Thursday, January 14, 2010

Measurement & Verification System

I am over due in updating progress regarding how we are doing regarding our efforts to achieve net zero. Presently we are nearly complete with the installation of a measurement and verification system, this will be a tremendous help in identifying how the project is performing.

We have attempted to monitor the temperatures in the large tank, domestic hot water and the sand and taconite solar thermal areas via hand recording these temperatures as well as the room set temperatures, outside temps, and the amount of wood burned.

Between December 16 and December 26 the home was without heat, due to a boiler malfunction and the system unknowingly being shut down. When I arrived on December 26, 2009 the temperature in the home was 51 degrees. This was 10 days with subzero temps and cloudy days. Note to self that heat from the storage area below the slab of the home as well as the Passive House performance is keeping freezing temperatures from occurring regardless if there is a mechanical system there to provide heat.

For those interested in details, the measurement and verification system that we are using to data log how the building is performing is as follows:

We are using a “Nigara” controls system, where all data is being sent so that it can send the information to us via a web site. The following is a list of the items we will be measuring:

BTU’s needed to heat the home
BTU’s collected from the solar heat evacuating tube collection system
Ground source heat used to preheat incoming ventilation air.
HRV defrost mode
When the HRV is in operation (blowers)
Taconite solar storage
Sand solar storage
Large Water Tank Storage
If the boiler is operating
PV being put into the grid
PV being used from the grid
Room temperatures in four areas
Outdoor temperatures
Domestic Hot Water Temperatures
Pump operations status
Wet floor conditions

I will post a link to the website once we get it operational this week. Bill Gausman of Peoples Electric is providing an amazing system for us to use.