Episode 681: Lisa White - Grid-Building Interaction, Microgrids and Passive Building

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Episode 681: Lisa White - Grid-Building Interaction, Microgrids and Passive Building

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Show Resources: Show Discussion:

12:09:22 From John Ayuba Bassa : Please, what's the meaning of T, S and I? Thank you
12:10:42 From Donald Weekes : Just a guess on the trivia quiz: the Minergie label?
12:24:33 From Tom Phillips, Davis, CA : Thanks for sharing your excellent work! Re: climate adaptation of grid, what are projected needs to deal with hotter climate & worse heat waves plus electrification and population growth? I think NREL and others have developed such estimates. The UK found that their grid capacity would have to grow about 3X or more by mid century or so to meet climate change and population change impacts.
13:05:08 From Tom Phillips, Davis, CA : CA Energy Comm has funded a microgrid program, e.g. tribal facilities. DOD also has done some micrograms plus energy efficiency.
13:05:30 From Radio Joe : thanks Tom
13:10:30 From Tom Phillips, Davis, CA : E conservation also reduced embodied C from PV & batteries, vs. CA Bldg std. See modeling of San Jose CA passive house by Bronwyn Barry.
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Re: Episode 681: Lisa White - Grid-Building Interaction, Microgrids and Passive Building

Post by CliffZ »

Episode 681| November 11, 2022 | 12:00 PM EST

Lisa White
Associate Director Passive House Institute US
Grid-Building Interaction; Microgrids and Passive Building

This week we welcomed Lisa White Associate Director at the Passive House Institute US. She discussed Passive Buildings and how they are durable, healthy, comfortable and sustainable.
Lisa White is the Associate Director and a technical lead for Phius (Passive House Institute US).
Nuggets mined from today's episode:

Hello Lisa please tell our audience a little about Phius and your work with them? Phius is a 501 C3 organization. Phius is focused on making every building support the health of both its occupants and the planet.
Phius trains and certifies professionals, maintains the Phius climate-specific passive building standard, certifies and quality assures passive buildings, certifies high-performance building products and conducts research to advance high-performance building.
The technical staff of Phius set performance metrics on standards and review certification application data.
Unlike point based LEED Certification which more people are familiar with, Phius Certification is pass/fail and is focused on energy, occupant hea;th and the goal of thoughtful net zero design. Phius has 1200 projects completed or in progress which comprise 16 million square feet. Phius is growing exponentially in the US and Canada.
Phius promotes and facilitates policies that provide a deep level of energy efficiency.

How do you define passive? Passive building is a set of design principles for attaining a rigorous level of energy efficiency while also creating comfortable indoor living spaces. These principles can be applied to all buildings, including single-family homes, multifamily apartment buildings, schools, skyscrapers and more.

What is the grid? The Grid is the biggest machine on earth. Currently in the US there are 3 Grid Interconnections: East, West and Texas. The Grids are operated by Independent Service Operators (ISOs). The Grids are not interconnected. Power flows in one direction. Power generation>Transmission/Distribution Customer> Load. Current Grid infrastructure is one way communications, the demand needs to start talking back to the supply.

Share of renewable energy is growing. What are the categories of “renewable” energy? 35% natural gas, 22% coal, 20% nuclear, 14% renewable (non hydro), 7% hydro. The EIA forecasts renewables to be the fastest growing source of electricity generation.

Meeting the daily load? Grid Loads are predictable. Variability is based on space conditioning loads. Baseline power is mostly constrained to constant output. Peak plants rarely operate but must be maintained. The US has 2.5-3 times more generation capacity than is being used annually.

Hourly marginal carbon emissions concept. Delivering power constantly varies in cost.

Typical Simplified Source Energy Accounting. Costs vary due to time of day and the mix of suppliers. Some sources are greener than others. Some Grid regulation bodies exist.

The Grid is Changing. Factors driving change: Electrification, Decarbonization, Decentralization (customers as generators), Digitalization (communication)

Transmission Congestion.
Transmission facilities don’t have sufficient wire capacity to deliver energy.

Zero Impact Zero Grid Resilience Zero Operating Emissions. Factors driving change: Net zero buildings, Electrification Movement, Dispatchable fossil fuels switching to variable renewable resources. DOE Zero Energy Ready Buildings.

Not all kWh used and produced are equal. Net zero uses less energy than it produces.

Net Zero focuses on how much instead of when. Laundry, electrical vehicle charging, preheating/precooling building is scheduled when electricity is less costly.

GEB (Grid-Interactive Efficient Building) Integration of optimal communication and control. Grid tells customer to reduce energy use at peak times. Enable building loads to be smart and responsive to signals

Load shifting and shedding. Passive building enclosures + Addition of thermal storage to the toolkit.

The peak is shifting.
Electrifying heating system in buildings shifts peak from summer to winter.

What are microgrids and how will they help? Multidirectional mesh energy flow among a cluster of buildings rather than unidirectional energy flow.
Keys: Central system manager. Energy demand from buildings with grid enabled loads. Energy generation. Energy storage. Micro grid energy manager/optimization system.
Benefits: Generation closer to load. Less reliance on vulnerable transmission and distribution lines. Resilience when lines down. Reduces stress on grid. Energy independence. May lower costs?

The ripple effects of conservation. 40% energy reduction of passive building ripples through. Conservation= less generation, less storage, and less transmission needed.

Why not more nuclear? Nuclear plants have 40 year life expectancy. Many plants nearing end of life expectancy. Nuclear plants produce steady stream of electricity and cannot respond to spikes.

Lisa’s Final Comment:
Tactics to offset Winter Peak capacity requirements: reduce the load, make the load smart and manage the load manage between buildings.

Z-Man signing off

Trivia Question:
Name the voluntary standard used in Switzerland for reducing a property’s eco footprint?

Answered by: Don Weekes, Ottawa Canada
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Re: Episode 681: Lisa White - Grid-Building Interaction, Microgrids and Passive Building

Post by RadioJoe »

Wow that was a great show. This one is not our normal IAQ show. We looked more closely at the BIG picture and how passive buildings can fit into that big picture. Not all Net-Zero projects are the same and some will have more impact than others. By emphasizing passive techniques on the micro level we can affect the macro level (climate change) but our impact could be much bigger if we look at the entire system and stay out of silos. Lisa is not saying all her ideas are perfect but that we need to see more two way communication between the grid and our buildings. That way we learn from each other (our buildings can also teach the grid) and don't make mistakes that dampen down the affects of our efforts. A thought provoking show.
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