Tool Evaluation - EMIT: Energy Model Input Translator

1. Introduction

Thank you for assisting RMI in reaching our goals.

RMI is initiating a process to encourage the retrofit of the entire US commercial building stock to use, on average, 50 percent less energy by 2050*. Many barriers exist that inhibit the achievement of this goal. The Software Tools project within this initiative will address the barriers specifically related to energy and financial modeling tools:

1. Barrier #1: Time consuming and non-standardized audits / analyses process and tools stall setting ambitious retrofit goals, in addition to driving up costs.

2. Barrier #2: There are a limited number of capable energy analysts; quality capacity must be increased dramatically over the next few years to drive the energy reductions needed in the building sector.

3. Barrier #3: It is difficult to develop an effective business case for deep retrofits with currently available tools.

As part of the effort to address these barriers, RMI is creating a number of tools, templates, and additional materials. You have downloaded our Energy Model Input Translator (EMIT) and your feedback on its usefulness and performance is valuable to us.

This Excel-based tool will help energy modelers quickly and consistently translate manufacturer data and code requirements into inputs for an energy model. This tool features:

-- Calculations for determining fan power allowance that are consistent with methods outlined in ASHRAE 90.1-2007 Appendix G.

-- Conversions for SEER, EER, COP, and HSPF into cooling equipment energy input ratio values, which excludes fan power.

-- A look-up function for occupancy, lighting and plug load values, by space type, according to ASHRAE Standards.

-- Functions to translate cooling tower and domestic hot water heater specifications into typical energy model inputs.

-- An automatic energy model schedule generator.

Please evaluate this tool in terms of:

-- reducing time and effort required for these analyses, and

-- increasing the quality of energy modeling.

More at:

*There is 80 billion square feet of commercial space in the U.S. that needs to be retired or retrofitted to reach climate goals. Approaches to reducing energy use in commercial buildings exist, however they are inadequate in both depth (the amount of savings achieved) and scale (the amount of square footage affected). At current trend and performance levels, fossil fuel use in commercial buildings will increase, not decrease by 2050. New, more comprehensive, and more widely adopted approaches are required immediately. To fulfill this need, RMI will pursue a 3-5 year initiative focused on commercial building retrofits, the RetroFit Initiative. The RetroFit Initiative is focused on answering the question “How do we make whole-building commercial retrofits desirable, cost-effective, fast, and scalable?”

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