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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Advanced control sequences and FDD technology. Just shiny objects, or ready for scale?


Innovations in commercial building control sequences (ASHRAE guideline 36) and fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) technology have the potential to transform existing building operational efficiency by realizing whole-building level savings on the order of 15% and higher. However, several technical and market barriers related to up-front estimation of achievable savings, verifying implementation, and ensuring persistence are slowing down their adoption as a core offering through diverse owner-funded initiatives and rate-payer funded programs. This paper describes a suite of solutions to overcome these barriers to program delivery of advanced HVAC controls integrated with FDD energy management and information system (EMIS) technology. First, the Guideline 36 conformance test offers an automated method to confirm correct sequence implementation by the manufacturer, before field deployment. A successful test of a controller was conducted using a new manufacturer-independent hardware-in-the-loop testbed demonstrating the viability and scalability of this approach. Second, the Guideline 36 energy savings calculator uses modeling paired with high-level user inputs to estimate building-specific savings potential, target cost effective implementation and minimize uncertainty. Initial results indicate the baseline control sequences significantly impact energy savings, however, as much as 50% savings may be possible for the worst-case baseline scenario. Third, a functional specification provides minimum recommended EMIS-FDD capabilities, and best practices to integrate the technology into organizational practice and ensure that advanced control sequences provide persistent savings.

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