Encycle Blog

Dear Advisor: Advice on Your Most Pressing HVAC Efficiency Questions

Posted by Robert Chiste on Sep 7, 2017 9:01:00 AM

Dear Advisor: I just joined an HVAC engineering design firm, and my boss told me that I only have one week to produce a new HVAC design for our key customer’s flagship building. He also said the design needs to meet the highest attainable sustainability goals because it will be a shining, showcase example of the best-of-the-best for the entire organization.  Help!!!  I’m petrified.

Dear Petrified:  Stay calm and never give up, my friend. Just study what makes a championship basketball team — and follow the same rules.

Dear Advisor: Huh?  

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Topics: Biomimicry, HVAC Control, building energy management, building management system, building energy efficiency

Biomimicry: Changing HVAC Energy Consumption (and  thousands of other things)

Posted by Ginger Juhl on Jun 22, 2017 1:56:24 PM

We talk a lot at Encycle about how the communication among honey bees inspired our Swarm Logic HVAC energy management software. This is just one example of biomimicry – the art and science of mimicking the elegant simplicity of mother nature to solve complex human problems. There are literally thousands of examples of biomimicry in action.

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Topics: Biomimicry, Energy Efficiency, HVAC efficiency, HVAC Control

Enabling Intelligent HVAC Control by Making Rooftop Units Work Together

Posted by Ginger Juhl on May 17, 2017 8:25:00 AM

INTRODUCTION:

Rooftop HVAC units are almost always one of the biggest energy consuming devices for any commercial and industrial (C&I) buildings.  In fact, C&I buildings consume more than a third of the energy used in first-world countries, and HVAC units account for almost half of this energy. They are also one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

The fact is that rooftop units – or RTUs – hold enormous potential for dramatic reductions in both energy costs and carbon emissions. This potential has gone largely unrealized, however, because RTUs have long been one of the least intelligent of a building’s energy-consuming devices.  Yes, there are smart thermostats and building management systems that definitely help, but only to a point because even with these energy efficiency tools in place, RTUs function in isolation, cycling on and off with no knowledge of how and when other units are operating.  As a result, RTUs have remained largely untapped as an opportunity for smarter energy management and the accompanying energy savings. 


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Topics: Biomimicry, HVAC efficiency, HVAC Control, building energy management, Rooftop Units, RTUs

Fortune Magazine Says 2017 is the Year of Biomimicry. We Say “What Took Us So Long?”

Posted by Robert Chiste on May 2, 2017 7:59:11 AM

IT'S INGENIOUS!

As I was reading Fortune magazine’s “5 Trends to Ride 2017,” one of the featured trends quickly caught my eye: biomimicry. With a subtitle “Mimic Mother Nature,” the piece persuasively explained, “Nature has already solved many problems for us; why not take advantage of that?” The article goes on to point out that biomimicry is now going mainstream, with forward-looking companies releasing ingenious products that mirror innovations found in nature. The author talks about sunscreen that replicates hippos’ protective sweat (sans the odor) and hospital wall coatings that emulate sharkskin’s antimicrobial properties. Ingenious indeed!

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Topics: Biomimicry