Onset and NorthWrite collaborate on energy monitoring solution
April 27, 2011
Onset, a supplier of data loggers, has partnered with NorthWrite Inc. to deliver an integrated, real-time energy monitoring solution for use in a monitoring-based building commissioning program funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The program, which they said aims to test NorthWrite’s innovative energy efficiency service for buildings, involves tracking whole-building electric use in 20 commercial buildings throughout New York.
By Alyssa Dalton
The project, which focuses on small and medium-sized commercial buildings, combines Onset’s web-based Hobo U30 energy monitoring systems with NorthWrite’s Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx), a turnkey energy information management service that leverages the company’s Energy Expert energy analysis dashboard software. With NorthWrite MBCx, building energy performance data can be quickly and easily gathered, analyzed and displayed, and used to suggest efficiency improvements, they said.
Jim Erickson, NorthWrite’s implementation manager for the project, said that the Onset monitoring hardware is especially suited for the New York pilot because it is rugged, easy to install, expandable, and can be used remotely via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or cellular connection.
“We need to get everything on site and set up quickly without a lot of wrangling or hand holding. We can do that with the Hobo U30,” he added.
The monitoring systems feed the information into the NorthWrite MBCx software, where it is modeled with other inputs, such as utility charges, weather and building characteristics.
An analyst studies the result and provides the building owner or manager with recommendations on low-cost or no-cost energy upgrades that will result in annual savings of 10 to 15%, said NorthWrite. It also connects building managers with NYSERDA-approved contractors that can make the building improvements.
“What we are providing with NorthWrite MBCx is a service,” said Terrence McManus, NorthWrite’s chief marketing officer. “This turn-key service makes it easier for them to move forward with energy efficiency measures that provide a quick pay back.”
The solution also engages tenants by giving them a first-hand view of how the building performs day-to-day through a 32-inch flat screen kiosk monitor that NorthWrite places in a public space.
“When occupants see the easy-to-read data, they are inspired to be more conservative in their energy use,” it explained.
Crosby Brownlie Inc.’s 53,000-sf facility in Rochester, N.Y., is one building participating in the pilot program. Peter Brennan, vice president for HVAC, Refrigeration and Energy Services, said he was surprised when NorthWrite MBCx uncovered room for improvement in the “already efficient” building.
“I thought they would have a hard time finding anything in the building. They pointed out half a dozen or more individual items that we could still address,” he said. “I was impressed with that. Their program gets down to the pennies of opportunities rather than just the low hanging fruit.”