•   almost 12 years ago

Automated Energy Audit

Although I lack the technical expertise to pull it off. It would be awesome if someone developed an app that could automate a ASHRAE Level 1 Energy Audit. The app would start off with a Level 0 audit. All the app would have to do is ask what kind of facility it building is, pull the annual energy consumption (gas and electric), and get the square footage (perhaps from Zillow). That would be enough to benchmark the facility and gage its potential for energy savings. Then the app could guide the user through a Level 1 audit. Just count the lights and their types, classify the HVAC system (this will have to be simplified for a consumer, maybe pull efficiency data from the CEE/AHRI directory), and add any major plug loads (refrigerators). We would also have to gather the building construction type, and the type and quantity of windows. Now the real beauty of such an app would be if it could used this data in a NREL model (maybe BEopt) to make a building model using the building location, weather data, and the info from the Level 1 audit. If the app could then optimize key parameters (internal loads, R values, HVAC system efficiency) to match the utility data as closely as possible. Using this data, the app could show the real potential of certain energy conservation measures (refrigerator replacement, HVAC equipment replacement, ext.) This would enable consumers to perform their own audits up to a Level 1. They would normally have to pay an energy engineer (like me) a lot of money to compile this. This could really open the door for people to know how their energy use compares with the norm, what is driving their energy use, what they can do to decrease their energy use, and maybe even about what it would cost and a simple payback and/or a return on investment. As a follow-on, the app could provide continuous monitoring. If the energy use starts to deviate from the model from +15% it pushes out a notification. Now we are talking about a service that is out of grasps for most consumers.

Wow! That would be quite an app. I can see how it could work, unfortunately I lack the expertise to put the pieces together in an automatic way. Good luck to anyone willing to give this a shot!


  •   •   almost 12 years ago

    I am also an auditor and have often thought "there could be app for this". I envisioned it pretty much the same as Paul.

    For HVAC and various other equipment you could use the bar code scanner app to get make / model # (may work to get info out of AHRI) - I've used this trick for light fixtures.

    Also could you could use the camera to get dimensions of windows / walls etc. using a reference object. (these apps already exists).

  •   •   almost 12 years ago

    I am actually working on a SmartPhone App to do exactely what you are suggesting. Using physical dimentions, window sizes and types and actual energy consumption data you can closely aproximate what an onsite auditor would do. Then with a bit of math you can put some budget numbers together to value what a likely Energy Reduction Measure would be worth. Lee

  •   •   almost 12 years ago

    Awesome Lee!

    If you would like to collaborate send me an email.

    paul.wassink at gmail.com

    I could help out with the energy modeling and calculating the savings/costs of energy reduction measures.


  •   •   almost 12 years ago

    Hi Lee,

    I am an app developer looking for ideas for an app. Your post looks like it would be a good place to start. If you are interested in collaborating, you can contact me at nanil.mohan@gmail.com.


Comments are closed.