Current climate control technology in a building is not as advanced as it could be, and is wasting thousands of dollars a year because of it.
If you think about climate control in a modern automobile, you can set your desired temperature, and the system takes care of the rest. Based on solar load, air quality, heating and cooling demand, and ambient temperature, the climate control system in a Lexus LS460, for example, will adjust fan speed, temperature output, air conditioning operation, even fresh or recirculated air. A system like this keeps you comfortable, but is also highly efficient and requires very little user interaction.
Building climate control has a long way to go. Smart thermostats have helped to improve efficiency drastically, but more can be done. Ever think about the fact that building ventilation fans have just one speed, on and off? According to research done by the Department of Energy [DOE] Pacific Northwest National Laboratory [PNNL], a variable-speed ventilation fan could save as much as $100,000 annually in a 500,000sq ft building, depending on location.
By making small adjustments to fan speed, in conjunction with room occupancy sensors, such as those that save money by shutting off lights in unused rooms, a smarter building climate control system helps to keep everyone comfortable and save money at the same time. In one city in the study, Baltimore, Maryland, the prototypical building calculations showed a $100,000 per annum savings. This translates to about 954MWh, or enough power to light up over 80 homes for an entire year!