measured electricity consumption corresponds to the indoor usage. Two adjustments may be required. First, many electric utilities measure net electricity consumption. The energy produced by any photovoltaic (PV) system needs to be added back to net energy consumption (Net) to result in gross consumption if the building has a netmetered PV system. This amount can be estimated using time and locationcorrelated solar resource data, as well as specific information about the orientation and other characteristics of the photovoltaic system, such as can be provided by the Solar Anywhere SystemCheck service (http://www.SolarAnywhere.com), a Webbased service operated by Clean Power Research, L.L.C., Napa, Calif., with the approach described, for instance, in commonlyassigned U.S. patent application, entitled “ComputerImplemented System and Method for Estimating Gross Energy Load of a Building,” Ser. No. 14/531,940, filed Nov. 3, 2014, pending, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference, or measured directly.
Second, some uses of electricity may not contribute heat to the interior of the building and need be factored out as external electric heating gains (External). These uses include electricity used for electric vehicle charging, electric dryers (assuming that most of the hot exhaust air is vented outside of the building, as typically required by building code), outdoor pool pumps, and electric water heating using either direct heating or heat pump technologies (assuming that most of the hot water goes down the drain and outside the building—a large body of standing hot water, such as a bathtub filled with hot water, can be considered transient and not likely to appreciably increase the temperature indoors over the long run).
For instance, using a conversion factor from kWh to Btu of 3,412 Btu per kWh (since Q^{GainsElectric }is in units of Btu), internal electric gains Q^{GainsElectric }equal:
where Net represents net energy consumption, PV represents any energy produced by a PV system, External represents heating gains attributable to electric sources that do not contribute heat to the interior of a building. Other conversion factors or expressions are possible. The average delivered electricity
Solar Heating Gains
Solar energy that enters through windows, doors, and other openings in a building as sunlight will heat the interior. Solar heating gains Q^{GainsSolar }(step 53) equal the amount of heat delivered to a building from the sun. In the northern hemisphere, Q^{GainsSolar }can be estimated based on the southfacing window area (m^{2}) times the solar heating gain coefficient (SHGC) times a shading factor; together, these terms are represented by the effective window area (W). Solar heating gains Q^{GainsSolar }equal the product of W, the average direct vertical irradiance (DVI) available on a southfacing surface (Solar, as represented by DVI in kW/m^{2}), and the number of hours (H) in the time period. For instance, using a conversion factor from kWh to Btu of 3,412 Btu per kWh (since Q^{GainsSolar }is in units of Btu while average solar is in kW/m^{2}), solar heating gains Q^{GainsSolar }equal:
Other conversion factors or expressions are possible.
Note that for reference purposes, the SHGC for one particular high quality window designed for solar gains, the Andersen HighPerformance LowE4 PassiveSun Glass window product, manufactured by Andersen Corporation, Bayport, Minn., is 0.54; many windows have SHGCs that are between 0.20 to 0.25.
Auxiliary Heating Gains
The internal sources of heating gain share the common characteristic of not being operated for the sole purpose of heating a building, yet nevertheless making some measurable contribution to the heat to the interior of a building. The fourth type of heating gain, auxiliary heating gains Q^{GainsAuxiliary Heating }consumes fuel specifically to provide heat to the building'"'"'s interior and, as a result, must include conversion efficiency. The gains from auxiliary heating gains Q^{GainsAuxiliary Heating }(step 53) equal the product of the average hourly fuel consumed
Q^{GainsAuxiliary Heating}=(
Equation (13) can be stated in a more general form that can be applied to both heating and cooling seasons by adding a binary multiplier, HeatOrCool. The binary multiplier HeatOrCool equals 1 when the heating system is in operation and equals −1 when the cooling system is in operation. This more general form will be used in a subsequent section.
Q^{Gains(Losses)HVAC}=(HeatOrCool)(
Divide Thermal Conductivity into Parts
Consider the situation when the heating system is in operation. The HeatingOrCooling term in Equation (14) equals 1 in the heating season. As illustrated in
UA^{Total}=UA^{Balance Point}+UA^{Auxiliary Heating} (15)
where
UA^{Balance Point}=UA^{Occupants}+UA^{Electric}+UA^{Solar} (16)
such that UA^{Occupants}, UA^{Electric}, and UA^{solar }respectively represent the thermal conductivity of internal heating sources, specifically, occupants, electric and solar.
In Equation (15), total thermal conductivity UA^{Total }is fixed at a certain value for a building and is independent of weather conditions; UA^{Total }depends upon the building'"'"'s efficiency. The component parts of Equation (15), balance point thermal conductivity UA^{Balance Point }and auxiliary heating thermal conductivity UA^{Auxiliary Heating}, however, are allowed to vary with weather conditions. For example, when the weather is warm, there may be no auxiliary heating in use and all of the thermal conductivity will be allocated to the balance point thermal conductivity UA^{Balance Point }component.
Fuel consumption for heating losses Q^{Losses }can be determined by substituting Equation (15) into Equation (6):
Q^{Losses}=(UA^{Balance Point}+UA^{Auxiliary Heating})(
Balance Energy
Heating gains must equal heating losses for the system to balance (step 45), as further described infra with reference to
The result can then be divided by (
Equation (19) expresses energy balance as a combination of both UA^{Balance Point }and UA^{Auxilary Heating}.
The UA^{Balance Point }should always be a positive value. Equation (20) accomplishes this goal in the heating season. An additional term, HeatOrCool is required for the cooling season that equals 1 in the heating season and −1 in the cooling season.
HeatOrCool and its inverse are the same. Thus, internal gains equals:
Q^{GainsInternal}=(HeatOrCool)(UA^{Balance Point})(
Components of UA^{Balance Point }
For clarity, UA^{Balance Point }can be divided into three component values (step 61) by substituting Equation (8) into Equation (20):
Since UA^{Balance Point }equals the sum of three component values (as specified in Equation (16)), Equation (24) can be mathematically limited by dividing Equation (24) into three equations:
Solutions for Components of UA^{Balance Point }and UA^{Auxilary Heating }
The preceding equations can be combined to present a set of results with solutions provided for the four thermal conductivity components as follows. First, the portion of the balance point thermal conductivity associated with occupants UA^{Occupants }(step 62) is calculated by substituting Equation (9) into Equation (25). Next, the portion of the balance point thermal conductivity UA^{Electric }associated with internal electricity consumption (step 63) is calculated by substituting Equation (10) into Equation (26). Internal electricity consumption is the amount of electricity consumed internally in the building and excludes electricity consumed for HVAC operation, pool pump operation, electric water heating, electric vehicle charging, and so on, since these sources of electricity consumption result in heat or work being used external to the inside of the building. The portion of the balance point thermal conductivity UA^{Solar }associated with solar gains (step 64) is then calculated by substituting Equation (12) into Equation (27). Finally, thermal conductivity UA^{Auxiliary Heating }associated with auxiliary heating (step 64) is calculated by substituting Equation (13) into Equation (21).
Determine Fuel Consumption
Referring back to
UA^{Auxiliary Heating}=UA^{Total}−UA^{Balance Point} (32)
Equation (32) is then substituted into Equation (31):
Finally, solving Equation (33) for fuel and multiplying by the number of hours (II) in (or duration of) the time period yields:
Equation (34) is valid during the heating season and applies where UA^{Total}≥UA^{Balance Point}. Otherwise, fuel consumption is 0.
Using Equation (34), annual (or periodic) heating fuel consumption Q^{Fuel }can be determined (step 46). The building'"'"'s thermal conductivity UA^{Total}, if already available through, for instance, the results of an energy audit, is obtained. Otherwise, UA^{Total }can be determined by solving Equations (28) through (31) using historical fuel consumption data, such as shown, by way of example, in the table of
Equation (34) is empowering. Annual heating fuel consumption Q^{Fuel }can be readily determined without encountering the complications of Equation (1), which is an equation that is difficult to solve due to the number and variety of unknown inputs that are required. The implications of Equation (34) in consumer decisionmaking, a general discussion, and sample applications of Equation (34) will now be covered.
Change in Fuel Requirements Associated with Decisions Available to Consumers
Consumers have four decisions available to them that affects their energy consumption for heating.
 1. Change the thermal conductivity UA^{Total }by upgrading the building shell to be more thermally efficient (process 72).
 2. Reduce or change the average indoor temperature by reducing the thermostat manually, programmatically, or through a “learning” thermostat (process 73).
 3. Upgrade the HVAC system to increase efficiency (process 74).
 4. Increase the solar gain by increasing the effective window area (process 75).
Other decisions are possible. Here, these four specific options can be evaluated supra by simply taking the derivative of Equation (34) with respect to a variable of interest. The result for each case is valid where UA^{Total}≥UA^{Balance Point}. Otherwise, fuel consumption is 0.
Changes associated with other internal gains, such as increasing occupancy, increasing internal electric gains, or increasing solar heating gains, could be calculated using a similar approach.
Change in Thermal Conductivity
A change in thermal conductivity UA^{Total }can affect a change in fuel requirements. The derivative of Equation (34) is taken with respect to thermal conductivity, which equals the average indoor minus outdoor temperatures times the number of hours divided by HVAC system efficiency. Note that initial thermal efficiency is irrelevant in the equation. The effect of a change in thermal conductivity UA^{Total }(process 72) can be evaluated by solving:
Change in Average Indoor Temperature
A change in average indoor temperature can also affect a change in fuel requirements. The derivative of Equation (34) is taken with respect to the average indoor temperature. Since UA^{Balance Point }is also a function of average indoor temperature, application of the product rule is required. After simplifying, the effect of a change in average indoor temperature (process 73) can be evaluated by solving:
Change in HVAC System Efficiency
As well, a change in HVAC system efficiency can affect a change in fuel requirements. The derivative of Equation (34) is taken with respect to HVAC system efficiency, which equals current fuel consumption divided by HVAC system efficiency. Note that this term is not linear with efficiency and thus is valid for small values of efficiency changes. The effect of a change in fuel requirements relative to the change in HVAC system efficiency (process 74) can be evaluated by solving:
Change in Solar Gains
An increase in solar gains can be accomplished by increasing the effective area of southfacing windows. Effective area can be increased by trimming trees blocking windows, removing screens, cleaning windows, replacing windows with ones that have higher SHGCs, installing additional windows, or taking similar actions. In this case, the variable of interest is the effective window area W. The total gain per square meter of additional effective window area equals the available resource (kWh/m^{2}) divided by HVAC system efficiency, converted to Btus. The derivative of Equation (34) is taken with respect to effective window area. The effect of an increase in solar gains (process 74) can be evaluated by solving:
Discussion
Both Equations (1) and (34) provide ways to calculate fuel consumption requirements. The two equations differ in several key ways:
 1. UA^{Total }only occurs in one place in Equation (34), whereas Equation (1) has multiple indirect and nonlinear dependencies to UA^{Total}.
 2. UA^{Total }is divided into two parts in Equation (34), while there is only one occurrence of UA^{Total }in Equation (1).
 3. The concept of balance point thermal conductivity in Equation (34) replaces the concept of balance point temperature in Equation (1).
 4. Heat from occupants, electricity consumption, and solar gains are grouped together in Equation (34) as internal heating gains, while these values are treated separately in Equation (1).
Second, Equations (28) through (31) provide empirical methods to determine both the point at which a building has no auxiliary heating requirements and the current thermal conductivity. Equation (1) typically requires a full detailed energy audit to obtain the data required to derive thermal conductivity. In contrast, Equations (25) through (28), as applied through the first approach, can substantially reduce the scope of an energy audit.
Third, both Equation (4) and Equation (35) provide ways to calculate a change in fuel requirements relative to a change in thermal conductivity. However, these two equations differ in several key ways:
 1. Equation (4) is complex, while Equation (35) is simple.
 2. Equation (4) depends upon current building thermal conductivity, balance point temperature, solar savings fraction, auxiliary heating efficiency, and a variety of other derivatives. Equation (35) only requires the auxiliary heating efficiency in terms of buildingspecific information.
Equation (35) implies that, as long as some fuel is required for auxiliary heating, a reasonable assumption, a change in fuel requirements will only depend upon average indoor temperature (as approximated by thermostat setting), average outdoor temperature, the number of hours (or other time units) in the (heating) season, and HVAC system efficiency. Consequently, any building shell (or envelope) investment can be treated as an independent investment. Importantly, Equation (35) does not require specific knowledge about building construction, age, occupancy, solar gains, internal electric gains, or the overall thermal conductivity of the building. Only the characteristics of the portion of the building that is being replaced, the efficiency of the HVAC system, the indoor temperature (as reflected by the thermostat setting), the outdoor temperature (based on location), and the length of the winter season are required; knowledge about the rest of the building is not required. This simplification is a powerful and useful result.
Fourth, Equation (36) provides an approach to assessing the impact of a change in indoor temperature, and thus the effect of making a change in thermostat setting. Note that Equation (31) only depends upon the overall efficiency of the building, that is, the building'"'"'s total thermal conductivity UA^{Total}, the length of the winter season (in number of hours or other time units), and the HVAC system efficiency; Equation (31) does not depend upon either the indoor or outdoor temperature.
Equation (31) is useful in assessing claims that are made by HVAC management devices, such as the Nest thermostat device, manufactured by Nest Labs, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif., or the Lyric thermostat device, manufactured by Honeywell Int'"'"'l Inc., Morristown, N.J., or other socalled “smart” thermostat devices. The fundamental idea behind these types of HVAC management devices is to learn behavioral patterns, so that consumers can effectively lower (or raise) their average indoor temperatures in the winter (or summer) months without affecting their personal comfort. Here, Equation (31) could be used to estimate the value of heating and cooling savings, as well as to verify the consumer behaviors implied by the new temperature settings.
Balance Point Temperature
Before leaving this section, balance point temperature should briefly be discussed. The formulation in this first approach does not involve balance point temperature as an input. A balance point temperature, however, can be calculated to equal the point at which there is no fuel consumption, such that there are no gains associated with auxiliary heating (Q^{GainsAuxiliary Heating }equals 0) and the auxiliary heating thermal conductivity (UA^{Auxiliary Heating }in Equation (31)) is zero. Inserting these assumptions into Equation (19) and labeling T^{Outdoor }as T^{Balance Point }yields:
Q^{GainsInternal}=UA^{Total}(
Equation (39) simplifies to:
Equation (40) is identical to Equation (2), except that average values are used for indoor temperature
Application: Change in Thermal Conductivity Associated with One Investment
An approach to calculating a new value for total thermal conductivity after a series of M changes (or investments) are made to a building is described in commonlyassigned U.S. patent application, entitled “System and Method for Interactively Evaluating Personal EnergyRelated Investments,” Ser. No. 14/294,079, filed Jun. 2, 2014, pending, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference. The approach is summarized therein in Equation (41), which provides:
where a caret symbol ({circumflex over ( )}) denotes a new value, infiltration losses are based on the density of air (φ, specific heat of air (c), number of air changes per hour (n), and volume of air per air change (V). In addition, U^{j }and Û^{j }respectively represent the existing and proposed Uvalues of surface j, and A^{j }represents the surface area of surface j. The volume of the building V can be approximated by multiplying building square footage by average ceiling height. The equation, with a slight restatement, equals:
^{Total}=UA^{Total}+ΔUA^{Total} (42)
and
If there is only one investment, the m superscripts can be dropped and the change in thermal conductivity UA^{Total }equals the area (A) times the difference of the inverse of the old and new Rvalues R and {circumflex over (R)}:
Fuel Savings
The fuel savings associated with a change in thermal conductivity UA^{Total }for a single investment equals Equation (44) times (35):
where ΔQ^{Fuel }signifies the change in fuel consumption.
Economic Value
The economic value of the fuel savings (Annual Savings) equals the fuel savings times the average fuel price (Price) for the building in question:
where Price^{NG }represents the price of natural gas and Price^{Electrity }represents the price of electricity. Other pricing amounts, pricing conversion factors, or pricing expressions are possible.
Consider an example. A consumer in Napa, Calif. wants to calculate the annual savings associating with replacing a 20 ft^{2 }singlepane window that has an Rvalue of 1 with a high efficiency window that has an Rvalue of 4. The average temperature in Napa over the 183day winter period (4,392 hours) from October 1 to March 31 is 50° F. The consumer sets his thermostat at 68° F., has a 60 percent efficient natural gas heating system, and pays $1 per therm for natural gas. How much money will the consumer save per year by making this change?
Putting this information into Equation (46) suggests that he will save $20 per year:
Application: Validate Building Shell Improvements Savings
Many energy efficiency programs operated by power utilities grapple with the issue of measurement and evaluation (M&E), particularly with respect to determining whether savings have occurred after building shell improvements were made. Equations (28) through (31) can be applied to help address this issue. These equations can be used to calculate a building'"'"'s total thermal conductivity UA^{Total}. This result provides an empirical approach to validating the benefits of building shell investments using measured data.
Equations (28) through (31) require the following inputs:
1) Weather:
 a) Average outdoor temperature (° F.).
 b) Average indoor temperature (° F.).
 c) Average direct solar resource on a vertical, southfacing surface.
2) Fuel and energy:
 a) Average gross indoor electricity consumption.
 b) Average natural gas fuel consumption for space heating.
 c) Average electric fuel consumption for space heating.
3) Other inputs:
 a) Average number of occupants.
 b) Effective window area.
 c) HVAC system efficiency.
Weather data can be determined as follows. Indoor temperature can be assumed based on the setting of the thermostat (assuming that the thermostat'"'"'s setting remained constant throughout the time period), or measured and recorded using a device that takes hourly or periodic indoor temperature measurements, such as a Nest thermostat device or a Lyric thermostat device, cited supra, or other socalled “smart” thermostat devices. Outdoor temperature and solar resource data can be obtained from a service, such as Solar Anywhere SystemCheck, cited supra, or the National Weather Service. Other sources of weather data are possible.
Fuel and energy data can be determined as follows. Monthly utility billing records provide natural gas consumption and net electricity data. Gross indoor electricity consumption can be calculated by adding PV production, whether simulated using, for instance, the Solar Anywhere SystemCheck service, cited supra, or measured directly, and subtracting out external electricity consumption, that is, electricity consumption for electric devices that do not deliver all heat that is generated into the interior of the building. External electricity consumption includes electric vehicle (EV) charging and electric water heating. Other types of external electricity consumption are possible. Natural gas consumption for heating purposes can be estimated by subtracting nonspace heating consumption, which can be estimated, for instance, by examining summer time consumption using an approach described in commonlyassigned U.S. patent application, entitled “System and Method for Facilitating Implementation of Holistic Zero Net Energy Consumption,” Ser. No. 14/531,933, filed Nov. 3, 2014, pending, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference. Other sources of fuel and energy data are possible.
Finally, the other inputs can be determined as follows. The average number of occupants can be estimated by the building owner or occupant. Effective window area can be estimated by multiplying actual southfacing window area times solar heat gain coefficient (estimated or based on empirical tests, as further described infra), and HVAC system efficiency can be estimated (by multiplying reported furnace rating times either estimated or actual duct system efficiency), or can be based on empirical tests, as further described infra. Other sources of data for the other inputs are possible.
Consider an example.
Application: Evaluate Investment Alternatives
The results of this work can be used to evaluate potential investment alternatives.
Other energy consumption investment options (not depicted) are possible. These options include switching to an electric heat pump, increasing solar gain through window replacement or tree trimming (this option would increase the height of the area in the graph labeled “Solar Gains”), or lowering the thermostat setting. These options can be compared using the approach described with reference to Equations (25) through (28) to compare the options in terms of their costs and savings, which will help the homeowner to make a wiser investment.
The previous section presented an annual fuel consumption model. This section presents a detailed time series model. This section also compares results from the two methods and provides an example of how to apply the onsite empirical tests.
BuildingSpecific Parameters
The building temperature model used in this second approach requires three building parameters: (1) thermal mass; (2) thermal conductivity; and (3) effective window area.
Thermal Mass (M)
The heat capacity of an object equals the ratio of the amount of heat energy transferred to the object and the resulting change in the object'"'"'s temperature. Heat capacity is also known as “thermal capacitance” or “thermal mass” (122) when used in reference to a building. Thermal mass Q is a property of the mass of a building that enables the building to store heat, thereby providing “inertia” against temperature fluctuations. A building gains thermal mass through the use of building materials with high specific heat capacity and high density, such as concrete, brick, and stone.
The heat capacity is assumed to be constant when the temperature range is sufficiently small. Mathematically, this relationship can be expressed as:
Q_{Δt}=M(T_{t+Δt}^{Indoor}−T_{t}^{Indoor}) (48)
where M equals the thermal mass of the building and temperature units T are in ° F. Q is typically expressed in Btu or Joules. In that case, M has units of Btu/° F. Q can also be divided by 1 kWh/3,412 Btu to convert to units of kWh/° F.
Thermal Conductivity (UA^{Total})
The building'"'"'s thermal conductivity UA^{Total }(123) is the amount of heat that the building gains or losses as a result of conduction and infiltration. Thermal conductivity UA^{Total }was discussed supra with reference to the first approach for modeling annual heating fuel consumption.
Effective Window Area (W)
The effective window area (in units of m^{2}) (124), also discussed in detail supra, specifies how much of an available solar resource is absorbed by the building. Effective window area is the dominant means of solar gain in a typical building during the winter and includes the effect of physical shading, window orientation, and the window'"'"'s solar heat gain coefficient. In the northern hemisphere, the effective window area is multiplied by the available average direct irradiance on a vertical, southfacing surface (kW/m^{2}), times the amount of time (II) to result in the kWh obtained from the windows.
Energy Gain or Loss
The amount of heat transferred to or extracted from a building (Q) over a time period of Δt is based on a number of factors, including:
 1) Loss (or gain if outdoor temperature exceeds indoor temperature) due to conduction and infiltration and the differential between the indoor and outdoor temperatures.
 2) Gain, when the HVAC system is in the heating mode, or loss, when the HVAC system is in the cooling mode.
 3) Gain associated with:
 a) Occupancy and heat given off by people.
 b) Heat produced by consuming electricity inside the building.
 c) Solar radiation.
Mathematically, Q can be expressed as:
where:
 Except as noted otherwise, the bars over the variable names represent the average value over Δt hours, that is, the duration of the applicable empirical test. For instance,
T ^{Outdoor }represents the average outdoor temperature between the time interval of t and t+Δt.  UA^{Total }is the thermal conductivity (in units of Btu/hour° F.).
 W is the effective window area (in units of m^{2}).
 Occupancy Gain is based on the average number of people (
P ) in the building during the applicable empirical test (and the heat produced by those people). The average person is assumed to produce 250 Btu/hour.  Internal Electric Gain is based on heat produced by indoor electricity consumption (
Electric ), as averaged over the applicable empirical test, but excludes electricity for purposes that do not produce heat inside the building, for instance, electric hot water heating where the hot water is discarded down the drain, or where there is no heat produced inside the building, such as is the case with EV charging.  Solar Gain is based on the average available normalized solar irradiance (
Solar ) during the applicable empirical test (with units of kW/m^{2}). This value is the irradiance on a vertical surface to estimate solar received on windows; global horizontal irradiance (GHI) can be used as a proxy for this number when W is allowed to change on a monthly basis.  HVAC Gain or Loss is based on whether the HVAC is in heating or cooling mode (GainOrLoss is 1 for heating and −1 for cooling), the rating of the HVAC system (R in Btu), HVAC system efficiency (η^{HVAC }including both conversion and delivery system efficiency), average operation status (
Status ) during the empirical test, a time series value that is either off (0 percent) or on (100 percent),  Other conversion factors or expressions are possible.
 Except as noted otherwise, the bars over the variable names represent the average value over Δt hours, that is, the duration of the applicable empirical test. For instance,
Energy Balance
Equation (48) reflects the change in energy over a time period and equals the product of the temperature change and the building'"'"'s thermal mass. Equation (49) reflects the net gain in energy over a time period associated with the various component sources. Equation (48) can be set to equal Equation (49), since the results of both equations equal the same quantity and have the same units (Btu). Thus, the total heat change of a building will equal the sum of the individual heat gain/loss components:
Equation (50) can be used for several purposes.
As a single equation, Equation (50) is potentially very useful, despite having five unknown parameters. In this second approach, the unknown parameters are solved by performing a series of short duration empirical tests (step 131), as further described infra with reference to
Empirically Determine Building and EquipmentSpecific Parameters Using Short Duration Tests
A series of tests can be used to iteratively solve Equation (50) to obtain the values of the unknown parameters by ensuring that the portions of Equation (50) with the unknown parameters are equal to zero. These tests are assumed to be performed when the HVAC is in heating mode for purposes of illustration. Other assumptions are possible.
The empirical tests require the use of several components, including a control for turning an HVAC system ON or OFF, depending upon the test; an electric controllable interior heat source; a monitor to measure the indoor temperature during the test; a monitor to measure the outdoor temperature during the test; and a computer or other computational device to assemble the test results and finding thermal conductivity, thermal mass, effective window area, and HVAC system efficiency of a building based on the findings. The components can be separate units, or could be consolidated within one or more combined units. For instance, a computer equipped with temperature probes could both monitor, record and evaluate temperature findings.
Test 1: Building Thermal Conductivity (UA^{Total})
The first step is to find the building'"'"'s total thermal conductivity (UA^{Total}) (step 151). Referring back to the table in
These assumptions are input into Equation (50):
The portions of Equation (51) that contain four of the five unknown parameters now reduce to zero. The result can be solved for UA^{Total}:
where
Equation (52) implies that the building'"'"'s thermal conductivity can be determined from this test based on average number of occupants, average power consumption, average indoor temperature, and average outdoor temperature.
Test 2: Building Thermal Mass (M)
The second step is to find the building'"'"'s thermal mass (M) (step 152). This step is accomplished by constructing a test that guarantees M is specifically nonzero since UA^{Total }is known based on the results of the first test. This second test is also run at night, so that there is no solar gain, which also guarantees that the starting and the ending indoor temperatures are not the same, that is, T_{t+Δt}^{Indoor}≠T_{t}^{Indoor}, respectively at the outset and conclusion of the test by not operating the HVAC system. These assumptions are input into Equation (50) and solving yields a solution for M:
where UA^{Total }represents the thermal conductivity,
Test 3: Building Effective Window Area (W)
The third step to find the building'"'"'s effective window area (W) (step 153) requires constructing a test that guarantees that solar gain is nonzero. This test is performed during the day with the HVAC system turned off. Solving for W yields:
where M represents the thermal mass, t represents the time at the beginning of the empirical test, Δt represents the duration of the empirical test, T_{t+Δt}^{Indoor }represents the ending indoor temperature, and T_{t}^{Indoor }represents the starting indoor temperature, UA^{Total }represents the thermal conductivity,
Test 4: HVAC System Efficiency (η^{Furnace}η^{Delivery})
The fourth step determines the HVAC system efficiency (step 154). Total HVAC system efficiency is the product of the furnace efficiency and the efficiency of the delivery system, that is, the duct work and heat distribution system. While these two terms are often solved separately, the product of the two terms is most relevant to building temperature modeling. This test is best performed at night, so as to eliminate solar gain. Thus:
where M represents the thermal mass, t represents the time at the beginning of the empirical test, Δt represents the duration of the empirical test, T_{t+Δt}^{Indoor }represents the ending indoor temperature, and T_{t}^{Indoor }represents the starting indoor temperature, UA^{Total }represents the thermal conductivity,
Note that HVAC duct efficiency can be determined without performing a duct leakage test if the generation efficiency of the furnace is known. This observation usefully provides an empirical method to measure duct efficiency without having to perform a duct leakage test.
Time Series Indoor Temperature Data
The previous subsection described how to perform a series of empirical short duration tests to determine the unknown parameters in Equation (50). Commonlyassigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/531,933, cited supra, describes how a building'"'"'s UA^{Total }can be combined with historical fuel consumption data to estimate the benefit of improvements to a building. While useful, estimating the benefit requires measured time series fuel consumption and HVAC system efficiency data. Equation (50), though, can be used to perform the same analysis without the need for historical fuel consumption data.
Referring back to
Once T_{t+Δt}^{Indoor }is known, Equation (56) can be used to solve for T_{t+2Δt}^{Indoor }and so on.
Importantly, Equation (56) can be used to iteratively construct indoor building temperature time series data with no specific information about the building'"'"'s construction, age, configuration, number of stories, and so forth. Equation (56) only requires general weather datasets (outdoor temperature and irradiance) and buildingspecific parameters. The control variable in Equation (56) is the fuel required to deliver the auxiliary heat at time t, as represented in the Status variable, that is, at each time increment, a decision is made whether to run the HVAC system.
Seasonal Fuel Consumption
Equation (50) can also be used to calculate seasonal fuel consumption (step 133) by letting Δt equal the number of hours (H) in the entire season, either heating or cooling (and not the duration of the applicable empirical test), rather than making Δt very short (such as an hour, as used in an applicable empirical test). The indoor temperature at the start and the end of the season can be assumed to be the same or, alternatively, the total heat change term on the left side of the equation can be assumed to be very small and set equal to zero. Rearranging Equation (50) provides:
Total seasonal fuel consumption based on Equation (50) can be shown to be identical to fuel consumption calculated using the annual method based on Equation (34). First, Equation (57), which is a rearrangement of Equation (50), can be simplified. Multiplying Equation (57) by HeatOrCool results in (HeatOrCool)^{2 }on the left hand side, which equals 1 for both heating and cooling seasons, and can thus be dropped from the equation. In addition, the sign on the first term on the right hand side of Equation (57) ([UA^{Total }(
equals internal gains (Q^{GainsInternal}), which can be substituted into Equation (57). Finally, dividing the equation by HVAC efficiency η^{HVAC }yields:
Next, substituting Equation (23) into Equation (58):
Once again, HeatOrCool^{2 }equals 1 for both heating and cooling seasons and thus is dropped. Equation (59) simplifies as:
Consider the heating season when HeatOrCool equals 1. Equation (60) simplifies as follows.
Equation (61) illustrates total seasonal fuel consumption based on Equation (50) is identical to fuel consumption calculated using the annual method based on Equation (34).
Consider the cooling season when HeatOrCool equals −1. Multiply Equation (61) by the first part of the right hand side by −1 and reverse the temperatures, substitute −1 for HeatOrCool, and simplify:
A comparison of Equations (61) and (62) shows that a leverage effect occurs that depends upon whether the season is for heating or cooling. Fuel requirements are decreased in the heating season because internal gains cover a portion of building losses (Equation (61)). Fuel requirements are increased in the cooling season because cooling needs to be provided for both the building'"'"'s temperature gains and the internal gains (Equation (62)).
Maximum Indoor Temperature Allowing consumers to limit the maximum indoor temperature to some value can be useful from a personal physical comfort perspective. The limit of maximum indoor temperature (step 134) can be obtained by taking the minimum of T_{t+Δt}^{Indoor }and T^{IndoorMax}, the maximum indoor temperature recorded for the building during the heating season. There can be some divergence between the annual and detailed time series methods when the thermal mass of the building is unable to absorb excess heat, which can then be used at a later time. Equation (56) becomes Equation (63) when the minimum is applied.
Net Fuel Savings, Net Cost Savings and Net Environmental Savings
Equation (58), which is a simplification of Equation (57), can be used to calculate net savings in fuel, cost, and carbon emissions (environmental). Net savings are crucial, albeit frequently overlooked, factors to consider when contemplating or evaluating changes to electric energy efficiency investments and renewable distributed power generation. Envelope gains or losses on the right hand side of Equation (58) are represented by the first group of terms, (HeatOrCool)(UA^{Total})(
As an initial step, envelope gains can be multiplied by the binary term HeatOrCool to produce a term that will be a positive number across both seasons. More specifically, average indoor temperature is assumed to be less than the average outdoor temperature in the summer, so that the difference between the two temperatures will generally be a negative number. The resulting term for envelope gains becomes a positive number when multiplied by the binary term HeatOrCool for summer, −1. Average outdoor temperature is assumed to be less than the average indoor temperature in the winter, so envelope gains will generally be a positive number. Internal gains are also multiplied by the binary term HeatOrCool, but for a different reason. Internal gains in the winter reduce the need for auxiliary heating because these types of heat gains, heating gained from occupants Q^{GainsOccupants}, heating gained from the operation of electric devices Q^{GainsElectric}, and heating gained from solar heating Q^{GainsSolar}, provide some of the heating to the structure. Internal gains in the summer increase the need for auxiliary cooling, that is, the cooling system needs to provide enough cooling for both the envelope gains and the internal gains.
Definition of UA^{Balance Point }
Assume there exists a term called UA^{Balance Point }that satisfies the following relationship, where the binary term HeatOrCool is included to keep UA^{Balance Point }positive across both seasons, as explained supra:
Q^{Internal Gains}=(HeatOrCool)(UA^{Balance Point})(
Solve Equation (65) for UA^{Balance Point }by dividing by (
Change in Fuel Relative to Change in Internal Gains
Consider the effect of changes in fuel relative to a change in internal gains. Substitute Equation (65) into Equation (64) and simplify:
Take the derivate of Equation (64) with respect to internal gains:
Suppose that an investment in electric energy efficiency directly reduces electricity consumption by the amount Q^{Energy Efficiency}. Reducing electricity consumption has a direct effect and two indirect effects. The direct effect of reducing electricity consumption is that the fuel required to generate the electricity is reduced. The amount of fuel reduced equals Q^{Energy Efficiency }divided by the efficiency of generation (η^{Electricity Generation}). The indirect effects are due to the observation that the reduction in electricity consumption reduces the amount of waste heat in the building. The lost heat needs to be replaced in the heating season and equals Q^{Energy Efficiency }times Equation (68) times the fraction of the year that the heating system is in operation. The lost heat reduces the burden on the HVAC system in the cooling season and equals Q^{Energy Efficiency }times Equation (68) times the fraction of the year that the cooling system is in operation.
The net fuel savings, taking into account the effect on heating and cooling, is:
where term F represents the percent of hours that are winter hours and η^{Electricity Generation}, η^{HVACHeating }and η^{HVACCooling }respectively represent efficiencies of electricity generation as supplied to a building and of the efficiencies of the building'"'"'s HVAC cooling and heating systems. Other units of time could be used in place of hours, so long as consistent with the other terms in the equation. For instance, where applicable, electricity costs are generally expressed in kilowatt hours (kWh), which would need to be converted into an equivalent unit if the term F represents a time unit other than hours. Note also that the term F models the relationship between the respective durations of the heating and cooling seasons that typically seasonally affect a building. Thus, the term F could similarly represent the percentage of hours (or other units of time) that are summer hours. Equation (69) simplifies to:
Next, consider the net economic savings. Assume that space heating uses natural gas and cooling uses electricity. The net economic savings is:
where p^{Electricity }and p^{Natural Gas }respectively represent the prices of electricity and natural gas. Equation (71) simplifies to:
Finally, consider carbon emissions. The net carbon emissions (environmental) savings is:
By way of illustration, net fuel savings, net cost savings, and net carbon emissions (environmental) savings will be calculated based on the following assumptions for a building that is heated with an HVAC system that uses natural gas to generate heating and electricity to generate cooling:
 6month heating and 6month cooling seasons.
 Electricity generation efficiency is 50%.
 Heating efficiency is 65%.
 Cooling efficiency is 400% (that is, 13.6 SEER).
 Electricity prices is $0.17/kWh.
 Natural gas price is $1/therm (or $0.034/kWh).
 Electricity carbon emissions are 0.73 lbs/kWh
 Natural gas carbon emissions are 11.7 lbs/therm (or 0.40 lbs/kWh)
First, net fuel savings is determined:
Direct fuel savings equals 200% of energy efficiency savings since electricity generation is 50% efficient. Net fuel savings, though, equal only 136% of electricity savings, which is about twothirds of the direct fuel savings and does not even include the net effects of building heating and cooling that could further change net fuel savings.
Next, net cost savings is determined:
Net cost savings are only slightly less than direct cost savings at $0.17/kWh. Finally, net environmental savings is determined:
Actual carbon savings equal 0.51 lbs/kWh, rather than 0.73 lbs/kWh, which is only 70 percent of the direct result.
This example illustrates how direct savings may be less impactful when taken in light of net savings. The net savings in fuel, cost and carbon emissions (environmental), as respectively calculated using Equations (71), (72) and (73), enable the full effects that electric energy efficiency investments have on reductions in the fuel consumed for a building'"'"'s heating and cooling to be weighed. The net savings realized may actually be less than what would seem an intuitive result. For instance, switching from inefficient incandescent light bulbs lowers indoor heat gain during the winter, yet more natural gas needs to be consumed to make up for the indirect heating previously provided by those light bulbs. Similarly, while natural gas is less expensive than electricity, the savings in carbon emissions may not be realized to the same extent. In addition, renewable distributed generation has at times been considered as having the same effect as energy efficiency, which is actually not the case. 1 kWh of PV power generation would need 1.5 kWh of energy efficiency savings to have the same energy or carbon emissions savings result in the case described supra
Generalization of Energy Balance Equation
Equation (50) provides that the total heat change over a given period of time equals the sum of the heat gain (or loss) due to envelope gains (or losses), occupancy gains, internal electric gains, solar gains, and auxiliary gains. Equation (50) be rearranged so as to create a heat balance equation that is composed of heat gain (loss) from six sources, as shown in Table 1. Three of the sources can contribute to either heat gain or loss, while the remaining three sources can only contribute to heat gain.
Existing Model of Envelope Gain or Loss Heat gain (loss) from the envelope gain (or loss) is modeled to be the building'"'"'s total thermal conductivity UA^{Total }times the difference between the average outdoor and indoor temperatures times the time period Δt:
Q^{Envelope Gain(Loss)}=UA^{Total}(
Equation (78) assumes the differential between outdoor and indoor temperatures is the same for all building surfaces. This assumption means that the sum of the thermal conductivity UA^{Total }for all surfaces times the temperature differential equals the total thermal conductivity times the temperature differential, that is, Σ_{surface }UA^{surface}(
While this simplifying assumption is acceptable in the winter, the same assumption may be too simplistic for the summer. In particular, attics tend to suffer significant heat buildup during the summer and the surface temperature above the ceiling of a house may be significantly higher than the outdoor ambient temperature. Thus, the temperature differential between the attic and (nonattic space) indoor spaces may actually be greater than the temperature differential between the outdoor and (nonattic space) indoor temperatures. The same observation with respect to the attic applies to other surfaces or portions of a building heated by the sun.
Envelope Gain (Loss) with Different Temperature Differentials
The simplifying assumption can be addressed by first proposing a methodology using only two surfaces, which can then be generalizable to any number of surfaces, that is, made applicable to all solar heated surfaces and not just attics. First, divide the building'"'"'s thermal conductivity into two parts, one part for the attic and the other part for the rest of the building. The envelope gain (loss) will equal the sum of the attic component plus the rest of the house:
Q^{Envelope Gain (Loss)}=UA^{Attic}(
Equation (79) can be rearranged as follows:
Q^{Envelope Gain(Loss)}=[UA^{Total}(
where
Effective Window Area Term for Attic
Increased attic temperatures are caused by an increase in solar radiation. Assume that the rise in attic temperature over outdoor temperature is proportional to the available solar radiation (units of kW/m^{2}):
where the constant α has units of hr° F.m^{2}/Btu. Furthermore, express a as a pair of constants, UA^{Attic }in units of Btu/hour° F., which is assumed to be known, and W^{Attic }in units of m^{2}, which needs to be determined:
Substitute Equations (82) and (81) into Equation (80). The UA^{A}″ terms cancel and the envelope gain (or losses) are similar to the envelope gain (or losses) in Equation (78) with the addition of a new term that incorporates W^{Attic }and the amount of solar radiation:
Revised Equation
Substituting the Envelope Gain (Loss) term in Equation (77) with Equation (83) yields:
Notice that the Envelope Gain (Loss) and Solar Gain terms both have a factor that depends upon the solar resource. The form of the dependence is identical, as both of these terms include an “Effective Window Area” term. Equation (84) can be simplified by collecting like terms, such that:
where Ŵ=W+W^{Attic}.
Discussion
Equation (85) differs from Equation (77) only in that the Effective Window Area W includes the effect of solar heat gain directly through windows and the effect of an increased attic temperature. This observation can be extended to cover heat gain from any other surface, so long as the heat gain is assumed to be proportional to the solar irradiation. Thus, the Effective Window Area W can be interpreted more comprehensively than simply assuming that the effective window area reflects the actual physical window area times a solar heat gain coefficient. Rather, the Effective Window Area W signifies that a certain portion of the solar radiation enters the building through opaque surfaces that can be thought of as having “Effective Window Areas.” This situation occurs in portions of a building where the temperature of the surface is greater than the outside temperature, such as in an attic.
Parameter Specification
Implementing Equation (85) requires weather data and buildingspecific parameters, plus the thermal conductivity of the attic (UA^{Attic}) and the effective window area of the attic (W^{Attic}), which can both be empirically determined through the short duration tests discussed supra with reference to
Validation
Equation (85) was validated using data measured from an inefficient, 125year old Victorian house located in Napa, Calif. The house was cooled by two 5kW AC units. Two temperature monitoring devices were placed upstairs, one monitor was placed downstairs, and one monitor was placed outside. The average indoor temperature was determined by first averaging the two upstairs temperatures and combining the result with the downstairs temperature. Fifteenminute electricity consumption data was evaluated to determine when the AC units cycled ON and OFF. The parameters of Equation (85) were derived using the approach discussed supra with reference to
Two different approaches to calculating annual fuel consumption are described herein. The first approach, per Equation (34), is a singleline equation that requires six inputs. The second approach, per Equation (63), constructs a time series dataset of indoor temperature and HVAC system status. The second approach considers all of the parameters that are indirectly incorporated into the first approach. The second approach also includes the building'"'"'s thermal mass and the specified maximum indoor temperature, and requires hourly time series data for the following variables: outdoor temperature, solar resource, internal electricity consumption, and occupancy.
Both approaches were applied to the exemplary case, discussed supra, for the sample house in Napa, Calif. Thermal mass was 13,648 Btu/° F. and the maximum temperature was set at 72° F. The auxiliary heating energy requirements predicted by the two approaches was then compared.
The analysis was repeated using a range of scenarios with similar results.
The conclusion is that both approaches yield essentially identical results, except for cases when the house has inadequate thermal mass to retain internal gains (occupancy, electric, and solar).
How to perform the tests described supra using measured data can be illustrated through an example. These tests were performed between 9 PM on Jan. 29, 2015 to 6 AM on Jan. 31, 2015 on a 35 yearold, 3,000 ft^{2 }house in Napa, Calif. This time period was selected to show that all of the tests could be performed in less than a dayandahalf. In addition, the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures was not extreme, making for a more challenging situation to accurately perform the tests.
These test parameters, plus a furnace rating of 100,000 Btu/hour and assumed efficiency of 56%, can be used to generate the endofperiod indoor temperature by substituting them into Equation (56) to yield:
Indoor temperatures were simulated using Equation (86) and the required measured time series input datasets. Indoor temperature was measured from Dec. 15, 2014 to Jan. 31, 2015 for the test location in Napa, Calif. The temperatures were measured every minute on the first and second floors of the middle of the house and averaged.
Modeling energy consumption for heating (or cooling) on an annual (or periodic) basis, as described supra with reference
In one embodiment, to perform the first approach, the computer system 231 needs data on heating losses and heating gains, with the latter separated into internal heating gains (occupant, electric, and solar) and auxiliary heating gains. The computer system 231 may be remotely interfaced with a server 240 operated by a power utility or other utility service provider 241 over a wide area network 239, such as the Internet, from which fuel purchase data 242 can be retrieved. Optionally, the computer system 231 may also monitor electricity 234 and other metered fuel consumption, where the meter is able to externally interface to a remote machine, as well as monitor onsite power generation, such as generated by a photovoltaic system 235. The monitored fuel consumption and power generation data can be used to create the electricity and heating fuel consumption data and historical solar resource and weather data. The computer system 231 then executes a software program 232 to determine annual (or periodic) heating fuel consumption 244 based on the empirical approach described supra with reference to
In a further embodiment, to assist with the empirical tests performed in the second approach, the computer system 231 can be remotely interfaced to a heating source 236 and a thermometer 237 inside a building 233 that is being analytically evaluated for thermal performance, thermal mass, effective window area, and HVAC system efficiency. In a further embodiment, the computer system 231 also remotely interfaces to a thermometer 238 outside the building 163, or to a remote data source that can provide the outdoor temperature. The computer system 231 can control the heating source 236 and read temperature measurements from the thermometer 237 throughout the shortduration empirical tests. In a further embodiment, a cooling source (not shown) can be used in place of or in addition to the heating source 236. The computer system 231 then executes a software program 232 to determine hourly (or interval) heating fuel consumption 244 based on the empirical approach described supra with reference to
The two approaches to estimating energy consumption for heating (or cooling), hourly and annual, provide a powerful set of tools that can be used in various applications. A nonexhaustive list of potential applications will now be discussed. Still other potential applications are possible.
Application to Homeowners Both of the approaches, annual (or periodic) and hourly (or interval), reformulate fundamental building heating (and cooling) analysis in a manner that can divide a building'"'"'s thermal conductivity into two parts, one part associated with the balance point resulting from internal gains and one part associated with auxiliary heating requirements. These two parts provide that:
 Consumers can compare their house to their neighbors'"'"' houses on both a total thermal conductivity UA^{Total }basis and on a balance point per square foot basis. These two numbers, total thermal conductivity UA^{Total }and balance point per square foot, can characterize how well their house is doing compared to their neighbors'"'"' houses. The comparison could also be performed on a neighborhood or citywide basis, or between comparably built houses in a subdivision. Other types of comparisons are possible.
 As strongly implied by the empirical analyses discussed supra, heater size can be significantly reduced as the interior temperature of a house approaches its balance point temperature. While useful from a capital cost perspective, a heater that was sized based on this implication may be slow to heat up the house and could require long lead times to anticipate heating needs. Temperature and solar forecasts can be used to operate the heater by application of the two approaches described supra, so as to optimize operation and minimize consumption. For example, if the building owner or occupant knew that the sun was going to start adding a lot of heat to the building in a few hours, he may choose to not have the heater turn on. Alternatively, if the consumer was using a heater with a low power rating, he would know when to turn the heater off to achieve desired preferences.
Application to Building Shell Investment Valuation
The economic value of heating (and cooling) energy savings associated with any building shell improvement in any building has been shown to be independent of building type, age, occupancy, efficiency level, usage type, amount of internal electric gains, or amount solar gains, provided that fuel has been consumed at some point for auxiliary heating. As indicated by Equation (46), the only information required to calculate savings includes the number of hours that define the winter season; average indoor temperature; average outdoor temperature; the building'"'"'s HVAC system efficiency (or coefficient of performance for heat pump systems); the area of the existing portion of the building to be upgraded; the Rvalue of the new and existing materials; and the average price of energy, that is, heating fuel. This finding means, for example, that a high efficiency window replacing similar low efficiency windows in two different buildings in the same geographical location for two different customer types, for instance, a residential customer versus an industrial customer, has the same economic value, as long as the HVAC system efficiencies and fuel prices are the same for these two different customers.
This finding vastly simplifies the process of analyzing the value of building shell investments by fundamentally altering how the analysis needs to be performed. Rather than requiring a full energy auditstyle analysis of the building to assess any the costs and benefits of a particular energy efficiency investment, only the investment of interest, the building'"'"'s HVAC system efficiency, and the price and type of fuel being saved are required.
As a result, the analysis of a building shell investment becomes much more like that of an appliance purchase, where the energy savings, for example, equals the consumption of the old refrigerator minus the cost of the new refrigerator, thereby avoiding the costs of a whole house building analysis. Thus, a consumer can readily determine whether an acceptable return on investment will be realized in terms of costs versus likely energy savings. This result could be used in a variety of places:
 Direct display of economic impact in ecommerce sites. A Web service that estimates economic value can be made available to Web sites where consumers purchase building shell replacements. The consumer would select the product they are purchasing, for instance, a specific window, and would either specify the product that they are replacing or a typical value can be provided. This information would be submitted to the Web service, which would then return an estimate of savings using the input parameters described supra.
 Tools for salespeople at retail and online establishments.
 Tools for mobile or doortodoor sales people.
 Tools to support energy auditors for immediate economic assessment of audit findings. For example, a picture of a specific portion of a house can be taken and the dollar value of addressing problems can be attached.
 Have a document with virtual sticky tabs that show economics of exact value for each portion of the house. The document could be used by energy auditors and other interested parties.
 Available to companies interacting with new building purchasers to interactively allow them to understand the effects of different building choices from an economic (and environmental) perspective using a computer program or Internetbased tool.
 Enable real estate agents working with customers at the time of a new home purchase to quantify the value of upgrades to the building at the time of purchase.
 Tools to simplify the optimization problem because most parts of the problem are separable and simply require a rank ordering of costbenefit analysis of the various measures and do not require detailed computer models that applied to specific houses.
 The time to fix the insulation and ventilation in a homeowner'"'"'s attic is when during reroofing. This result could be integrated into the roofing quoting tools.
 Incorporated into a holistic zero net energy analysis computer program or Web site to take an existing building to zero net consumption.
 Integration into tools for architects, builders, designers for new construction or retrofit. Size building features or HVAC system. More windows or less windows will affect HVAC system size.
Application to Thermal Conductivity Analysis
A building'"'"'s thermal conductivity can be characterized using only measured utility billing data (natural gas and electricity consumption) and assumptions about effective window area, HVAC system efficiency and average indoor building temperature. This test could be used as follows:
 Utilities lack direct methods to measure the energy savings associated with building shell improvements. Use this test to provide a method for electric utilities to validate energy efficiency investments for their energy efficiency programs without requiring an onsite visit or the typical detailed energy audit. This method would help to address the measurement and evaluation (M&E) issues currently associated with energy efficiency programs.
 HVAC companies could efficiently size HVAC systems based on empirical results, rather than performing Manual J calculations or using rules of thumb. This test could save customers money because Manual J calculations require a detailed energy audit. This test could also save customers capital costs since rules of thumb typically oversize HVAC systems, particularly for residential customers, by a significant margin.
 A company could work with utilities (who have energy efficiency goals) and real estate agents (who interact with customers when the home is purchased) to identify and target inefficient homes that could be upgraded at the time between sale and occupancy. This approach greatly reduces the cost of the analysis, and the unoccupied home offers an ideal time to perform upgrades without any inconvenience to the homeowners.
 Goals could be set for consumers to reduce a building'"'"'s heating needs to the point where a new HVAC system is avoided altogether, thus saving the consumer a significant capital cost.
Application to Building Performance Studies
A building'"'"'s performance can be fully characterized in terms of four parameters using a suite of shortduration (several day) tests. The four parameters include thermal conductivity, that is, heat losses, thermal mass, effective window area, and HVAC system efficiency. An assumption is made about average indoor building temperature. These (or the previous) characterizations could be used as follows:
 Utilities could identify potential targets for building shell investments using only utility billing data. Buildings could be identified in a twostep process. First, thermal conductivity can be calculated using only electric and natural gas billing data, making the required assumptions presented supra. Buildings that pass this screen could be the focus of a followup, onsite, shortduration test.
 The results from this test suite can be used to generate detailed time series fuel consumption data (either natural gas or electricity). This data can be combined with an economic analysis tool, such as the PowerBill service (http://www.cleanpower.com/products/powerbill/), a software service offered by Clean Power Research, L.L.C., Napa, Calif., to calculate the economic impacts of the changes using detailed, timeofuse rate structures.
Application to “Smart” Thermostat Users
The results from the shortduration tests, as described supra with reference to
While the invention has been particularly shown and described as referenced to the embodiments thereof, those skilled in the art will understand that the foregoing and other changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope.