Bonneville Power Administration focuses our research efforts on emerging technologies with the greatest potential return on investment for the Pacific Northwest.
We conduct research and demonstration projects to understand readiness, availability, energy efficiency, and other
criteria of our Energy Efficiency programs. Our approach relies on a variety of methods, including surveys, laboratory testing, field monitoring, product demonstration, market studies and other strategic planning techniques.
E3T research is guided by several focus areas. These are listed below, with links to reports, publications and overviews of projects.
Advanced Heat Pumps
Space heating drives peak winter electricity demand in the Pacific Northwest. Bonneville Power Administration is looking for the next generation of heat pumps to serve this heating demand more efficiently. These products use inverter-driven compressors, ductless heat transfer to indoor spaces, controls based on occupancy or other factors, or system design that enables simultaneous heating and cooling.
Improved Rooftop Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems
Nearly one-third of commercial buildings in the Pacific Northwest are heated and cooled by packaged, rooftop HVAC equipment. Because this type of equipment serves much of the heating and ventilation load in our region, Bonneville Power Administration is investigating more efficient, new products and retrofit measures for packaged, rooftop equipment that is currently in use.
Lighting accounts for 20 percent of all electricity use in the United States. Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is revealing potential for high-efficiency lighting with low maintenance costs in a variety of applications. We are looking for high-quality products, better fixture designs and new areas of innovation that support uses of this technology.
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Systems
Data centers and IT operations are significant consumers of energy throughout the region. DCIM systems which monitor equipment status and performance, can be leveraged to provide actionable information for utility energy efficiency incentives.
Innovative controls and strategies may improve efficiency by responding dynamically to a user's need for lighting. When combined with high-efficiency lamps, energy savings are even greater. Bonneville Power Administration is pursuing adaptive lighting technologies, including luminaire design and system controls that respond to environmental feedback.
Other Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
Energy-intensive electric resistance heating is common throughout the Pacific Northwest. Through better design, innovative components, and improved control strategies, our research is guided by a whole-systems approach to improving the efficiency of electricity use for heating, cooling and ventilating a building.
Technology Innovation Research Reports
Technology Innovation (TI) annually funds energy efficiency research; results from this research include the following project assessment reports and resources:
Variable Refrigerant Flow Heat Recovery (VRF-HR) system lab testing (TI Project #216)
Laboratory tests, performed by EPRI in a 5 climate-chamber test facility on 4 VRF-HR systems, produced performance maps for inclusion in building energy simulation models.
- Test Plan
- TI Summit PowerPoints: 1 2
- VC HP PowerPoint
ASHRAE Paper: Multi-Zone Test Facility for Variable Capacity Multi-Split Heat Pump Systems;
Upadhye, Harshal; Domitrovic, Ron (2012); 2012 ASHRAE Transactions 2012 Summer Conference San Antonio.
Laboratory Test of Self-correcting Controls for Air Handling Units (TI Project)
Laboratory tests performed by PNNL showed that automatic self-correction of faults can be successfully performed.
Field Evaluation of High Performance Windows for Manufactured Housing (TI Project #182)
BPA worked with
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to design and evaluate high performance, energy efficient windows for manufactured homes. This field evaluation monitored the energy performance to demonstrate the cost effectiveness and improve the overall efficiency of manufactured homes in the Northwest to help BPA meet its regional energy saving goals.
- TIP 182: Project Brief