Technical

Residential Energy Feedback

Image credit: Sense, a home energy monitoring system.

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Optimizing Solar PV Systems

Have you ever wondered how solar panels capture energy from the sun to produce electricity? Or perhaps you want to learn how to get the most power output of your own PV array? Read on to learn how solar panels produce electricity, or if you are simply interested in learning how to optimize your solar system skip down to that section.

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Heat Pumps for Space Heating in Cold Climates: Costs + Performance

I’ve lived in frigid climates that have four distinct seasons my whole life. These places, like my hometown of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, and my college town of Bozeman, Montana, have winter daily average temperatures in the range of 10-30 degrees F, and are certainly what you would call “heating dominated climates.” Air conditioning is often not needed at all. These cold climates deserve special considerations when selecting modern heating systems.

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COVID-19 HVAC System Recommendations

Image: Beyond Efficiency schematic mechanical design for new office building with direct outside air system (DOAS)

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Ensuring Central HPWH System Success

Central heat pump water heating (HPWH) systems are the cutting edge in all-electric multifamily buildings in California. These systems promise to significantly lower carbon emissions of buildings while reducing energy costs and providing the same satisfactory hot water delivery performance as gas systems. Accordingly, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has partnered with consultant Ecotope to create Title 24 prescriptive and performance compliance options enabling further market penetration. The groundwork is set for this to become a mainstream technology!

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Heat Pump Water Heaters Are for Cold Climates, Too!

Image: Outdoor component of Sanden SANCO2 from Beyond Efficiency's Berkeley Way Passive House project  

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Energy Monitor Buying Guide 101

This is the second in a series about home energy monitoring.

In Part I of this blog series, I discussed what home energy monitors are and how they can help save energy and money. Here I unveil Part II, where I’ll go over key features of whole-house energy monitors and discuss a few considerations when picking a monitor for your home.

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Right Size Your Pipe Size

I recently attended the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) 2018 Hot Water Forum. This annual event brings together the most forward thinking policy makers, manufacturers, researchers and practitioners whose passion is how to make and deliver hot water efficiently and safely. As with the last water conference I attended, the development of a new pipe sizing methodology was a hot topic.

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Home Energy Monitors

Image credit: http://www.seventhwave.org/
 
This is the first in a series about home energy monitoring.

Let’s say you want to cut your energy use to save money, reduce your carbon footprint or even be zero energy. What consumes the most energy in your building? What's consuming more electricity than usual? How big will your utility bill be?

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