This last spring semester in Berkeley we experienced El Nino. This weather pattern tends to happen every five years and results in a cold rainy winter in the Berkeley area. When looking at Wurster’s energy Demand I hypothesized that it would increase during El Nino considering the need for more mechanical ventilation. I Compared the Energy demand of Wurster during the months of February 2009 and February 2010. I felt February would be the most accurate of the winter months to compare due to the consistent use of the building by scheduled classes.
The Comparison between these two years proved to be an issue. If you examine the data, February 2009 has a significantly higher energy demand. The reason probably being that the fans in Wurster, at the time, were less adjustable then they currently are. To get an accurate read on whether or not El Nino significantly effected the energy demand, one could potentially examine the peaks and valleys that show the day to day use by occupants. This shows no difference, probably because the primary reasons for increase or decrease energy use is generated from users who don’t have much if any mechanical control over temperature. Some notable characteristics about the data is that 2010 seems to have a significantly lower base load as well is a significantly lower maximum. Overall this data seems to point towards the possibility that El Nino had little to no effect on energy demand, but to answer that question in full would require more research then simply comparing the energy consumption of one month in 2 years. Now that the fans are more adjustable I would argue that comparing 2010 to 2011 will give a greater insight into the overall energy use, in less Wurster continues to drop its energy demand significantly, which wouldn’t be a bad thing. In conclusion the hypothesis and research unfortunately refused to produce any significant insight into the mystery that is Wurster’s energy use.