Green Power News — Green Branding

Terry Peterson of EPRI sends out several notes a week to an email list, where he comments on current events in renewable energy. It’s primarily for EPRI members, but temporary ‘free preview’ subscriptions are available and he’s added my name to the list in anticipation of my supplying him reciprocal information. (Contact him directly if you want to be put on the list for a preview.)


Below is an item he sent out this morning. He gave me permission to forward it to you. It makes two very important points:

1. Retail customers haven’t rushed to switch suppliers in California — yet — but people who say this means restructuring is a flop are missing the point entirely. There isn’t much reason to switch now, but wait until the stranded asset recovery transition is completed, and then see what happens.

2. Most customers who have switched do it to go green, and are even willing to pay more, not less, for the opportunity. Everybody has been too fixated on “cost” of renewables — “price” (and “brand”) are what are really important. Precisely the point Karl Rabago made in his keynote speech to the CURC Conference (Nov 97 — see UFTO Note Nov 13, 1997).

The Harvard Business Review article looks interesting, too. Which cereal do you buy?

(Thanks, Terry.)


Subject: California’s green power market reported heating up
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 11:15:28 -0700
From: Green Power News
To: Green Power News

California’s retail electricity competition has gotten off to a pretty slow start, owing to several factors that tended to discourage residential customers from taking action to switch providers, including an across-the-board 10% rate reduction and an effectively wholesale market price for competing electricity suppliers to beat. In the first year only about 1% of all residential customers bothered.

Enron, for one, found the heat in that kitchen unbearable and stopped marketing residential products. However, several other marketers have stayed the course and, from the press release below, it seems their patience is beginning to pay off.

As noted below, although the total number of switchers to date is comparatively small, the vast majority of them have opted for green power. Since the present California energy market provides very little economic incentive for switching, that testifies to two facts: The great majority of electricity customers are relatively satisfied with their present provider; And green power is clearly a product with “premium brand” potential.

That last point will become very important as the electricity industry learns to stop operating on “level 1” of building brand equity (What are the tangible, verifiable, objective, measurable characteristics of products, services, ingredients, or components that carry this brand name?) and moves toward “level 4” (What does “value” mean for the typical loyal customer?) and “level 5” (What is the essential nature and character of the brand?). If this notion intrigues you, and you don’t think that level 1 captures all the differences between Safeway’s and Kellogg’s corn flakes, please read S. Ward, et al., “What High-Tech Managers Need to Know about Brands”, Harvard Business Review, July-August 1999, pp. 85ff.

Company Press Release

Summer Heats up for California’s Green Power Market

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 23, 1999–California Green power providers report a new surge of customer enthusiasm.

Two companies, GreenMountain.Com and Commonwealth Energy, report signing up customers at a record pace. A third, The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) announced plans to buy all the power available from a new green power facility that begins generating in September, in order to meet recent high customer demand.

All three organizations offer products certified by Green-e, a renewable electricity certification program. To date, over 90 percent of California customers who switch electricity providers are receiving green power — electricity produced using renewable resources such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small scale hydropower.

“Last month was our most successful month ever in terms of sales,” said Rick Counihan, Director of California Public Affairs for Green Mountain Energy. “We are greatly encouraged by the speed with which green power is catching on in California,” Counihan continued.

Jay Goth, Vice President of Commonwealth Energy, said that “Each week we set new records for the number of customers that switch to our 100 percent renewable power offering. In the San Diego area alone, 43 government entities are now buying our green power.”

California Public Utilities Commission Reports support the marketers’ statements showing that customer requests for green power are up almost 90 percent from earlier in the year.

Customers have directly benefited from a statewide credit for renewable energy purchases that allows green power providers to offer renewable-based electricity at a price below that offered by the state’s three major utilities.

In addition, a grassroots education program being conducted by leading environmental organizations such as the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and Global Green, USA, in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Marketing Board, is helping educate customers on the environmental benefits of green power purchases.

“Still much work remains to be done,” said Karl Rabago, Chair of the Green Power Board which governs the Green-e Program, “but the strength of California’s green power market shows that when customers hear about it, they get it — buying green power is a choice they can make to create a healthier environment for us all.”

The Green-e, a renewable electricity certification program, is administered by the Center for Resource Solutions, a non-profit organization dedicated to building human capacity and institutions for energy, economic and environmental sustainability.

Based in San Francisco’s Presidio, the Center administers national and international programs that preserve and protect the environment through the design of innovative strategies and increased utilization of sustainable technologies.

Contact: Center for Resource Solutions, Meredith Wingate or Suzanne Tegen, 415/561-2100 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This news item comes to you as a service of EPRI’s Renewables and Green Power Marketing Target. If you are not a Green Power News subscriber and wish to become one–or are one and wish not to be–please send me an email request. Thank you.

Terry M. Peterson
Manager, Solar Power & Green Power Marketing
EPRI Palo Alto CA 650-855-2594

Visit the Renewables website:

NY DG Interconnect Proposal

New York Staff Proposal for Distrib Gen Interconnection

The report was issued by Staff Wednesday July 21 in accordance with the 45 day SAPA (State Administration Procedures Act). The Technical and Non Technical reports and the Staff proposal report are available on the NYS DPS website in pdf format.

New York State Standardized/Interconnection Requirements For Distributed Generators 300 Kilovolt-Amperes or Less Connected In Parallel With Radial Distribution Lines

– Staff Interconnection Proposal

– Technical Report Dealing With Standard Interconnection Requirements

– Non-Technical Report Dealing with Application Process and Contract Documents

The above two reports were submitted to staff by a collaborative effort of parties including utilities and manufacturers of distributed generation technologies as well as other interested parties. These reports were submitted in response to the Chairman’s request, that staff strive to standardize and streamline existing interconnection requirements, while not impacting the safety and reliability of New York’s electric infrastructure, and not adding to ratepayer costs. Staff will prepare a proposal based on these reports, that will be available for comment via the State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA). Staff’s proposal will also be posted to this website. After comments are receive and evaluated, staff will prepare recommendations for Commission consideration.

PowerLine Communications Breaththrough Claimed by Media Fusion

(Preface: I am usually the last person to disbelieve and write off a dramatic breakthrough story, but this one has me shaking my head. If any of you have made contact, heard the pitch directly, and especially if you’ve signed their nondisclosure and seen some details, I’ll be very interested to hear what you think of it.)

Media Fusion is a mysterious small company in Dallas TX that is making amazing claims for their “PAN”, or Powerline Area Network. Here are some words from their website:
( )

“Media Fusion’s technology is a proprietary method and system (pat. pend.) that uses the magnetic field and electric power lines.

In simple terms, Media Fusion’s Advanced Sub-Carrier Modulation™ process writes data within the electrical magnetic wave surrounding the power line, utilizing proprietary software and hardware. This then enables the electrical power grid to carry telephone, radio, video, Internet and satellite data to any destination at near light-speed.

Each home or business subscriber is provided with an easy-to-install communications package that will include a controller and several outlet connectors that can hook up phones, computers, TVs and any other communicating appliance to the network. Each connector has a unique identity that is characterized by the system.”

One of our UFTO colleagues has heard the company’s in-person presentation, and came away with no better understanding of how this is supposed to work than he had before. When I asked the company for a copy of their standard presentation vugraphs, they refused. The website provides absolutely not a clue about how the technology is supposed to work. In conversations, they say 30-40 companies have signed an NDA. They say this is the only way they’ll open up about the technology, whose patents are pending. They also say companies are lining up to give them money, and that technology demonstrations are imminent.

Meanwhile, the claims border on the fantastic. Ultra high bandwidths. Indefinitely long range. A completely new and different concept, involving the injection of data onto the magnetic field that emanates from the power system and can be felt anywhere and everywhere. This from a conversation with Luke Stewart, inventor of the technology, who utters a bizarre array of high tech buzzwords, but little that could be related to any familiar concepts of power systems or telecommunications. He is reported to be “self-educated” and a genius, someone who worked directly with Bill Gates, who’s reported to think him the smartest guy Gates had ever encountered. I could find no patents issued to him, or anything else about him.

There has been some bigtime press coverage. The company’s website has copies of articles that appeared in Interactive Week, and on CNET.,5,37215,00.html

The author of the CNET piece told me he’d not been able to learn anything more about the technology, and that he took a chance on the story, based on the support the company has from some Congressmen and retired high ranking military people.

The company did provide me with a 10-page document called “Powerline Communications Industry Update”, which has a pretty good summary of power line communications technology all over the world – and why they all have problems — maybe the best thing to come out of it. I’ll send a copy on request.

IEEE Standards Group Tackles DR Interconnection Issues

The IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 21 (IEEE SCC21) oversees the development of standards in the area of fuel cells, photovoltaics, distributed generation, and energy storage.

— SCC21 coordinates efforts in these fields among the various IEEE societies and other appropriate organizations to insure that all standards are consistent and properly reflect the views of all applicable disciplines. SCC21 reviews all proposed IEEE standards in these fields before their submission to the IEEE Standards Board for approval and coordinates submission to other organizations. (To learn more about IEEE Standards activities, go to: )

“Standard for Distributed Resources Interconnected with Electric Power Systems” is the task of a new working group (one of 19 under SCC21). Their project authorization request (PAR) P1547 got the final go ahead in March ’99 to develop a “uniform standard for interconnection of distributed resources with electric power systems and requirements relevant to the performance, operation, testing, safety considerations, and maintenance of the interconnection.”

Working Group Chair — Richard DeBlasio (NREL)
Vice Chair — Frank Goodman (EPRI)
Vice Chair — Joseph Koepfinger (Duquesne), and
Working Group Secretary — Thomas S. Basso (NREL).

For a good and timely overview, see this recent testimony before the US Senate:

“Testimony on Interconnection of Distributed Resources before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, US Senate” June 22, 1999,
by Tom Schneider,Vice Chair, Energy Policy Committee, IEEE/USA,

The P1547 Working Group, whose membership is approaching 200, has met already several times since the initial organizational meeting in December, and will continue to meet as often as every 2-3 months. The last meeting was held Jun 28-30, in Chicago. Future meetings are set for Sept 27 (tentative – precise date to be determined), in Washington DC, then Dec 1-2, in Tampa.

At the September meeting, there are tentative plans to hold an open informational session, which might be good to attend. Also, the Summer Power Meeting in Edmonton (July 18-22) will have DR as a major theme (“Track 3”), with a panel session on interconnection.

There’s an aggressive schedule to put together a DR standards document for submission to the IEEE Standards Board — to have a final draft ready by March 2000. Individuals and small groups are working on writing assignments to prepare the various sections. The group has already produced and assembled a great deal of valuable information, and have worked out detailed classification schemes for types of DR interconnection equipment and configurations. Probably the most important attribute is size of the DR, and the size of the system it’s connected to–the larger the DR, as a fraction of the system, the more involved the requirements.

Overall, this is a huge undertaking. According to one estimate, there are at least 18,000 “combinations,” considering the number of different kinds of distribution circuits, inverter types, size ranges, and “issues” to address. An analysis by EEI (Interconnection Operations and Planning Group) has identified 30 issues, times 3 converter types (inverter, and synchronous, and asynch generator), times 5 distribution circuit types. (Some of the 30 issues include nuisance fuse blowing, reclosing, islanding, overvoltages, harmonics, switchgear ratings, lineworker safety, etc.) A major goal of this project is to minimize the time and expense required for protection studies and eliminate customization of solutions, by providing a common analysis framework and prequalification of equipment.

Individual states are under ratepayer pressure to come up quickly with their own jurisdictional DG interconnection rulings, and there are major programs in Europe, so it’s all the more important to avoid the complications of multiple (possibly conflicting) sets of requirements. Fortunately, many other IEEE committees already have standards related to interconnection topics or components, e.g. for power quality, relaying, etc. The ongoing cooperative consensus approach to the P1547 DR standard should help accelerate the development of a technically sound, uniform interconnection standard.

It’s seems surprising that relatively few utilities are represented on the Working Group, despite the often stated belief that DR is going to be hugely significant. (Industry organizations are actively participating, however, along with equipment makers and others.) The companies that are involved seem to embrace the DR concept and appear to be positioning themselves to prosper by it. (Some other companies are getting reputations as obstructionists, throwing obstacles and delays at every proposed installation.)

Participation is the best (only) way to tap into this rich array of information on the subject (all in hardcopy with minutes of the meetings!), and to track and influence developments. Industry experts who contribute their time and energy get a chance to make a difference.

Contact: Dick DeBlasio, 303-384-6452,
Tom Basso, 303-384-6765,

LBNL Building Technology

(One of a series of notes detailing results of recent visits to
Lawrence Berkeley National Labs – LBNL)

Building Technology Dept.

Commercial Building Systems, Simulation, Windows & Daylighting, Lighting, and Applications
LBNL has one of the largest US building RD&D activities; active since 1976 in this field, approx. $18M per year in funding currently; with about $12M from DOE and remainder from other sources, addressing most major aspects of building energy use, including hardware, systems, software, indoor environmental issues.
Stephen Selkowitz, Dept. Head, 510-486-5064


Diagnostics for Building Operation and Commissioning
Commercial buildings alone consume about 15% of all energy at a cost of $85 billion annually. Half of this consumption is wasted, compared to what is cost-effectively achievable. To realize these savings requires a careful examination of the process by which buildings are designed, built, commissioned, and operated, using a life-cycle approach.

A multi-year project is underway to develop and apply technology to improve building operation and maintenance. In a collaborative effort among researchers, building owners, utilities and private industry, an interdisciplinary team has been gathered to:
– Assess the current state of performance technology
– Develop an appropriate information gathering and diagnosis capability
– Test this new diagnostic system in real buildings


Information Monitoring and Diagnostic System (IMDS)
160 Sansome, San Francisco

The first IMDS has been installed and is now operating in an 18 story 100,000 sq ft, class A, San Francisco office building, built in 1964.

The IMDS includes 56 sensors, 34 calculated fields (for a total of 90 monitored data points), computer-based communications, data archival and retrieval capabilities, diagnostic information processing, data visualization, and other components that meet the needs expressed by building owners and property management companies. Existing proven hardware and systems were used, and the focus is on obtaining detailed accurate technical data (e.g. sufficient for calculations for a performance contract). Note this is a passive system, performing measurements only, and not control of equipment. A detailed specification is to be published.

This system implements a top-down approach, with diagnostic and information visualization algorithms, at three levels.
– Level I diagnoses whole-building performance at the aggregate level,
comparing to other buildings with similar energy services.
– Level II examines major end-use systems, and
– Level III focuses on major subsystems.

Savings opportunities of 10% were identified in the first four months. Life cycle cost issues have come into play, for example, improper rapid cycling of equipment. The active participation of the building’s innovative owner and operators should help publicize the effort and influence others in the industry. More recent findings suggest that the IMDS has proven extremely useful to the on-site building operators, helping them to improve control of the entire building.

Project Team Leader: Mary Ann Piette, 510-486-6286,
The project homepage:

“Development and Testing of an Information Monitoring and Diagnostic System for Large Commercial Buildings,” (paper presented at the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, August 1998).

There is a detailed “Virtual Tour” at:
A project overview appears at: (


Building Life-Cycle Information Support System (BLISS)

BLISS is intended to provide a distributed computing environment for managing, archiving, and providing access to the wide variety of data and information that is generated across the complete life-cycle of a building project.

— > Identify Contraints/Opportunities — >
** Design — > Construction — > Commissioning — >
Monitoring — > Operations/Maintenance — >
Retrofits/Use changes — >
Re-evaluate Opportunities — > **

BLISS requires standardization in both a common building database model and in the mechanisms for transferring this information between tools.

The project has three major elements: (1) to specify the distributed software architecture, (2) to develop a life-cycle building model database schema, and (3) to develop a mechanism to capture and update “design intent” throughout the life cycle. The distributed systems architecture describes how various software components communicate, and the building model schema specifies the structure and semantics of the database (e.g. how performance metrics are defined and represented quantitatively).

BLISS is being developed within the evolving software specification from the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). The IAI is a non-profit alliance of the building industry with six international member chapters. Its mission is to integrate the industry by specifying Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs) as a universal language to improve communication, productivity, delivery time, cost, and quality throughout the building life cycle.

Currently, Metracker is a tool being developed to help capture design intent via a number of performance metrics and then track changes in those metrics over the life of the building. The data schema is built on the IAI building data model. It is being tested on a new building in Oakland CA.
Contact Rob Hitchcock, 510-486-4154,


Remote Building Monitoring and Operations(RBMO)

A prototype system has been developed which permits remote monitoring and control of multiple commercial buildings across the Internet from a single control center. Such a system would be used by owner/operators of multiple buildings, such a school districts, governments, universities, large retailers, utility companies, building management firms, etc. Average savings estimated at 15% would come from reducing energy waste from equipment that runs when it does not need to, set point optimizations, and correcting operations and control deficiencies.

The project was initiated as a demonstration of the use of internet protocols and open systems for building monitoring, permitting integration of equipment from multiple vendors. It addresses similar IT issues of authentication, access-security, etc., which arise in a major Lab program on sharing scientific instrumentation over the internet.

The project includes the following components.

An Internet-to-building-EMCS (Energy Management Control System) gateway which speaks CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) protocol atop TCP/IP on the Internet side and either (preferably) BACnet atop TCP/IP, or a proprietary EMCS communications protocol, to the building EMCS.

Development of applications-level object specifications for HVAC objects, e.g., chillers.

A remote building monitoring and control center which will provide data visualization, database management, building energy simulation, and energy usage analysis tools.

Deployment and testing of the system in multiple buildings with diverse types of EMCS systems. Our goal is to assess scalability of the system to large numbers of buildings, both in terms of performance and accommodating heterogeneity of control systems and HVAC systems.

Remote control of HVAC systems – this awaits the availability of a secure CORBA implementation.
Frank Olken 510-486-5891


Simulation Research

The Building Energy Simulation User News is a quarterly newsletter for the DOE-2, BLAST, SPARK, EnergyPlus and GenOpt programs. Sent without charge, the newsletter prints documentation updates, bug fixes, inside tips on using the programs more effectively, and articles of special interest to program users. The winter issue features a cumulative index of all articles ever printed. Current issues are available electronically (below). All issues are available via regular mail, by request.

To subscribe or to request a back issue, contact: Kathy Ellington,

DOE-2 is a computer program for the design of energy-efficient buildings. Developed for DOE, DOE-2 calculates the hourly energy use and energy cost of a commercial or residential building given information about the building’s climate, construction, operation, utility rate schedule, and heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment. A new version, DOE-2.2, includes an integrated SYSTEMS-PLANT program based on circulation loops with tracking of temperatures and flows, luminaire/lamp modeling of lighting systems, a window-blind thermal/daylighting model, input value defaulting using expressions, and expanded building component libraries.

EnergyPlus – A new-generation building energy simulation program based on DOE-2 and BLAST, with numerous added capabilities. Developed by the Simulation Research Group, the Building Systems Laboratory at the University of Illinois, the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Lab, and DOE.

GenOpt – A tool for multi-dimensional optimization of an objective function that is computed by a simulation program. This project at LBNL is sponsored by the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Swiss National Energy Fund, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and DOE.

SPARK [Simulation Problem Analysis and Research Kernel]
A program that allows users to quickly build models of complex physical processes by connecting calculation modules from a library.

BDA: Building Design Advisor – A computer program that supports the concurrent, integrated use of multiple simulation tools and databases, through a single, object-based representation of building components and systems. Based on a comprehensive design theory, the BDA acts as a data manager and process controller, allowing building designers to benefit from the capabilities of multiple analysis and visualization tools throughout the building design process. The BDA has a simple Graphical User Interface that is based on two main elements, the Building Browser and the Decision Desktop.

International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) – With international partners, develop Industry Foundation Classes(IFC) and an integrated building information model for describing buildings. Develop methods for allowing applications, such as CAD and energy analysis, to interoperate with the information model. Interoperability will allow diverse building drawing and simulation tools to share the same building description and to exchange results, thus simplifying building design, construction and operation.

RESFEN – A PC-based computer program (using DOE-2 as the simulation engine) for calculating the heating and cooling energy performance and cost of residential fenestration systems. RESFEN is free on a CD.


Windows & Daylighting
Stephen Selkowitz 510-486-5064

– > Glazing Materials Research – Low-Emittance and Solar Control; Static spectral filters; Deposition Processes

– > Characterization facilities/optical lab for in-house research, manufacturers, and to support product rating and related standards activities.

– > The Optical Data Library provides glazing layer (peer-reviewed) optical data for over 800 commercially available products; this data is used with the WINDOW and Optics software.

– > New Materials: track of new materials R&D around the world–strong ties to IEA.

– > Manage the DOE Electrochromic Initiative – 2 labs, 4 manufacturers
Electrochromics or “smart windows” have the potential for becoming an important element in building load management due to their ability to control perimeter cooling loads and lighting loads, both of which are major elements of building peak demand. Occupant control of window shading systems is notoriously unreliable. A smart window whose solar heat gain coefficient can be modulated over a 5:1 range provides a significant new opportunity. While coating development work continues at LBNL and with industry partners, a German product is being purchased by LBNL to test in an office building in Oakland, with a focus on control integration and load management issues.

– > Advanced Systems development, testing, evaluation

– > Window Properties – determining the thermal and optical performance of window systems

– > Daylighting – LBNL has recently recieved substantial funding from California utilities to help convert RADIANCE, a lighting and daylighting research tool that is highly accurate but hard to use, to a desktop environment design tool with a user friendly interface and link to CAD software. A first version will be released in 1999; improved version with additional capabilities in 2000.

– > Residential performance – support Energy Star program; Annual Energy Ratings

– > Commercial Glazing Performance- ramping up R&D in this area, beginning with development of a design guide for architects and engineers. Later will be looking at advanced facade systems and their role in intelligent buildings. Innovative building skins are seen as not only energy savers but as building features that enhance the quality of the indoor space.


Lighting Research

The Lighting Research Group researches and develops fixtures, controls, and software which employ and promote energy efficient lighting. The group is primarily funded by DOE, although some funding is provided by industry for specific projects. The group is recognized as one of the main players in the lighting industry, as both technology developers and as observers/influencers. As such they have an indepth awareness of technological developments, issues and trends in the industry.

Research projects include sources, controls, fixture design, and human factors. Software for lighting design is a major R&D area. The test lab has the equipment which is essential for testing and designing energy efficient lighting fixtures, including a goniometer, integrating sphere, and spectro-radiometer for measuring light output. There is also an electric power analyzer for testing power and power quality of light sources.

The lab has in-house and collaborative work in new kinds of light sources that are being developed — solid state, electroluminescent, white LED, and organic liquids.

Their work to design the (non-halogen) compact fluorescent torchiere has led to the commercial availability on a wide scale of these much safer and more efficient lamps. Several universities did free exchange programs for dormitory residents, and now some utilities are doing it for their customers.
(see website for more details:

Of interest to utilities, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) are growing in popularity, but there are issues about price, quality, and longevity. Some imports have low prices, but don’t last as long as they should. To deal with this, some utilities are specifying an unecessarily high number of life hours. Specifications need to incorporate the issue of how often lights are turned off and on, but current testing procedures don’t deal with this effectively. LBL is proposing a new approach to life testing, but lacks the funding to demonstrate it.

“Bi-level” light switching is cost effective, and it is now in the building code for the state of California. (two switches–one controls 1/3 of the lighting in a room, and the other controls the remaining 2/3). Other effective measures are photosensors (for daylighting) and occupancy sensors. But it is important to solve the right problem. Hotels got little benefit from occupancy sensors, because guests rarely leave lights on when they’re out of the room. The biggest waste was found to come from bathroom lights left blazing as a night light — providing a dimmed setting would work better.

Recently, LBL combined low-glare, lower level ambient lighting with custom designed task light fixtures, in a US Post Office sorting facility. Occupancy sensors turned the task light on only when the clerk was present. Task light levels were improved while overall energy was reduced by 70%.


Lighting Software

RADIANCE – A suite of programs for the analysis and visualization of lighting in design. Input files specify the scene geometry, materials, luminaires, time, date and sky conditions (for daylight calculations). Calculated values include spectral radiance (ie. luminance + color), irradiance (illuminance + color) and glare indices. Simulation results may be displayed as color images, numerical values and contour plots. The primary advantage of Radiance over simpler lighting calculation and rendering tools is that there are no limitations on the geometry or the materials that may be simulated. Radiance is used by architects and engineers to predict illumination, visual quality and appearance of innovative design spaces, and by researchers to evaluate new lighting and daylighting technologies. (for UNIX)

(Advanced Daylighting and Electric Lighting Integrated New Environment)
ADELINE is an integrated lighting design computer tool developed by an international research team within the framework of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Solar Heating and Cooling Programme Task 12. It provides architects and engineers with accurate information about the behaviour and the performance of indoor lighting systems. Both natural and electrical lighting problems can be solved, in simple rooms or the most complex spaces. ADELINE produces reliable lighting design results by processing a variety of data (including:geometric, photometric, climatic, optic and human response) to perform light simulations and to produce comprehensive numeric and graphic information. (for PC)

SUPERLITE 2.0 is a lighting analysis program designed to predict interior illuminance in complex building spaces due to daylight and electric lighting systems. SUPERLITE enables a user to model interior daylight levels for any sun and sky condition in spaces having windows, skylights or other standard fenestration systems.

LBL Lighting publications are available (some can be downloaded) at:

Steve Johnson 510-486-4274


Home Energy Saver

The Home Energy Saver(HES) website, announced in March ’99, brings advanced building simulation software to an interactive website to help consumers identify the technologies that will save them the most energy and money.

The Home Energy Saver quickly computes a home’s energy use on-line based on methods developed at LBNL. By changing one or more features of the modeled home, users can estimate how much energy and money can be saved and how much pollution prevented by implementing energy-efficiency improvements. All end uses (heating, cooling, major appliances, lighting, and miscellaneous uses) are included.

The Home Energy Saver’s Energy Advisor calculates energy use and savings opportunities, based on a detailed description of the home provided by the user. Users can begin the process by simply entering their zip code, and in turn receive instant initial estimates. By providing more information about the home the user will receive increasingly customized results along with energy-saving upgrade recommendations.

Developed for the ENERGY STAR Program (EPA and DOE).

The HES Mission Statement ( ) explains the way the program seeks to work with and support private-sector vendors, by complementing their efforts, not competing with them.

Nor is it intended to compete with private vendors of web-based software who seek revenues from utilities who license their products. Nevertheless, utility partnerships with HES are still possible, and indeed some have already begun.

Contact: Rich Brown, 510-486-5896,

LBNL CO Occupational Dosimeter

(One of a series of notes detailing results of recent visits to
Lawrence Berkeley National Labs-LBNL)

CO Sensor – Occupational Dosimeter

A new lightweight, inexpensive, accurate carbon monoxide (CO) sensor and monitoring system has been developed by scientists LBNL and Quantum Group Incorporated (QGI, San Diego), under a cooperative R&D agreement (CRADA).

The original impetus was to create a device to do population exposure studies, since outdoor measurements of levels of CO (as required by the Clean Air Act) don’t relate to deaths and acute poisonings caused by CO. CO poisoning deaths (500-1000 per year) occur indoors, involving accidents, misuse of heaters, unvented gas flames, and auto exhaust. 19,000 poisonings were reported by poison control centers in 1995.

There is limited understanding about carbon monoxide exposure risks, partly because there has been no affordable way to accurately measure CO in the field. Some of the current methods of measurement require expensive, heavy equipment or unwieldy air bag samplers. Others are relatively inexpensive and lightweight, but they are not accurate or sensitive enough to provide credible quantitative results for a large number of sites.

To fill this gap, LBNL and QGI developed the new CO sensor, which can clip onto a person’s clothing. It can be used as an occupational dosimeter, which measures a worker’s average exposure, or as a residential passive sampler measuring exposure in a home or office over a one-day to one-week period. Analysis is simple—the device is placed into a standard lab spectrophotometer which, by measuring its color change, instantly indicates how much carbon monoxide the sensor absorbed. A single sensor can be reused many times.

To test the sensor’s performance, a study was done of the CO exposure of workers at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, where propane powered forklifts are active throughout, and trucks drive up to interior loading docks. (The Center already had installed a number of measures to reduce CO exposure.) Workers wore sensors and commercially available diffusion tube devices. CO levels were also measured by traditional means.

The tests showed that the device measured average workshift CO exposures accurately to within one part per million. The commercially available diffusion tube under-reported CO exposures by an average of about 3 parts per million.

QGI is now looking for private-sector partners for distribution and is developing plans to manufacture and market the CO occupational dosimeter.

See press release May 17, 1999, at:

Contact: Michael Apte,, 510-486-4699

Quantum Group (San Diego CA) produces a line of CO detection products including detectors for residential and RV use, appliance safety shut-off, and ventilation controls.

Mark Goldstein, President, 619-457-3048 x103 fax 619-457-3229
Michelle Oum, Director, Sensor R&D, x110

LBNL Insurance Program

Date: Wed, 07 Jul 1999 09:44:52 -0700

(First of a series of notes detailing results of recent visits to
Lawrence Berkeley National Labs-LBNL)

Insurance Loss Protection Through Sustainable Energy Technology

LBNL has begun a new and novel area of inquiry, exploring how energy relates to insurance-loss risks. The program is opening a number of fascinating new areas, and opening lines of communication between the insurance industry and the many different players in energy and environment.

Utilities have begun to initiate collaborations with insurance companies: there are many interesting and innovative opportunities for cross marketing and introduction of new types of customer services, product differentiation, and customer retention measures.

See Program website at

Contact: Project Leader: Evan Mills, 510-486-6784,

Climate Change Risks
It is clear that weather-related natural disaster losses are becoming more and more severe, and possibly uninsurable. Global warming may or may not be responsible for global climate change, and greenhouse gases and energy consumption may or may not be major contributors to warming or climate change. Nevertheless, there is a growing view that something needs to be done, hastened by the growing scientific consensus about the linkages.

This article provides a good review of these ideas:
“The Coming Storm – Global Warming & Risk Management”
Risk Management magazine, May 1998, pages 20-27.

The insurance industry – in Europe, particularly – is tackling the issue head-on, realizing that they have the most at risk and the most to lose. If energy impacts need to be reduced, then insurers have a stake and a role to play. A leading group of international insurers and reinsurers, led by companies in Europe and Asia, has joined together as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Insurance Industry Initiative on the Environment. (This kind of effort isn’t new. Historically, the industry has lead developments such as establishing fire departments and the Underwriter’s Laboratory.) (more on UNEP)

Direct Risk/Loss Reduction — “No Regrets”
Even if you don’t believe in global warming, there are many untapped opportunities to reduce insured risks through the application of energy-efficient and renewable-energy technologies and services. The promotion of technologies and services for insurance loss reduction and loss prevention is as old as the fields of insurance and risk management, but this research is finding a whole new category of technology to be applied.

This approach provides a “no-regrets” opportunity for insurers, as the risk-reducing benefits offer distinct immediate value, irrespective of the timing or extent of damages related to global climate change.

Example–Halogen torchiere lamps consume a lot of energy, and pose a significant fire hazard. Replacing them with compact fluorescent torchieres reduces both. An insurance company and utility cofunded a program to do this in college dorms.

LBNL identified 78 technologies and techniques that can help reduce insurance losses and manage risks. See LBNL Report #41432, August, 1998
( )

The most common physical perils addressed were power failures, fire and wind damage, and home or workplace indoor air-quality hazards. These can potentially reduce insurance losses for many types of coverage — boiler and machinery, builder’s risk, business interruption, commercial property insurance, completed operations liability, comprehensive general liability, contractors liability, environmental liability, product liability, professional liability, service interruption, workers’ compensation, health/life insurance, and homeowners insurance.

UK Renewables Review

(Renewables are being taken up faster in Europe than in the US, with commitments at all levels of government and industry, so it’s important for us to follow developments there closely.)
The UK Department of Trade and Industry has some very interesting stuff on its website, at:

In particular, they issued a major report recently. Here is a notice about it.

In March, Energy Minister John Battle set out the Government’s blueprint for the future of renewables, reaffirming its commitment to developing the industry and boosting research and development expenditure to £43 million over the next three years. Launching the Consultation Paper “New and Renewable Energy ? Prospects for the 21st Century”, which reports on the outcome of the Government’s review of new and renewable energy policy, Mr Battle said:

“The Renewables Review paper demonstrates that there is tremendous potential for renewables to become a fully competitive part of UK energy supply. The Government intends working towards a target of renewable energy providing 10% of UK electricity supplies, cost-effectively, as soon as possible. This report seeks views on the issues raised to enable the Government to frame its future policy. I look forward to receiving those views and plan to make a further announcement about our way forward in due course”.

Responses should be made by 28 May 1999 to Neil Hornsby, Energy Technologies Directorate, DTI, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET. Copies of the Review are available from: DTI Publications Orderline, Admail 528, London SW1W 8YT, Tel: 0870 1502 500, Fax: 0870 1502 333, e-mail: The document is also available on the Internet at:

– >>
At this link, there are pdf and word downloads available of the report itself. Also provided — a 277 page pdf document: “Supporting Analysis for New and Renewable Energy”, which appears to be a very comprehensive report on all types of renewables.

Found in: NEW REVIEW, ISSUE 40, May 1999
The Quarterly Newsletter for the UK New and Renewable Energy Industry

Also Recommended:
Canadian Association for Renewable Energies Association
Their free weekly email newsletter is a great source of information.
(This is where I learned of the item above)