Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Research Subcommittee Passes Three Ballots, Sends One to RFP Back to Task Group

NFRC’s Research Subcommittee continued working into the afternoon today, passing three ballots this morning.

Ballot One: Developing Improved Algorithms for Improving Accuracy of CMA Methodology Request for Proposal

This ballot focused on developing improved algorithms for the next generation of CMA methodology and proposes specific steps and procedures to be incorporated into the CMAST 2.0 in order to reduce maximum discrepancy between conventional simulation and CMA methodology.

One of the tasks involved in this research project calls for developing the list of products, placing emphasis on the high-performing products and components (spacers, glazing, and frame components). Opposition arose, however, citing that emphasis should be on improving CMA, not developing specific products. The counter-argument pointed out that developing such a list is critical in order to distinguish the better performing products.

The ballot ultimately passed, 30-6.

Ballot Two: Tubular Daylighting Device – Visible Transmittance Rating RFP

This ballot focused on allowing Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDD) to obtain the measured visible light ratings needed for both lighting design and an NFRC Visible Transmittance (VT) rating. This same proposal was defeated two years ago because it was considered expensive and limited in its scope.

One point of opposition that arose contended this version of the RFP requires further refinement to make it more comprehensive rather than focusing narrowly on TDDs. Another point of opposition was that the RFP is not clear in what it asks of bidders.

A motion to send the RFP back to the appropriate Task Group for be revised was approved.

Ballot Three: Fenestration Illumination Measurement Standard Summary Page

This ballot suggested that a research program be developed in two parts. The first would be a study to assess which of the several possible measurement approaches is expected to be the most cost effective for producing sufficient and precise accuracy. The second part of the research program would be to consider three different mounting source options.

Opposition to this initiative suggested NFRC consider that the project branches into areas of energy saving that may be beyond NFRC's agenda. Opposition also suggested that the NFRC Board of Directors may need to determine the benefits of projects such as this before proceeding.

Joe Hayden (Pella) questioned the duration of the project, speculating on whether it would be one or two years, and Research Subcommittee Chair, Bipin Shah agreed that the RFP required more clarification regarding it duration.

Following some additional discussion, this ballot was forwarded to the RFP stage.

Ballot Four: Develop Methodology for Solar-Optical Simulation of Non-Planar Glazing Systems

This ballot discussed a proposed research project to develop a uniform methodology for simulating solar-optical performance of non-planar glazing systems using ray-tracing technique.
This new methodology would become a standard that would be used by APC to accredit laboratories and enable fenestration manufacturers to rate products for visible transmittance and/or solar heat gain coefficient using ray-tracing technique.

Under this initiative, education and experience of the simulator, geometry of the domain, detector placement, source of rays, including direction and density, and aperture opening would all be standardized.

One point of opposition said that TDDs currently have an approved method for Photometric testing under hemispherical/specified sky conditions. Additionally, it contended that the complexity and uncertainty of the actual optics and materials in a TDD makes the simulation an inaccurate and expensive method for determining VT simulation.

Further discussion showed that while others agreed with this point of view, they still favored moving forward. Dave DeBlock (ODL) motioned to develop an RFP, and Miles McDonald (ACTL) provided a second. The ballot passed, 32-1.

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