Performance Assessment and Adoption Processes of an Information Monitoring and Diagnostic System Prototype

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This report addresses the problem that buildings do not perform as well as anticipated during design. We partnered with an innovative building operator to evaluate a prototype Information Monitoring and Diagnostic System (IMDS). The IMDS consists of high-quality measurements archived each minute, a data visualization tool, and a web-based capability. The operators recommend similar technology be adopted in other buildings. The IMDS has been used to identify and correct a series of control problems. It has also allowed the operators to make more effective use of the building control system, freeing up time to take care of other tenant needs. They believe they have significantly improved building comfort, potentially improving tenant health, and productivity. The reduction in hours to operate the building are worth about $20,000 per year, which could pay for the IMDS in about five years. A control system retrofit based on findings from the IMDS is expected to reduce energy use by 20 percent over the next year, worth over $30,000 per year. The main conclusion of the model-based chiller fault detection work is that steady-state models can be used as reference models to monitor chiller operation and detect faults. The ability of the IMDS to measure cooling load and chiller power to one-percent accuracy with a one-minute sampling interval permits detection of additional faults. Evolutionary programming techniques were also evaluated, showing promise in the detection of patterns in building data. We also evaluated two technology adoption processes, radical and routine. In routine adoption, managers enhance features of existing products that are already well understood. In radical adoption, innovative building managers introduce novel technology into their organizations without using the rigorous payback criteria used in routine innovations.

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Final report for CEC/CIEE project: Diagnostics for Building Commissioning and Operation. This report is being published by the CEC.


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