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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Research challenges and directions in HVAC fault prevalence


This study provides a review of the current state of knowledge, gaps, and potential value in research on the prevalence of faults in commercial buildings. Two separate efforts were made in this study: (1) we performed a literature review to determine the extent of currently available fault prevalence data for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, and (2) we conducted dozens of interviews with subject matter experts and stakeholders to determine the HVAC fault data that would be of greatest value. Through the literature review and interviews, we discovered unmet needs for empirical data on the prevalence of faults at the desired level of granularity, consistency, and scale; this lack of data leads us to recommend future work studying commercial buildings’ HVAC fault prevalence, with robust fault taxonomy and a variety of meaningful fault prevalence metrics.

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