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Integrated Laboratory Energy Systems: Emerging Methods for Matching Distributed Generation Systems with Building Thermal Systems

S. Faruq Ahmed, P. Richard Rittelmann, and Alex Wing,
Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates


The laboratory buildings are extremely heavy energy users. Most of the energy is used for heating/cooling of supply air and for reheating. The conventional approach for laboratory air supply is to heat or cool the air and then provide reheat to control humidity. This approach is extremely costly and wasteful. In the Labs 21 Conference for 2001, the authors presented on the subject, "Integrated Laboratory Energy Systems: Emerging Methods in Laboratory Energy Production, Recovery and Distribution". In this presentation distributed generation (DG) was examined for laboratory buildings along with various strategies for heat recovery. Also examined was the use of desiccant cooling system powered by the heat from the DG system. The new presentation will extend this study as noted below.

The DG systems are most cost effective when all the power that is produced along with the available heat, is used in the building. This requires an integrated design approach for the building systems. The building thermal loads may not be "in phase" with the thermal energy from the DG system. The best method for energy utilization by a laboratory building is to reduce the energy requirements by careful design and use of the building control system and then to recover as much energy as can be economically done. The next thing to consider is to utilize the high temperature heat from the DG system for providing cooling either by multiple-effect absorption cooling or by the desiccant cooling. The exhaust from the desiccant cooling system also lends itself to further heat recovery for uses such as service water heating.

The presentation will examine a typical laboratory building in ten diverse climates in the United States. The DG system capacity will be studied to provide continuous power requirement and the matching of the available heat from DG system for absorption cooling and for desiccant cooling. The energy use methodologies may require the use of thermal storage system to effectively utilize the thermal energy. The detailed performance of such systems will be examined for ten cities. The system economics will also be considered.

The presentation will provide valuable insight into the cost effective use of reliable and environmentally friendly distributed generation, electric and thermal, technologies for the laboratories throughout the country. The use of the water, a valuable resource, will also be evaluated with respect to the water used in the conventional cooling towers when electric chillers are used. The environmental implications for the DG/thermal technologies as applied to the laboratory buildings, will also be presented.


S. Faruq Ahmed, PE is a Principal with the Architecture, Engineering, Interiors, and Applied Research firm, Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates in Butler, Pennsylvania. Faruq is a registered professional engineer with over 35 years of engineering experience. He holds Masters degree in Engineering from Colorado State University. His involvement in various engineering disciplines include, Alternative energy systems including power generation technologies, information systems technology, communications systems, solar and renewable energy systems, energy conservation, and electric power quality and reliability. He is an active participant in various forums for Research Applied to Buildings and Systems. Faruq is the organization representative for the EPA Cooling Heating and Power (CHP) Partnership and for EDUCAUSE - the organization of technology professionals for higher education institutions. He is a frequent speaker at various conferences such as Tradelines, Labs for the 21st Century, EDUCAUSE, SCUP, APPA, ERAPPA, and many others.

P. Richard Rittelmann, FAIA is the Vice-Chairman of Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates, an Architecture, Engineering, Interiors, and Applied Research Firm in Butler, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dick is a Fellow of American Institute of Architects. His involvement with Power System using Alternative Energy systems, dates back to 1970's. During that time he was actively involved with various DOE activities for Large -Scale PV Systems and other Solar Energy projects. He has participated in the International Energy Agency (IEA) activities as U.S. representative for several tasks. He also participates on the Research Advisory Boards for many National Labs which include Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and Oakridge National Lab. Dick is a highly sought speaker by various professional organizations such as Tradelines, AIA, ASHRAE, CIC, EPA Labs for the 21st Century, EDUCAUSE, APPA, ERAPPA, SCUP, AEC Systems, various Hospital Technology organizations etc. He has been involved in presenting papers and seminars for over 40 years. His expertise in addition to architecture for Mission-Critical Buildings, includes Information Systems, High Technology Medical Systems, Research Labs and Communication Facilities.

Alex K. Wing, AIA is an associate at Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates in the High Technology Studio. He hold a Masters degree from Syracuse University. Alex is Leeds Certified Architect. He has over 15 years experience of which six years is with Burt Hill. Alex works on Biomedical labs, high technology, healthcare and other similar projects. He is a frequent speaker at Tradelines, Labs for the 21st Century Conference, APPA, ERAPPA and several other organizations. Some of his projects include, the Headquarters Building at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, University of Connecticut research labs, Thomas Jefferson Medical Center and several others.

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