Diagnostics for Monitoring-Based Commissioning

National Conference on Building Commissioning: June 3-5, 2009
Michael R. Brambley and Srinivas Katipamula, Battelle Pacific Northwest Division
Patrick O’Neill, NorthWrite Inc.

This paper presents a case for application of automated monitoring, analysis and diagnostic tools for monitoring-based commissioning.
Selected examples are presented in which such tools have been used successfully to support commissioning activities in southwestern Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

The first example involves use of spreadsheet-based tools to automatically generate diagnostic plots that are visually examined for specific features that reveal operational 
problems in space conditioning systems of large commercial buildings. The findings then guide re-tuning actions to increase building energy efficiency. 

This is followed by application of a tool for continuous monitoring of whole-building energy use to automatically track energy savings resulting from a utility commissioning program. This tool also provides a means by which to detect degradation of savings and performance to guide monitoring-based commissioning actions. The potential use of automated diagnostic tools for chillers and packaged air conditioners is then described for continually commissioning these units.

The paper concludes with a discussion of the impacts of this approach on commissioning, including potential time savings, associated cost savings, and improvements in the quality of commissioning.


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