Help


General Q&A’s

Q1: My location is not listed.

A1: Select the Ontario location from the list which is nearest to your facility (even if that location is relatively far away). Only Ontario locations are currently listed.

Q2: My facility is not rectangular in shape

A2: The calculator assumes the facility is rectangular. Always enter the correct area of the facility, regardless of its shape. The “length of the longest wall” input should be the overall length of the building (from end to end). See diagram below:

Diagram showing Facility viewed from above

Q3: I have multiple facilities (e.g. two separate greenhouses on the same property). How can I account for multiple buildings?

A3: At this time, the calculator can be used for only one building at a time. For multiple buildings, complete the calculator once for each building. Add the calculated savings for each building together to find overall savings.

The calculated savings per unit area of each building must be averaged together. To find the average, add the savings per unit area for each building together and divide by the number of buildings.

Q4: My facility is not a constant height.

A4: The calculator assumes the facility is one constant height. Estimate the average height of the building and enter this value into the calculator. See diagram below:

Diagram showing Facility viewed from side

Q5: My production units are not listed.

A5: Choose “Other” for production units and input an appropriate quantity.

Q6: My fuel type is not listed.

A6: At this time, only the listed fuel types can be chosen. Future versions of the calculator may include additional fuel types.

Q7: I receive fuel bills more or less often than once per month.

A7: If fuel bills are received more than once per month for the same fuel (e.g. liquid fuel deliveries), add all the bills together for each month and enter the total fuel quantity for that month.

If fuel bills are received less than once per month for the same fuel (e.g. some natural gas or electricity suppliers), enter the fuel quantity in the months where bills were received, and enter zero for months where no bill was received. The calculator will average the total fuel quantity over the entire year.

Q8: There are multiple facilities connected to my utility meter. How do I estimate the “percentage fuel use” is for this specific facility?

A8: If all the facilities connected to the utility meter are similar (e.g. multiple barns), calculate the total area of all facilities connected to that utility meter. Divide the area of this facility by the total area of all facilities to estimate the percentage fuel use.

If the facilities connected to the utility meter are very different (e.g. grain dryer and barn), a simple approximation is not possible. An experienced energy auditor or engineer may be required to estimate this value.

An incorrect value will impact the baseline energy usage of the specific facility. However, the total savings calculated for the specific facility will not be affected.

Greenhouse Q&A’s

Q9: What does “one roof section” of a greenhouse mean?

A9: Greenhouses typically have many roof “sections”. The width of one “section” is the distance between adjacent “peaks” or adjacent “valleys” in the roof. The height of one “section” is the vertical height from the eaves to the top of the peak. The diagrams below illustrate these measurements.

Greenhouse Roof

Q10: My greenhouse walls and/or roof use several combinations of glass and/or other coverings of varying ages and thicknesses. The calculator only allows selection of one covering sy14stem. Which one do I choose?

A10: Select the covering system which covers the largest total area of walls and/or roof. In most cases, this will be the covering on the roof of the greenhouse.

Q11: My greenhouse covering type is not listed.

A11: Select “Other” in the greenhouse covering selection. Then, input the actual insulation value (R-value, R(SI)-value, U-value or U(SI)-value) and the actual Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) for the desired greenhouse covering. Most greenhouse coverings fall between R(SI)-0.1 and R(SI)-0.6, with SHGC values between 0.6 and 0.9.

The default insulation values and SHGC values used in the calculator for greenhouse coverings are as follows:

Greenhouse Covering Type Default Insulation R(SI)-value (m2∙°C/W) Default Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
Glass, single pane 0.16 0.86
Glass, double pane 0.25 0.76
Fiberglass, single layer 0.15 0.80
Polyethylene film, single 0.15 0.93
Polyethylene film, single, over glass 0.21 0.80
Polyethylene film, double 0.25 0.86
Polyethylene film, double, over glass 0.29 0.74
Polycarbonate, double wall, 6mm 0.24 0.77
Polycarbonate, double wall, 8mm 0.27 0.80
Polycarbonate, double wall, 16mm 0.30 0.80
Polycarbonate triple wall 8mm 0.35 0.78
Polycarbonate triple wall 16mm 0.44 0.78
Polycarbonate five wall 16mm 0.56 0.65

Q12: My greenhouse structure type is not listed.

A12: The list in the calculator includes most major structural types for greenhouses. If the specific type is not listed, choose the structure that most closely resembles the actual greenhouse structure.

Q13: My thermal energy curtain type is not listed.

A13: Select “Other” in the thermal energy curtain type selection. Then, input the actual insulation value (R-value, R(SI)-value, U-value or U(SI)-value) for the desired energy curtain. Most thermal energy curtains fall between R(SI)-0.2 and R(SI)-0.4.

The default insulation values used in the calculator for thermal energy curtains are as follows:

Thermal Energy Curtain Type Default Insulation R(SI)-value (m2∙°C/W)
AL/TempTM, aluminum down 0.25
AL/TempTM, aluminum up 0.21
AL/blacTM 0.24
Duracote no. 2425 (FoylonTM) 0.46
Black sateen 0.27
Black polyethylene, 150 micron 0.18
Clear polyethylene, 50 or 100 micron 0.15
ReemayTM, spunbonded polyester 0.15
Vinyl (aluminized polyester laminated vinyl), 115 micron 0.38

Q14: What is an insulation value (e.g. R-value)? How do I find the insulation value for my greenhouse covering or insulation or energy curtain?

A14: The insulation value is a measure of how quickly a certain material will allow heat to pass through it. Insulation values may be reported as an R-value or a U-value in imperial units, or as an R(SI)-value or a U(SI)-value in metric units. The insulation value for a certain material or product can usually be found in the product specifications or from the product manufacturer. Select the proper type of insulation value (e.g. R-value) when entering the product information.

Q15: What is a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)? How do I find the SHGC for my greenhouse covering?

A15: The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is a fraction of the total amount of solar radiation that will pass through a window. SHGC is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. A window with a low SHGC will transmit less solar heat than a window with a high SHGC. The SHGC of a particular greenhouse covering can usually be found in the product specifications or from the product manufacturer.

Q16: My heating system is not listed.

A16: Select the “Other” option in the heating system selection. Then, input the actual thermal efficiency of the heating system. Thermal efficiency is a measure of the energy output of a heating system compared to the fuel input. It is sometimes reported as Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The efficiency of a particular heating system can usually be found in the product specifications or from the product manufacturer. The default heating system efficiencies in the calculator are as follows:

Heating System Type Default Efficiency
Forced air (original) 70%
Forced air (new / ducted) 75%
Boiler (original) 70%
Boiler (retrofitted) 75%
Boiler (new) 80%
Near-Condensing Boiler 86%
Condensing Boiler (high temperature heating system) 88%
Condensing Boiler (low temperature heating system) 95%

Q17: I want to make other upgrades to my facility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (for example, a solar air heater). Will this calculator tell me how much I will save?

A17: At this time, the calculator is only able to determine savings from the following items for greenhouses: covering systems, thermal energy curtains, and heating systems. Additional technologies or upgrades may be added in the future.

Grain Dryer questions

Q18: My crop type is not listed

A18: If the specific crop type desired is not listed, please choose a crop type with a similar bushel-weight as the crops listed. The table below shows the crops included in the calculator:

Crop Type Bushels per Tonne
Barley 45.930
Buckwheat 45.930
Canola 44.092
Corn 39.368
Flaxseed 39.368
Mustard Seed 44.092
Oats 64.842
Peas 36.744
Rye 39.368
Sorghum 39.368
Soybeans 36.744
Sunflower Seed 73.487
Wheat 36.744

Q19: My grain dryer is used for multiple crops. Which crop do I choose?

A19: Select the crop which represents the majority of grain drying. For Ontario, in most cases, this will be corn.

Q20: The moisture level of my crops varies. How do I choose the right one?

A20: The value used in the calculator should estimate the overall average moisture level across the entire drying season. Where possible, use site records to inform the estimation.

Prior to drying, estimate the overall average moisture level of grain immediately before entering the dryer.

After drying, estimate the overall average final output moisture level immediately after grain leaves the dryer. If multiple crops are being dried or different final moisture levels are desired at different times, use an average value.

Common final moisture contents of grain are as follows:

Crop Type Typical dryer output moisture level (percent wet basis)
Barley 14 %
Corn 15.5 %
Flaxseed 9 %
Oats 14 %
Rye 13 %
Sorghum 13.5 %
Soybeans 13 %
Sunflower Seed 10 %
Wheat 14 %

Q21: My grain dryer type is not listed.

A21: At this time the calculator is only able to determine savings from either continuous cross-flow grain dryers (tower and horizontal) or continuous mixed-flow grain dryers. Installation of heat recovery on other dryers is possible but uncommon.

Q22: How do I know the efficiency of my dryer?

A22: Efficiency is measured in amount of energy used to evaporate a certain quantity of water. Efficiency information may be available from the dryer manufacturer. If no efficiency is entered, a default value will be used. The default dryer efficiencies are listed as follows:

Grain Dryer Type Default grain dryer efficiency
BTU per pound of water evaporated Kilojoule per kilogram of water evaporated
Continuous Mixed Flow Dryer 2050 4768
Continuous Cross-Flow Dryer (Tower or Horizontal) 2800 6513

Q23: I use my grain dryer in different months than those listed in the calculator. How do I account for this?

A23: At this time, the calculator only accounts for grain drying in September through December. This selection is used to estimate the average outdoor air temperature during the dryer’s operation.

Q24: I only use my grain dryer for part of the month. How do I account for this?

A24: Select “Yes” for all months the dryer is used (whether continuously or intermittently) to include the average monthly outdoor temperature in the calculation.

Q25: I want to replace my existing grain dryer with a more efficient one. How can I calculate the savings?

A25: At this time, the calculator is only able to determine savings from the addition of heat recovery to an existing dryer. Future versions of the calculator may include additional dryer types and/or the ability to change dryers.

Building Questions

Q26: My wall and/or roof type is not listed.

A26: Select “Other” in the wall and/or roof type selection. Then, input the actual insulation value (R-value, R(SI)-value, U-value or U(SI)-value) for the actual wall assembly. Insulation values from wall assemblies can typically be found from engineering specifications or publications. The default wall and roof types and default insulation values are as follows:

Wall or Roof Assembly Type Default Insulation R(SI)-value (m2∙°C/W)
Metal siding with wood framing 0.44
Concrete sandwich wall with 3″ insulation 2.53
Concrete or block wall 0.32
Metal roof with wooden trusses 0.33

Q27: My insulation type is not listed.

A27: Select “Other” in the insulation type selection. Then, input the actual insulation value (R-value, R(SI)-value, U-value or U(SI)-value) for the actual insulation product being used. These values can usually be found in the insulation product specifications or from the product manufacturer. The default insulation values used in the calculator are as follows:

Insulation Type Default Insulation R(SI)-value per metre of wall thickness (m2∙°C/W∙m)
Batt insulation 20.00
Blown-in cellulose 26.32
Cellular glass board 24.39
Expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) 29.41
Extruded polystyrene (XPS) 30.30
Phenolic foam board 50.00
Sprayed-in-place polyurethane foam 43.48

Q28: What is a livestock curtain?

A28: A livestock curtain is a type of construction where a portion of the building wall is left open. A removable curtain covers the opening, which can be raised or lowered as desired. The calculator assumes the curtains are located on the longer walls of the building. The shorter walls do not contain curtains. The default insulation value for a livestock curtain wall is 0.512 R(SI)-value. This value cannot be changed in the calculator.

Q29: I currently have a livestock curtain and want to remove it. How can I input this into the calculator?

A29: If a livestock curtain is selected, it is used for both the “baseline” and “modified” buildings. At this time, the calculator does not determine savings from removal of a livestock curtain and conversion to a solid wall.

Q30: My livestock type isn’t listed.

A30: Choose a livestock type similar in size and physiology to the actual livestock. For example:

  • If the actual livestock type is “Mink”, an appropriate choice may be “Rabbits”
  • If the actual livestock type is “Pigeons”, appropriate choices may be “Chicken – Broilers” or “Chicken – Pullets”

Q31: What are temperature and humidity deadband? How do I determine that?

A31: The calculator assumes the building relies on ventilation to control internal temperature and humidity level. At certain times of year, the building may be warmer and/or more humid than the desired temperature and/or humidity level. This happens when the outdoor temperature and/or humidity level are very high.

The program calculates temperature-control ventilation based on the desired indoor temperature, or the outdoor temperature plus the deadband (or “neutral zone”). A smaller deadband results in higher ventilation rates and more energy use. The default temperature deadband is 2°C.

The program calculates moisture-control ventilation based on either the desired indoor humidity level, or the outdoor humidity level plus the deadband (or “neutral zone”). A smaller deadband results in higher ventilation rates and more energy use. The default humidity deadband is 5% relative humidity.

Q32: I already have a heat exchanger in my barn. How do I account for this?

A32: At this time, the calculator assumes there is no heat exchanger currently installed in the barn.

Q33: How do I determine the sensible heat recovery efficiency of my heat exchanger?

A33: Sensible heat recovery efficiency is the percentage of “dry” heat (not humidity) which is transferred to incoming air, compared to the total “dry” heat in the air being exhausted. Heat recovery efficiency can typically be found in the product specification or from the product manufacturer. Values of 40-60% efficiency are typical, but may be as high as 80%.

Q34: How do I know if I have variable speed or constant speed control? What does that mean?

A34: “Constant speed” control assumes the heat exchanger will operate at its maximum airflow at all times (also known as “on/off” control). In some cases, this may over-ventilate the building, resulting in additional heating required.

“Variable speed” control assumes the heat exchanger will operate at the lowest airflow needed to ventilate the building and recover heat. Variable speed control attempts to minimize the amount of additional heating required.

In both cases, the heat exchanger will only operate during months where supplemental heating is required. In months where supplemental heating is not required, it is assumed other exhaust fans will be used for ventilation. If additional ventilation is required above the heat exchanger’s operating airflow in any month, it is assumed other exhaust fans (with no heat recovery) will provide this ventilation.

Q35: My heating system is not listed.

A35: Select the “Other” option in the heating system selection. Then, input the actual thermal efficiency of the heating system. Thermal efficiency is a measure of the energy output of a heating system compared to the fuel input. It is sometimes reported as Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The efficiency of a particular heating system can usually be found in the product specifications or from the product manufacturer. The default heating system efficiencies in the calculator are as follows:

Heating System Type Default Efficiency
Forced air (original) 70%
Forced air (new / ducted) 75%
Boiler (original) 70%
Boiler (retrofitted) 75%
Boiler (new) 80%
Near-Condensing Boiler 86%
Condensing Boiler (high temperature heating system) 88%
Condensing Boiler (low temperature heating system) 95%

Q36: I want to make other upgrades to my facility to reduce energy use (for example, a solar air heater). Will this calculator tell me how much I will save?

A36: At this time, the calculator is only able to determine savings from the following building improvements: improved insulation in walls and roofs, ventilation heat exchangers, and improved heating systems. Additional technologies or upgrades may be added in the future.