NREL: Leading Building Energy Modeling Research Reflects Impact of NREL Career – India Education | Latest Education News | Global education news

Like many others, Luigi Gentile Polese was drawn to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) by its mission and values. Passionate about energy and the environment, this innovator did not see an ambiguous job offer as a deterrent.

“I was intrigued by an application for a job with NREL’s Commercial Buildings Research Group looking for an Energy Code compliant engineer,” said Gentile Polese, who brought over 20 years of software engineering experience with leading companies. “I decided to apply, but I have to admit that I didn’t know much about building energy codes, let alone their compliance. “

Fortunately, he learned that the position was related to the development of a new software solution to analyze and document building code compliance for commercial buildings under a California standard called Title 24. The ambitious project had the potential to grow. expand to other states, supporting code analysis software and nationwide compliance with ASHRAE 90.1.

After more than 12 years, Gentile Polese reflected on his move to NREL, which included coveted industry recognitions and the expansion of NREL’s building energy modeling (BEM) capabilities.

What are the three best moments of your NREL career?
BEM on the rise. In 2010, we presented the new ZeroKit platform at the DOE Building Technologies Office, a precursor to the current OpenStudio® platform of software development tools and kits (SDKs): ZeroKit – Energy Simulation Support, Modeling, Standards, and Analysis Development Toolkit. This step represented the start of a new phase in BEM development that has brought us to today’s success stories around DOE BEM tools and growing adoption from third-party developers and industry.
Birth of OpenStudio. In the summer of 2013, the first major open source release of OpenStudio 0.0 on GitHub went public. This marks another important milestone; GitHub is very popular and highly collaborative. A few years later, major revisions and revised development processes and practices that I helped introduce also took EnergyPlus® on a new path.
Winner, Winner. A new presence sensor, built on an early proof of concept started by my former manager, brought me back, leveraging my basic knowledge of electronic engineering. We created the Image Processing Occupancy Sensor (IPOS), combining open source computer vision software, on-board processor hardware the size of an eraser stick, a tiny camera the size of a pea and a software with new concepts around the fusion of sensors and internal logic. In addition to being a game-changer in the occupancy sensing space, it also won a prestigious R&D 100 award and a new patent. I had the opportunity and the satisfaction of seeing the technology licensed to a commercial entity, with the aim of turning this new technology into a true commercial product.
What is your ideal future for buildings?
Smarter sensors = smarter buildings. The flexibility of the building and its adaptation to variable conditions and constraints while preserving the comfort of the occupants must be based, at its lowest technological level, on a solid foundation of a reliable, secure and intelligent network of new sensors. generation. My ideal future for buildings is a time when smart sensors will be ubiquitous in our lives, capable of enabling new, sophisticated decision-making processes by building controls (and people) to help save energy while ensuring comfort.

I believe that the sensors of the future will be the basis of a built environment that is even more energy efficient and therefore likely to place the least possible burden on our environment. These new sensors will be increasingly intelligent – smarter due to the increased wealth of information they will be able to collect, or generate virtually from a multitude of physical quantities detected and integrated with new artificial intelligence techniques / machine learning. . This increased wealth of information will open up new avenues for building control and flexibility.

The sensors will be smarter as they will be able to be commissioned autonomously / continuously, ensuring optimum efficiency throughout the life of the building while ensuring lower operating costs. In addition, they will be self-diagnostic, self-healing / recoverable and self-reported, ensuring reduced human maintenance.

Last but not least, they will be resilient and cybersecure.

After 12 years, how do you describe what you are doing?
From the early days, I have introduced the practices and processes of the software engineering industry to our highly talented research team and applied these methods to the development and management of BEM software. My goal has always been to bring together the best of both worlds and take BEM software to a new level in terms of quality, reliability and transparency. Since then, all software has been developed “under the sun” for the team and others to see and made available as open source under a highly permissive software license that facilitates adoption by third parties and by the user. ‘industry.

Along the way, my team designed, designed and developed the OpenStudio platform from scratch using these newly introduced processes and practices. Later, these same software engineering methods used for the new OpenStudio were also applied to EnergyPlus, as well as other software projects in the ecosystem of tools that use or operate OpenStudio. It is these machines, processes and structure that I have helped introduce from the start and that are used by our analysis tools and software development team every day. This is what I actually do.


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Margie D. Carlisle