New Web Tool Compares Energy Performance
NREL’s new Technology Performance Exchange is designed to help consumers get energy performance data for building products
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says that its Technology Performance Exchange, or TPEx, is a portal designed to help manufacturers and others who test products to share performance data with their consumers.
Currently, NREL engineer Daniel Studer said in a prepared statement, organizations often don't have the information they need to evaluate and compare products. As a result, they find it difficult to move ahead with purchases of products that enhance energy efficiency.
Manufacturers that are interested in participating in the TPEx system are asked to submit performance information via standardized documents called data entry forms that make an apples-to-apples comparison between similar products possible, NREL said. Commercial building engineers and designers appear to be the chief target for the information, but NREL says TPEx is designed for a range of users, including consumers as well as industrial and utility users.
There are 17 categories of products, ranging from solid-state replacement lamps to ductless heat pumps to photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. modules. Some of the categories are currently empty. There's nothing under "heat pump water heaters," for example, but hundreds of listings under "inverters."
NREL will presumably be filling in the blanks as times goes on, and in addition promises to add eight new categories, including wind turbines, roofing membranes, fans, and evaporative coolers.
Register, then get to work
You can't use the site unless you register, but registration is free. Once you're signed on, choose a category and start browsing.
In categories where products are currently listed, there's a great deal of technical information, and you can narrow your search by fine-tuning the parameters. For instance, for photovoltaic panels, you can search by the rated power, the efficiency of the module, the type of cell, and even the nominal operating cell temperature.
Users also can isolate as many as four products for a detailed side-to-side comparison.
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory