Backup Power for Commercial Buildings - Market Drivers, Code Requirements, and Fuel Options for Backup Power

Power outages in commercial buildings create enormous costs and hardships for business owners, tenants, and employees. The costs include lost productivity, lost sales, lost product, and brand damage. In some cases, outages can jeopardize life safety. For these reasons, many commercial buildings are incorporating backup power systems — some on a voluntary basis and others based on code requirements. This course explores the motivations for using backup power, relevant code and standard requirements, and the fuel options for backup power generators.

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Heating Oil Conversion: Exploring Propane as a Viable Alternative Energy Source

Heating oil, also known as fuel oil or Number 2 oil, has been a popular choice for homeowners since the early 1900s. As an alternative to coal or wood as a fuel source for boilers and domestic hot water production, heating oil proved to be a reliable, clean and economical choice for millions of consumers, especially in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic where other fuel types were often more difficult to acquire or were more expensive. But, it is not an environmentally conscious fuel choice.

Propane gas has the same remote fuel benefit, coupled with fewer emissions and higher efficiency equipment. This course details economic and environmental reasons why switching from heating oil to propane is a good choice for homeowners, residential builders or remodelers.

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Residential Water Heaters under the New 2015 Federal Standards

Water heaters are often the second largest energy user in the home, costing residents hundreds of dollars each year. Beginning in April 2015, the updated “NAECA” standards from the U.S. Department of Energy increased water heater efficiency requirements, driving major product changes in the U.S. market. “NAECA” stands for the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act and includes the federal regulations for water heater minimum efficiency levels.

Against this backdrop of new standards, products, and decision-making factors, this course will review a detailed analysis of water heating systems. This analysis compares water heating technologies based on their energy, economic, and environmental performance, with a focus on the performance of propane-based systems relative to electric and heating oil alternatives. The course also reviews the new federal standards for water heaters, and describes the market implications for both new construction and replacements.

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Expanding Outdoor Living: Propane for Outdoor Residential Use

Propane gas is considered to be a clean alternative fuel by the EPA; it is a versatile and environmentally safe fuel source for healthy and sustainable living. Many people use propane to fuel their outdoor grills or barbeques, but it’s much more versatile than a cooking fuel in residential outdoor applications. This learning unit will explore alternative uses for propane, specifically for outdoor use in and around a home.

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Propane Gas Systems: Considerations for Residential Construction

Propane heats homes, water and outdoor spaces, fuels clean, comforting fireplaces, cooks food, and dries clothes. Propane is also environmentally friendly, emitting fewer greenhouse gases than other fossil fuels and electricity. When planning and designing homes, architects should know that more than 12.6 million U.S. households rely on propane for their primary energy needs. Propane can be stored above ground or in underground propane tanks, an option many builders are choosing in order to fuel homes off the natural gas mains. This course will cover important considerations when planning for propane use in residential construction.

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Propane Gas Systems: Considerations for Commercial Construction

This course will explore how propane is effectively used in commercial construction, specifically for six major interior applications: space heating, water heating, clothes drying, cooking, fireplaces and dehumidification. Today, a broad range of propane storage and distribution systems enable propane to effectively handle large commercial energy loads. Several innovative technologies also make propane a reliable, versatile and environmentally friendly choice for a large variety of commercial construction projects.

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Specifying Propane Standby Generators: Installation and Value Considerations

In the last 10 years, the demand for electricity has increased exponentially due to population growth and the increased use of power-thirsty devices, such as computers and flat-screen TVs. For homeowners in many areas, this has resulted in electrical service outages that cause major disruptions. A standby generator can ensure a homeowner's quality of life by keeping the electricity flowing in the event of a power failure, and it can even serve as a primary energy source for homes built off the grid. In this course, learn why many builders and homeowners are choosing to install propane standby generators and what to consider when selecting the best generator for the job.

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Propane-Enhanced Renewable Energy Systems

Most American homeowners, now acutely aware of fluctuating energy prices and the environmental implications associated with continued use of some conventional energy sources, are driving a demand for alternative energy sources for their homes. As a construction professional, it is up to you to propose alternative energy systems to be used in your homes. In this course, learn why propane is an ideal backup energy source for a wide range of renewable energy systems.

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Propane Energy Pod Homes: An Energy and Environmental Analysis

Bundles or collections of building systems in homes can form the basis of an energy package or “pod.” These can be the foundation for homes delivering energy and CO2 emissions savings that outperform typical new homes in the marketplace.

Building energy analysis was used to evaluate the energy and environmental performance of Propane Energy Pod prototype homes at two sizes, across different climate zones. These results were compared with standard homes featuring typical technology packages.

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Propane CHP Systems in Buildings: Technologies, Performance and Applications

Combined heat and power (CHP) systems provide a very powerful technology for building owners, offering reliable, cost-effective, and efficient power, as well as an additional source of thermal energy for water heating and space heating. This course will describe CHP technologies, compare fuel options, and identify a variety of potential building applications.

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