Building Research and Energy ConsultingBUILDING RESEARCH and ENERGY CONSULTING: Expertise

Codes and Standards

Frontier Energy is an active participant in Title 24 codes and standards development starting with the first detailed water heating methodology we developed in 1990. Currently, we’re completing targeted research and developing the documents on behalf of our client, PG&E, to raise the 2019 Title 24 standards to the ZNE level. We’re also active in Title 20 Appliance Standards with an emphasis in water heating and efficient HVAC.

Read a few Title 24 Reports

Hot Water and HVAC Systems

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Frontier Energy’s nationally recognized technology assessment team plays a prominent role in cutting-edge water heating and HVAC research. We developed software that characterized hot water distribution loss that NREL incorporated into its Building America House Simulation Protocols. Our solid background in water heating methods and our tankless water heater lab testing contributed to current Title 24 compliance methods.

As part of the Building America Program, Frontier Energy led the Alliance for Residential Building Innovation team in assessing a variety of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. We are also managing the HVAC portion of the Central Valley Residential Home project, which retrofitted four unoccupied homes in Stockton, CA to serve as living labs for energy efficiency data. The project is providing data for future Title 24 standards.

Recently, we managed an extensive project to measure energy savings resulting from replacing 18 water heaters with high-performance systems. California’s IOUs supported the project because it will provide valuable information for future Title 24 initiatives.

Zero Net Energy

Frontier Energy is leading the way toward a zero net energy future. We are actively involved in PG&E and Southern California Edison Zero Net Energy programs that will help California achieve its ZNE goals. Our team also contributed to models for zero carbon communities in Arizona and North Carolina.

DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Homes and Building America programs provided an opportunity to put our knowledge into practice. The innovations from these programs are being increasingly adopted by our clients’ sustainable community projects.

Evaluation and Monitoring

Utilities, government agencies, and builders need to understand how emerging technologies show promise in the real world. Our skilled staff provide assessments to determine the appropriate application for new technologies in efficient and zero net energy designs, including groundsourced and geothermal heat pumps, advanced evaporative coolers, evaporative condensers, high-performance water heaters, and DG/CHP systems.

Once systems are in place, our team can develop a monitoring plan, and install and integrate meters, sensors, and data acquisition equipment. Then, we either conduct the monitoring and assessments or hand it over to the client.

Our field monitoring projects are typically aimed at understanding the technical and economic potential of new and underutilized energy technologies. We  quickly analyze large datasets and distill them into useful information for the appropriate audience.

Community-scale Energy Projects

Our ZNE Community Tools is a high-level, gross assumption feasibility planning model we use to help developers, institutions, planners and others assess the potential for achieving community-wide ZNE. Combined with an assessment of potential solar resources, the tool allows us to explore “what if” scenarios to optimize the mix of efficiency and renewable generation. The model evaluates single and multifamily buildings, and common areas such as community centers, street and parking lot lighting, and swimming pools providing results for each building type, each common area group, and the whole community.

We also work with developers to design advanced community-scale infrastructure systems such as district heating and cooling and centralized ground-coupled systems. Most recently, we worked with Liberty Communities to determine how to design Liberty’s infrastructure, site plan layout, building and roof designs, landscaping, and drainage to reduce energy and water demands and maximize onsite energy generation from renewable sources.

Design Consulting

We help utilities, home builders, architects, and construction companies design super-efficient homes, multifamily dwellings, and commercial buildings that are comfortable and cost-effective. Our mechanical engineers know the systems and the proper construction techniques to make the systems work. We use energy modeling to find the most efficient measures and to identify utility rebates and tax credits.

Distributed Generation and Combined Heat and Power

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We conduct feasibility studies and perform ongoing data collection and analysis for systems that include:

  • Natural gas-fired CHP systems
  • Anaerobic digester gas (ADG) systems on farms and in industrial facilities
  • Commercial-scale solar PV systems
  • Stationery fuel cell systems
  • Battery storage systems
  • Microgrids

Our feasibility studies provide clients with an objective view of project risks, sensitivities, cash outlays, and anticipated results. We assess the economic and technical potential incorporating seasonal variations in buildings loads and equipment performance, impacts on electric savings, and project economics.

Once systems are installed in buildings, we collect detailed, field-monitored data and quickly analyze the data quantify performance. Clients use our cloud-based reporting system (Link to the Resource page that will host this) to see if the DG/CHP system is meeting efficiency and cost-effectiveness benchmarks. Utility and government clients use this objective information to make decisions about future deployments.

Industry clients, like Doosan and Fuel Cell Energy, use our data, analyses, and web services to participate in incentive programs like NYGATS, WRIGIS, NYSERDA programs, California SGIP, Massachusetts APS credits, ISO-New England FCM reporting, and Connecticut Microgrid Program.

Technical Verification

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Frontier Energy provides technical assistance and verification services for incentive programs that range from pre-qualified lighting fixtures to commercial foodservice equipment to multi-million-dollar energy projects at large industrial facilities. We combine our experience with facilities, technologies, and equipment with our understanding of program rules and requirements to ensure the product meets all necessary criteria.

New Projects 

New projects and additional projects from New York office to come

Frontier Energy Community