Frequently Asked Questions
What is a "Pre-feasibility" test?
Before people go through the process of constructing an environmentally conscious commercial-scale building, they'll need to know the expected cost and CO2 savings relative to other, more environmentally unfriendly options. Since a full feasibilty test may require an energy model of the building that alone can cost upwards of $10000 USD, it makes sense to generate a fairly accurate model of the result before wasting money on an unworkable design. A pre-feasibility test is a way of generating the approximate numbers quickly and accurately, to know if GSHP or ASHP is an option at the earliest stages in the design process.
How is a Pre-feaseibility test different from a full feasibility test?
As mentioned above, a full feasibity test has an energy model that's created specifically for the building/structure of interest, not just a pre-calculated, generalized model. In the case of a ground-source heat pump feasibility test, it would also require the estimated design of a ground heat exchanger (boreholes, ponds, etc) matched to the building loads.
What is the energy-model theory behind ProFeaseTM?
Through decades of repeated designs, we've noticed that buildings with different but specific applications generally have similar loads profiles. Rather than recalculate an energy model for every building, it's faster just to use pre-calculated energy models and scale them to the building of interest. Our internal comparisons with actual buildings have confirmed this hypothesis, within a small and acceptable margin of error. If the building owner chooses to proceed, designers use the true building-specific energy model calculations for the actual building design.
What is the ground heat exchanger (GHX) theory used by ProFeaseTM?
ProFeaseTM incorporates a 20-year predictive month-by-month pulse line-source heat transfer theoretical model that takes into account the soil and other general physical configuration properties of the GHX. A full feasibility study would require an even more thorough GHX design.
Is EnsureTM only for new buildings?
No, EnsureTM meters can be installed quickly on any building with a GHX that needs protection.
Is EnsureTM difficult to install?
No, the installation for an EnsureTM system typically takes only a few hours before data is visible on our site. We typically do not install the meters, as it's handled by the building's installer. We can provide a copy of our installation manual if anyone is interested.
Does the building need Wi-fi?
Yes, the building will need some sort of wi-fi capability to get the measured signal from our IoT meter to the remote and/or local servers. Our local server can connect to a wired system through wired LAN.
How is EnsureTM different from standard energy meters?
EnsureTM connects to a remote server that monitors the energy usage and can be set to alert building owners/operators when discrepancies occur. Further, EnsureTM includes a theoretical model that predicts the expected long-term temperatures based on the real measured building loads, and warn users to take evasive action years before problems actually arise. Standard energy meters can measure flows and temperatures and even calculate the loads, but the owner/operator is left to analyze the data on their own.
Does EnsureTM include an SD card?
EnsureTM meters don't have any local storage. All data collected by EnsureTM meters is either stored on the web or on an EnsureTM local server on site.
What is the main difference between VigilantTM and EnsureTM?
VigilantTM measures both thermal and electrical energy, which allows it to determine the electrical consumption of attached devices, whereas EnsureTM is only a thermal energy meter, used for determining net building loads. EnsureTM also ships with a flow meter, while VigilantTM usually assumes constant flow rates based on the building design.
What is the difference between commercial and residential VigilantTM meters?
The residential VigilantTM meters generally measure single-phase power and have a separate circuit for the fan and any backup (electrical) heater. They serve a maximum of 1 or 2 heat pumps. The commercial VigilantTM meters measure up to 5 3-phase heat pump units and there is no separate circuit for the fan or any backup heating system. The commercial units are also often coupled with our VigilantTM local server, so that the data can be stored and collated locally before being sent to out to our remote server.
How does VigilantTM measure real vs apparent power?
VigilantTM meters use specialized circuitry to measure the current and voltage together at about 2000 Hz. This gives us both the real and the RMS values of the voltage and current. With the real data, we're able to calculate the real power, and with the RMS values we calculate the apparent power used by the units. With both the real and apparent power we're able to calculate the power factor.
Can VigilantTM meters be used for energy metering?
Yes, one of the primary use cases for VigilantTM meters is for thermal energy metering and billing. If many residences share the same GHX, the best way to determine the individual unit usage is through the data provided by the VigilantTM meter installed on each house.
Feel free to contact us if with any further questions or comments.