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An Investigation of the Energy Options for Renovating East Halls at Pennsylvania State University University Park

EGEE 494 Fall 2013

Author: Yun Liang Advisor: Andy Lau

Pennsylvania State University University Park

College of Earth and Mineral Science John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering

Abstract: Objective The objective of this project is to investigate energy options for renovating a residence hall on campus in Pennsylvania State University University Park, to reduce energy resource consumption and related environmental damages. Methodology There were five main steps in this research project. Data was gathered first, including meteorological information (daily temperature and degree days in a calendar year), and electricity consumption, steam consumption and building statistics. Then, I analyzed and predicted energy use by function, to find out how they were consumed. To test the reliability of predictions, I compared the predictions with real data that I found in building energy report. Based on energy use analysis, possible energy solutions were listed and applied. Finally, I calculated energy savings from each energy option, and evaluated the feasibility. Conclusion Implementing energy audit and evaluating the feasibility of possible energy options is a great practice to solve energy problems. A final analysis of energy options for renovating residence halls can be an investigation for further study.



Introduction In 2012, the total energy consumption in United States was about 95 quadrillion BTU, nearly 20 percent of world total primary energy consumption. [1] Industry accounted for 33% of the U.S. primary energy consumption, transportation had its 28%, and buildings had its 39%, with 21% from residential buildings, and 18% from commercial buildings. [2] In addition, buildings account for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 30 percent of raw materials use, 30 percent of waste out put (which is 136 million tons annually), and 12 percent of potable water consumption. [3] From the numbers shown above, it is obvious that buildings have a great impact on our energy use and natural environment. With the fossil fuel gradually dried up and several severe environment issues raised recently, including global warming, not only engineers but all other professionals, start to think about a new way to build our world. To keep our environment clean and healthy, green buildings become much favored. A good design of buildings means it requires less energy use, has clean energy substitution, becomes more environmentally friendly and increases the efficiency of energy use. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which is developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is a green building tool that addresses the entire building lifecycle recognizing best-in-class building strategies. [4] It is not a design process of green buildings, but a way to recognize good designs, with its rating system of measuring the overall quality of buildings, for example heat island reduction and storm water quantity control. Generally, based on their own report, LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate, reducing energy and water bills by as much as 40%. [4] At the Pennsylvania State University University Park campus, there are eleven LEED projects currently, including three gold certification, as well as four future projects under construction. However, along with the 158 years of Penn States history, most buildings at University Park campus have a long history as well. The average age of buildings at the University

EGEE 494 FINAL PAPER 3 Park campus is 33.46 years. [5] According to Buildings Energy Data Book, buildings built between 2000 and 2005 used 14% less energy per square foot than buildings built in the 1980s and 40% less energy per square foot than buildings built before 1950. [6] At Pennsylvania State University University Park, there are seven residence areas East Halls, North Halls, Pollock Halls, South Halls, West Halls, Eastview Terrace and Nittany Apartments & Suites. As for my research subject, East Halls is the largest residence hall complex on campus, with the 14 coed residence halls. [7] Every building in East Halls was built in 1960s. Due to the old style of construction and material with low thermal resistance, the energy efficiency of these buildings is very low. Therefore, in my research project, a detailed energy audit and possible energy options to reduce energy resource consumption would be discussed thoroughly.



Data Analysis a) General Information and Background

Based on the building energy reports, provided by office of physical plant (OPP), at Pennsylvania State University University Park, the electricity consumption was 290 GWh, and heat consumption was 3,000 MMBTU, in 2012. Residence halls in PSU account for about 15% of total electricity consumption, including a share of 2.82% for East Halls, and 12% of total heat consumption, including a share of 2.68% for East Halls.

Electricity Penn State University East Residence Halls 290 GWh 8.2 GWh 15.1 kWh/ft2

Steam and Natural Gas 3,000 MMBTU 80.5 MMBTU 148 kBTU/ft2

Table 1: Building Energy Consumption

To make a comparison of energy consumptions of buildings, instead of using the total energy consumptions, energy use intensity would be a better tool. Based on research, EPA conducted on more than 100 thousands buildings benchmarking. [8] Figure 1 below (in the next page) shows energy use intensity values for some typical buildings. Energy use intensity (EUI) varies widely among buildings. One of the key contributing factors is building activity. For example, supermarkets have relatively high EUI due to refrigeration loads, while warehouses, with less equipment and fewer workers, tend to have low EUI. As for my research subject, residence hall and dormitory have an average value of energy use intensity about 150 kBtu/ft2.


Figure 1: Energy Use Intensity (EUI)

From the data obtained from OPP, energy use intensity shown in Table 1 was easily calculated by, EUI = Energy Consumption / Areas where area of East Residence Halls equals to 543242 ft2. The total energy use intensity of East Residence Halls is the sum of electricity use intensity and heat use intensity: EUItotal = EUIelectricity + EUIheat = 15.1 kWh/ft2 + 148 kBTU/ft2 = 199.5 kBTU/ft2 Comparing to the average value of energy use intensity of residence hall and dormitory (150 kBtu/ft2), the energy use intensity of East Halls is about 33% higher. Energy options for renovating East Halls are highly recommended through my analysis.

EGEE 494 FINAL PAPER To introduce possible energy options, how energy is consumed in a residential site

should be classified first. For example, according to Buildings Energy Data Book, shown in Figure 2, space heating and cooling which combined account for 54% of site energy consumption drive residential energy demand. Thus, it would be highly recommended to brainstorm potential energy options to reduce energy consumption for space heating and cooling.

Figure 2: Residential Site Energy Consumption By End Use

EGEE 494 FINAL PAPER 7 Energy Use Steam


To understand energy use of steam, the fundamental of thermodynamics should be discussed. The equation (Equation 1) below demonstrates the basic theory of heat transfer:

U factor the rate at which a window, door or skylight conducts non-solar heat flow. A the area of the conducts. Tin the room temperature inside. Tout the ambient temperature outside.

The most important variable in this equation is the U-factor. It indicates the insulating property of materials. While the U-factor is used to express the insulation value of windows, R-value is used for insulation in most other parts of the building envelope (walls, floors and roofs). To compare R-value and U-factor, R-value equals to 1 divided by the U-factor number, E.g.: a 0.25 U-factor equals a 1/0.25 = 4 R-value. [9] The lower the U-factor, the higher the R-value, the greater a windows resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating properties. Therefore, different materials and structures have different U-factors, which determine how much heat can be transferred. The temperature difference between each side of the conducts is another important variable that, however, we cannot change artificially. It directly affects how much heat will be used. The larger the difference of temperature, the higher the value of heat transfer. Figure 2 in the next page demonstrate the monthly steam consumption in a 20 month period.


Monthly Steam Consumption of East Halls

20,000 Steam Consumption (klb) 15,000 10,000 5,000 0

Figure 3: Monthly Steam Consumption of East Halls

At Penn State University, steam is the primary source for heating, including space heating and water heating. Therefore, steam consumption can be a measure of how much heat is consumed in a given period of time. Figure 3 shows the trend line of steam consumption in 2012 and first eight months in 2013. It reached its maximum value in February, and dropped to its minimum value in August. The curve in the figure clearly indicates the steam use is inversely proportional to the ambient temperature. To maintain a comfortable temperature inside buildings in winter, when ambient temperature is low, a large amount of heat is required. On the contrary, in summer, when heating is not required generally, the steam consumption is low, mainly used to provide hot water.


Dependence of East Halls Steam Use on Ambient Temperature in 2012

16,000 Steam Consumption (klb) 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 0 20 40 Temperature (F) 60 80

Figure 4: Dependence of East Halls Steam Use on Ambient Temperature in 2012

As supplementary information to Figure 3, Figure 4 shows the relationship between monthly steam consumption of East Halls and the average temperature in that month. In general, the lower the ambient temperature, the greater the steam consumption. However, problems such as overheating would occur in a warm day of a regular heating season, which leads to a nonlinear tread line of these plots.

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Heat Losses

Typically, most of heat delivered into the residence hall is used to maintain a constant room temperature in winter, and a small portion of it, about 20%, is used for water heating. There are two reasons explaining that why room temperature cannot keep constant if no additional heat is delivered. The first one is that the temperature difference between the room and the ambient environment causes heat losses through heat conduction; the second reason is air exchange due to air leakage. In Figure 5 shown below, it shows the typical heat losses in a conventional house. Comparing this with my research subject, residence halls are taller than conventional houses in general, which means that residence halls have larger areas of walls and windows, but have less portion of heat losses through basements and roofs.

Figure 5: Typical Heat Losses Conventional House

EGEE 494 FINAL PAPER 1 1 To calculate heat losses, the following formula derived from Equation 1, was used: (Equation 2)

Take McKean Hall, one of East Residence Halls, as an example in the following calculation. Based on the information I collected from building statistics provided by OPP, and material properties found in Ashrae 2001 fundamentals handbook, the value of required properties are listed in Table 2 below: ROOFTOP Area (ft2) R value Thermal Resistance (hr*ft2*oF/BTU) Heat Losses Rate per DD (MBTU/DD) Total Heat Losses (MMBTU) 7,200 25.2 WINDOW 4,500 0.79 WALL 24,000 4.21

6.85 39.3

137 787

137 786

Table 2: Heat Losses for McKean Hall In Table 2, degree days were used to calculate the heat losses for a long period. Degree days are essentially a simplified representation of outside air temperature data. Heating degree days or HDD, are a measure of how much in degrees and for how long in days outside air temperature was lower than a specific base temperature, which was set to be 65 oF in my research project. Therefore, according to BizEE Software based on temperature data from Weather Underground, the number of HDD was 5738.9, during the heating season of State College in 2012 (from Oct to Apr, 212 days). Then the total heat losses were obtained, which was 1,611 MMBTU in 2012, accounting for 47% of steam consumption.

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Air Leakage

Another way a home can gain or lose it tempered air (air you paid to heat or cool) is through infiltration or house leakage. House leakage or infiltration can enter your home in many ways. A major portion of these leaks are found in these popular problem areas: walls, can lights, electrical outlets, windows, doors, plumbing penetrations. [10]

Figure 6: Air Leakage To calculate heat transfer through air leakage, the following equation was used: (Equation 3)

ACH Air Changes per Hour V Volume Density of Air CP Heat Capacity of Air

EGEE 494 FINAL PAPER 1 3 Air changes per hour (ACH) is a measure of how many times the air within a defined space (normally a room) is replaced. As a recommended value of ACH, 2 was used in my calculation for air leakage in a dormitory. According to building statistics provided by OPP, the total volume of McKean Hall was 235,200 ft3. Similarly, with the value of density of air (0.075 lb/ft3), the value of heat capacity of air (0.24 btu/(lb oF)) and the value of degree days, I obtained the total heat transfer of air leakage, which was 1,166 MMBTU, accounting for 34% of steam use.

Overall, based on the calculations from two sections above, due to heat losses and air leakage, in McKean Hall, over a period of heating season of State College in 2012, 2,777 MMBTU were consumed for space heating, with a share of 81% in total steam consumption during that time.

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Energy Use Electricity

Electricity is another part of energy consumption in Penn State University. In a residential site, it is generally consumed for space cooling, lighting, electronics, refrigeration, computers, and etc.

Monthly Electricity Consumption in MWh of East Halls

Electricity Consumption (MWh) 1,600 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0

Figure 7: Monthly Electricity Consumption of East Halls In Figure 7, the largest electricity consumptions occurred in Octobers, Novembers, Februarys and Aprils, during the past 20 months; and the lowest value dropped in June 2012. Although there should be a large amount of electricity consumed for space cooling in the summer time, the student occupancy remained at a low percentage due to summer break when some of residence halls were temporarily closed, therefore the total electricity consumption was very low at that time. As a conclusion, the student occupancy has a great influence on electricity consumption in Penn State University.

EGEE 494 FINAL PAPER 1 5 After doing surveys about students occupancy and their appliance usage in residence halls, estimated electricity consumption in students dormitories and electricity consumption by end use were made and shown below.

Daily Electricity Consumption in Students' Dorm (kWh)

140 Electricity Consumption for each 30 minutes period 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00

Figure 8: Daily Electricity Consumption in Students Dorm Clock Radio 5% Laptop 10%

TV 8%

Ceiling Lighting 19% Desk Lamp 11%

Floor Lamp 11%

Reading Lamp 2%

Refrigerator & Microwave 33%

Phone Charger 1%

Figure 9: Daily Electricity Consumption by End Use in Students Dorm

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As for Figure 8, it shows that electricity consumption in students dorm is highly dependent on students occupancy. Based on the survey I did, many students living in East Halls were freshmen, and most of them had 8 a.m. classes in their first semester. So, electricity consumption is very low at the beginning of the day. It gradually rises because students are coming back hour-by-hour. More and more electricity is consumed for using computer and other appliances. As the Sun sets everyday, another huge part of electricity is consumed for lighting, which causes the peak-hour electricity consumption in a day. Unlike Figure 8, Figure 9 indicates the percentage of energy consumption by function, though it was made based on the same survey. Through some simple calculations using the values obtained from the survey, I found that lighting accounted for 43% of daily electricity consumption in students dorm. In addition, with some further research, it shown that lighting accounted for 26.44% of electricity use in the entire residence hall. So, other than trying to reduce electricity consumption of home appliances, I would like to raise some solutions to reduce the electricity consumption of lighting.



Energy Options

After analyzing all the data in the previous section, I had a comprehensive overview of energy consumption in East Halls. To reduce energy use, each energy option would be discussed in the following section.


Heat Saving Options

As I have concluded in the analysis of heat use, 47% of steam was consumed to recover the energy differential due to heat losses. Therefore, U-factor is the key in this energy saving calculation. Two possible solutions are listed below: i. ii. Exterior Wall Insulation Window Selection

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Figure 10: Exterior Wall Insulation Insulation level is specified by R-value. R-value is a measure of insulations ability to resist heat raveling through it. The higher the R-value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. According to the recommended levels of insulation provided by Energy Star, R-value should be as much as 38 hr*ft2*oF/BTU, in State College. Therefore, coating walls with a certain level of exterior wall insulation would be a great solution to meet the requirement of R-value. In addition, window selection was another possible option in my consideration. According to Ashrae 2001 fundamentals handbook, the U-factors of window with double pane and window with triple could be found. Then, the value of thermal resistance was calculated, which was 1.818 hr*ft2*oF/BTU for window with double pane, and 2.5 hr*ft2*oF/BTU for window with triple pane.


WALL W/ COATING 2,079 MMBTU (75%) 1,633 MMBTU (59%) 1,540 MMBTU (55%)

Table 3: Results of Heat Saving Options After doing some similar calculations of heat losses, the values of heat saving according to different energy options were summarized in the table above. (Table 3)



Electricity Saving Options

To reduce the electricity consumption, there are a lot of methods to achieve this goal. The first one in my consideration was using high efficiency products, for example, products with Energy Star certified. The value of energy saving can be estimated from the technical information of the Energy Star products. Next, building sensors in rooms could reduce the electricity consumption of lighting. Three kinds of sensors were considered: motion sensor, occupancy sensor. Motion detectors respond to walking movements. They perceive these in the selected detection zone and respond to them. On the other hand, occupancy detectors respond to the tiniest movements using extremely high resolution, precision sensor technology. Therefore, in students dormitories, occupancy sensor would be preferred. With a combination of first two energy saving options, the reduction in electricity of lighting were calculated and summarized in Table 4, based on the analysis in the previous section. The annual electricity output for lighting could be reduced to 2,576 MWh. TOTAL PRIVATE LIGHTING 1,853 (100%) 1,420 (76.64%) 774 (41.8%) 1,330 (71.8%) TOTAL PUBLIC LIGHTING 6,753 (100%) 3,714 (55%) 2,016 (29.86%) 3,428 (50.77%)


TOTAL LIGHT 8,607 (100%) 5,135 (59.66%) 2,791 (32.4%) 4,759 (55.30%)

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715 (38.59%)

1,861 (27.56%)

2,576 (29.93%)

Table 4: Electricity Saving Options Lighting Sensor Photovoltaic is my third energy option to reduce electricity use. Installing a solar PV system could be a supplementary method to provide electricity. Therefore, it was considered as an alternative to reduce electricity consumption from the grid. The electricity generation from a solar PV system on the rooftop of McKean Hall was estimated by NRELs System Advisor Model (SAM), based on the meteorological information and available areas obtained from building statistics. By the simulation, a system, with a cost of $50,000 can generate about 60 MWh annually, which accounts for 16% of total electricity consumption. The figure below shows the monthly electricity generation, comparing to the monthly electricity consumption.

Net AC Output vs. Monthly Consumption

60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Net AC Output (kWh) Monthly Electricity Consumption (kWh)

Figure 11: A Comparison of Monthly Electricity Production and Consumption



Economic Analysis Based on the results of energy savings from different energy options, Table 5 is a

summary of economic analysis of top 5 options in my selection. It was calculated based on the price of the electricity, the price of fuel, and other installation cost.


Annual Energy Savings $4,307 $4,686 $390 $2,200 $4,282


Table 5: Annual Energy Savings from Each Energy Option

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Buildings account for a large portion of energy consumption in the world. By implementing energy audits and raising energy options, a possible plan of building renovation could be drafted, and based on my investigation, as much as 50% of original energy consumption may be reduced. The ultimate purpose of reducing energy resource consumption is not only to reduce our energy cost, but also to save the precious resource for our next generation. From the analysis we know that buildings consume a large percentage of energy in the world, therefore it could also be a potential area to reduce a large amount of energy. With the development of technology and the awareness of energy crisis, there are more and more solutions to our energy challenge that we are facing today.




Andy Lau, College of Engineering Sharon Miller, College of Energy and Mineral Engineering Jeffrey Brownson, College of Energy and Mineral Engineering Paul Reskin, Office of Physical Plant Amy Frantz, Office of Physical Plant Kathy Poissant, Office of Physical Plant Garvin Jennifer, Housing Assignment Office Aaron Knight, East Halls Housing

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U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) (April 30, 2013). International Energy Statistics: Total Primary Energy Consumption. Retrieved from:

[2] U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) (2008). 2008 Buildings Energy Data Book, Section 1.1.1. [3] U.S. Environemtnal Protection Agency (Sep 10, 2013). EPA Green Buildings. Retrieved from: [4] U.S. Green Building Council (Jul 1, 2012). Green Building Facts. Retrieved from: [5] Pennsylvania State University Sustainability Institute (2013). University Park Building Statistics. Retrieved from: ts [6] U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) (2008). 2008 Buildings Energy Data Book, Section 2.1.5. [7] Pennsylvania State University (July 31, 2013). University Park Housing: Residence Areas. Retrieved from: [8] Energy Star Portfolio Manager (Oct 2012). DataTrends: Energy Use Benchmarking. Retrieved from: 02.pdf?95cb-5095 [9] Efficient Windows Collaborative (2013). Measuring Performance : U-Factor. Retrieved from:


[10] SJS Mechanical Heating & Cooling (Apr 3, 2011). Infiltration. Retrieved from: