PPI SUPPORTS DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE)RACE TO ZERO
The 2016 Race to Zero competition took place at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Co. PPI was one of nine sponsors and BCD Director of Engineering Lance MacNevin attended the event as a juror.
Despite a weekend blizzard, the April 16-17 event had 180 attendees from USA and Canada. 31 teams from across North America participated in the event, presenting their design proposals to teams of jurors in four categories. The event also included poster presentations and a Career Connections event.
A tour of NREL's new Energy Systems Integration Facility was included. The ESIF is conditioned with a PEX-based radiant heating and cooling system, which helped it achieve LEED® Platinum certification through USGBC. The system is so quiet that white-noise generators are used in office spaces to create the background noise that would normally be produced from a forced-air system!
In March, team submitted documents on their designs for the jurors to review. Then, the teams presented their designs to the jurors at the actual event. Presentations included information about structure, materials, site selection, mechanical systems, renewable technologies, energy modelling, and financial calculations. Several of the projects included plastic piping technologies such as PEX or CPVC for plumbing, PEX or PE-RT for radiant heating and cooling, and HDPE geothermal ground loop piping.
Based on an objective scoring scheme through which jurors rated each of the entries in ten categories, results were tabulated by NREL staff and the 1st and 2nd place winners were determined from each of the four categories. Winners were announced at the Awards Banquet on Sunday evening, including a Grand Winner - Prairie View A&M University.
Pictures of the 2016 competition focus on the student teams and their designs.