Can We Fix It Automatically? Development of Fault Auto-Correction Algorithms for HVAC and Lighting Systems
A fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) tool is a type of energy management and information system designed to continuously identify the presence of faults and efficiency improvement opportunities through a one-way interface to the building automation system and application of automated analytics. Building owners and operators at the leading edge of technology adoption are using FDD tools to enable average whole-building portfolio savings of 8 percent. Although FDD tools can inform building operators of operational faults, currently a manual action is always required to correct faults and generate the associated energy savings. A subset of faults, however, such as biased sensors and manual override, can be addressed automatically, removing the need for operations and maintenance staff intervention. Automating this fault “correction” can significantly increase the savings generated by FDD tools and reduce the reliance on human intervention. Doing so is expected to advance the usability, as well as the technical and economic performance, of FDD technologies. In this paper, we present the development of 10 innovative fault auto-correction algorithms for HVAC and lighting systems. When the auto-correction routine is triggered, it will overwrite the control setpoints or other variables (via BACnet or other protocol) to implement the intended changes. These algorithms are able to automatically correct the faults or improve the operation associated with an incorrectly programmed schedule, override manual control, sensor bias, control hunting, rogue zone, and less aggressive setpoints/setpoints setback. The paper will also discuss the implementation of the auto-correction algorithms in FDD software products.