July 2013

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Whizz Dumb 4 the Kids 

 from Uncle Ken

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This offering would be best described by my friend Jack McGowan as a brain fart, my definition is an explosion of information from a gaseous source that no one asked for or wants, that leaves an unpleasant odor, but still somehow I feel compelled to share.

Let me attempt to explain the title. Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions but when I attempt to relay my wisdom it quickly turns to Whizz - To make a whirring or hissing sound & Dumb - lacking the ability to speak. To my kids and the kids in the industry who are now in their mid-years, I still attempt to impose my Whizz Dumb on them. Sometimes, not always, my writing is clearer than my speech but still always annoying....smile.

So let me share some of these brain farts I have been having.

On the subject of Energy Audits and Energy using equipment inventories

Great discussion couple of ideas emerge.

U write -  Data entry associated with inventory creation is still the single most time consuming step in the audit process.

I agree but the problem is everyone’s problem. The reason you are there is because your client does not have this information. You need it…and he needs it.

From an email before …..cure the disease not the symptom talk to your client, listen carefully to what information systems they have in place if any, engage them to help create and fill this void.

Offer as a subset of your energy audit a paid for extra option and an extra service to properly document the building energy using systems forever in an open standard.

For a start just your energy stuff, but later everything in the building. This is a new revenue stream creating an achievable path to documenting building assets.

For a start the extra would include a phone picture of each piece of energy using equipment’s name plate and physical presents avideo/audio dialog of each identity all provided back to the owner in a cloud based data base/ framework.

If this is done correctly by the correct level of a team of folks who know the equipment the information should be so clear that off shore data entry folks or stay at home moms should be able to read the pictures of motor plates and listen to commentary and put data into a database or framework while adding tagging of the data with a data model like Haystack.


Although creating data models for equipment types at the start will be painful you will soon see the power as the data model will help build the data base and force everything to conform to a data model or you will need to create a new data model.

Several companies are committed to Haystack support of their data so this starts the integration of real time data and static collected data….neat.

or use something like Aconex’s smart manuals format http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojd1qcfaIRA

We have a lot of work to do until we can just put on our Google Glasses to see the energy using assets/liabilities….smile.

But that is our goal. Kerri writes;

KLS:  Through my role at Aconex, I have done site tours of some of the newest and best-run facilities in the world. I have hundreds of photos of the rooms/areas/tunnels where operation and maintenance (O&M) information is currently stored – it is a lesson in chaos!


Sound familiar? Turning chaos into online self-discovery is our opportunity, attach data tags to each identity so information can be reused for almost anything.Do not ever assume you know what data will be used for next. Someone may write an app to identify demand response potential of building by reading data tags of the energy using equipment. In the future this data “your data” could become an information standard for all buildings and you can make it happen if you have the vision now.

Also using telepresence technologies need not be in real time…. drop back to a quiet connected spot in near field location, talk to your device and describe what you just saw.  You can even include operator discussions of energy using devices.

Creating the dialog will tell you if you missed anything and you may need to go back to the lousy signal and noise area…to jog your memory.  …..  Smile

Also in a perfect world this comment "I still hold out hope that we can get to the point of filling out inventories on site, then just upload that into our spreadsheet."

Needs to be this; "I wish to link my spreadsheet to the online self-discovery ability of my standardized energy using assets/liabilities data models that I just created for the building."

We need to separate and collect the data and store it and interact independently with our analytics.

Data is a resource to be invested in and should be provided as a deliverable on all projects. Best keep data separate from opinion.

The  usefulness of data will be defined by open standards, the data models it represents and its ability to be self-discovered by analytics …..apps not yet created. Turn over data and analytics as two interactive processes not just a report.

Uncle Ken

Using Energy Simulations to project likely savings

Looks like DOE has resurrecting the simulation dinosaur bones of my past into something that maybe usable for you kids.

EnergyPlus is not a user interface. It is intended to be the simulation engine around which a third-party interface can be wrapped. Inputs and outputs are simple ASCII text that is decipherable but best left to a GUI (graphical user interface).

Maybe all we need is a wrapper????  Or Rapper?....smile.

Seems you can write your own interface.  Great way to use this resouce.


This looks neat…. Erl is the simplified programming language used to define the EMS control and modeling programs. This section describes the rules and syntax for using Erl to write programs.

The lack of control and modeling abilities was a great limitation of the simulation programs back in the old days as we started to move to non-conventional control strategies like Hartman’s Dynamic concepts written in the OCL of the first DDC systems.

Actually Hartman first wrote a Dynamic simulation program to show mechanical engineers the saving of this type of control, but was unable to change conventional wisdom of the time and started as a specialized consultant applying the findings of his own simulations.

EnergyPlus has its roots in both the BLAST and DOE–2 programs. BLAST (Building Loads Analysis and System Thermodynamics) and DOE–2 were both developed and released in the late 1970s and early 1980s as energy and load simulation tools. Their intended audience is a design engineer or architect that wishes to size appropriate HVAC equipment, develop retrofit studies for life cycling cost analyses, optimize energy performance, etc. Born out of concerns driven by the energy crisis of the early 1970s and recognition that building energy consumption is a major component of the American energy usage statistics, the two programs attempted to solve the same problem from two slightly different perspectives. Both programs had their merits and shortcomings, their supporters and detractors, and solid user bases both nationally and internationally.

Like its parent programs, EnergyPlus is an energy analysis and thermal load simulation program. Likely worth a quick look to see how you might use it or at least know of it’s existence

Likely worthwhile to poke around http://www.eere.energy.gov/ They have spent a ton of money on creating energy stuff that is a free resource to you all.

George was keynote at Haystack convention

$10 wireless networked sensors???? Now that will cause radical change.

Uncle Ken

To the Hayseeds that are moving the Haystack

Some whizz dumb……wisdom??? From the farmer in me.

Fresh hay smells good, but if left in the rain can quickly turn to manure, the trick is to pitch it at the correct time into useful formats for storage for use at a later time. With haying timing is everything to capture the freshness of the product for use at another time.

That is all for now, all the information you never asked for.

Excuse me.....smile

Uncle Ken


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