energy

A Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath of Fresh Air

Last summer my wife and I took a road trip to Eastern Washington for a hike, and stumbled upon the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility located outside of Ellensburg. We weren’t expecting to see much, but stopped by the Visitor’s Center and found the experience really interesting. The facility spans 10,000 acres and includes 149 wind turbines generating up to 273 megawatts, as well as a solar PV installation that can generate an additional 502 kilowatts. That’s enough to power 63,000 homes. We happened to visit on a day that included a wine tasting event and nature walk. After enjoying some excellent samplings of local sauvignon blanc and rose, we took a short half mile hike with a local botanist, who pointed out some of the native wildflowers that were just finishing their short burst of spring color. The area is also one of the few places in Washington […]

What’s a DOAS?

What’s a DOAS?

Double Orange Avocado Salad? Deep Ocean Adventure Submarine? Nope, the DOAS acronym stands for Dedicated Outdoor Air System. This type of mechanical system is becoming more common in commercial building design, and is mentioned explicitly as a prescriptive requirement in many new energy codes, including both the 2015 Washington State Energy Code and 2015 Seattle Energy Code.   Key Takeaways – A Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) is a system that handles ventilation loads independently of the primary heating and cooling system – By de-coupling ventilation from space conditioning, mechanical systems can be optimized for maximum efficiency – While costs and physical constraints may limit the viability of a DOAS in some cases, it is a worthwhile HVAC strategy to examine early in design to help meet targets for code compliance, energy efficiency and occupant thermal comfort. Dedicated Outdoor Air System A Dedicated Outdoor Air System is an air handling […]