Gain Level is Now Building Type

Sunday, June 9, 2013

In the past, LoopLink asked you to define a Gain Level on the project details page which roughly described the amount of heat energy emitted from people and devices in the space; commonly known as internal gains. The Gain Level was used inside LoopLink to approximate heating and cooling start temperatures. Low gain level structures were modeled such that cooling started when the outdoor air temperature (OAT) was 70°F and heating started when the OAT got down to 62°F. Medium gain level buildings used 65°F and 57°F while high gain structures used 62°F and 52°F.

The Gain Level parameter still exists but, in our latest LoopLink update, we have reimagined how it is used. Now, instead of low, medium or high internal gains, you select a Building Type from Storage/Warehouse (low), Residential (medium) or Light Commercial (high). The building type sets the default heating and cooling start temperatures for the project just like the Gain Level parameter did but now when you create a zone you can modify these temperatures to better control your energy and operating cost analyses.

Why Did We Change It?

The Gain Level parameter was the most unLoopLinky field we had. It required more on screen explanation than any other field and the explanation, never really conveyed what we intended. As a result it appears that the majority of system designers simply skipped over the field and just left it at default (96% of all projects are set to medium gain).

This isn’t a bad thing. The mid-range heating and cooling start temperatures won’t cause a system to be modeled incorrectly they just might skew the operating cost estimates and long term savings a bit. So, to make the parameter more approachable, and system cost estimates more realistic, we switched Gain Level to Building Type and put the corresponding default heating and cooling start temperatures for each type on screen.

It is now easier to see and understand what you are defining. We hope this will add clarity to your design process and help you provide even more accurate economic evaluations to your customers.