Labs Tool Box

return Sustainability Labs

This is the collection of tools used by the labs in their experiments. Please feel free to contribute by editing this page or writing to us at greengaragedetroit@gmail.com and we'll post your idea.

EVERYDAY TOOLS

Scientific Calculator

• Fairly full-featured Web-based scientific calculator

Intellicast Weather Forecast

• Detailed weather forecasting, including extended hourly predictions for temp/RH/dewpoint, sunshine, when to water gardens, skycast, etc.

BUILDING SYSTEM TOOLS

Green Garage Building Controls System Online

• To login to the Green Garage Controls System Web page, enter 66.103.141.2 in the address bar of your browser or click on link. This should bring up login page.
• Enter 'demo' as username, and 'demo' as password. You should get directed to page.

• Excel file that helps in sizing ductwork or determining friction losses in ductwork.
• Gives information for sheet metal and flex ductwork.

Dew Point Calculator

• We use our zone stat temperature and humidity to determine the dew point inside the building with this tool.
• This tells us at what surface temperature moisture would be likely to form on an object in that space.
• This is important to us because we are using a radiant cooling system, so we check to make sure that our radiant surfaces do not go below the dew point while they are providing cooling to the space.

Total Power from 3-Phase Amp Measurements

• This may be used when you know the amp (A) readings from each of three phases and know the voltage (V) associated with each of the three legs.
• Amps cannot be added directly, but VA (volts x amps) can be added together.
• Calculate the VA for each leg and add together to get the total VA.
• Multiply the total VA x power factor (p.f.) to get Watts (W).
• If power factor is unknown, assume 0.80 as a good average.
• To get to total amps, if needed, divide the total VA by the 3 phase voltage (which could be (120 x sq.root of 3) or (480 x sq.root of 3) for 120-volt panel and 480-volt panel respectively).
• Recap of equations for calculating total Watts from measured amps:
• (V x A)leg1 + (V x A)leg2 + (V x A)leg3 = total VA
• total VA x p.f. = total W
• total VA / (V x sq root of 3) = total A
• For motor loads, assume p.f. = 0.80 if unknown.
• For panels, assume p.f. = 1.0.

Solar Hot Water Calculators

• 10 free solar thermal calculators from Free Hot Water
• Includes commercial collector spacing calculator; glycol mix calculator; radiant floor and heat loss calculator; solar thermal calculator (commercial and residential); swimming pool calculator; conversion calculator; annual U.S. insolation values; roof azimuth measurement tool; compound angle tool; latitude/longitude time zone calculator; and carbon dioxide emissions calculator.

Commercial Building Energy Index

• Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data
• Great place to search for energy information using key building criteria.