Plug and Process Loads Capacity and Power Requirements Analysis

Michael Sheppy, Luigi Gentile Polese, Scott Gould

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report addresses gaps in actionable knowledge that would help reduce the plug load capacities designed into buildings. Prospective building occupants and real estate brokers lack accurate references for plug and process load (PPL) capacity requirements, so they often request 5-10 W/ft2 in their lease agreements. Limited initial data, however, suggest that actual PPL densities in leased buildings are substantially lower. Overestimating PPL capacity leads designers to oversize electrical infrastructure and cooling systems. Better guidance will enable improved sizing and design of these systems, decrease upfront capital costs, and allow systems to operate more energy efficiently. The main focus of this report is to provide industry with reliable, objective third-party guidance to address the information gap in typical PPL densities for commercial building tenants. This could drive changes in negotiations about PPL energy demands.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-60266

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102014-4277


  • commercial building
  • plug and process loads (PPL)
  • plug loads
  • PPL


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