A race car engineer is one of the most important people on a racing team. They enhance the performance and reliability of the vehicle by making sure all components are working together and using the vehicle’s data to push the limits. You might wish you could work on something as exciting as a Formula 1 or NASCAR race team, but did you know HVAC systems feature equipment that benefits from the same processes? Chiller plants consume significant amounts of energy and require similar levels of care to prevent overuse and breakdowns. In this blog, we’ll review how businesses can use analytics in their building automation systems.
Similar to a race car, a chiller plant is powered by a motor that consists of various parts that must work together to maintain efficiency. However, many chillers continue to operate even if the motor is experiencing minor problems; they just work harder to maintain the same output. This impacts efficiency and increases their energy consumption.
Evaluating loading trends against cooling demands often reveals excess capacity operating at suboptimal points. Excessive cycling also accelerates wear. By optimizing chiller sequencing and right-sizing the number of operating units to the current load, energy waste can be reduced. Advanced algorithms can even predict optimal staging based on weather forecasts and operating histories.
Failing to address mechanical issues can lead to significant breakdowns in race cars and chillers alike. Benchmarking real-time operating parameters against clean baseline metrics allows performance monitoring platforms to detect emerging issues before they lead to system failure. Declining heat transfer efficiency, changes in oil quality sensors, or spiking motor power can all indicate chiller fouling/scaling, refrigerant changes, or wearing gearboxes. Early diagnosis means problems can be addressed quickly to restore peak efficiency.
Performance setpoints allow vehicle engineers to determine when they can push the car beyond its limits. While chilled water setpoints are often left at static values, tracking plant efficiency metrics at different setpoints reveals opportunities to optimize delta T approach temperatures and return water temperatures for current building load conditions. This data helps determine the optimal temperature staging for maximum efficiency under different seasonal loads rather than using static setpoints year-round.
BuildingLogiX has experience maintaining chillers for companies across various industries. Learn more about who we work with.
Analyzing energy usage trends against equipment runtimes, occupancy variables, and weather data allows building owners to predict waste and finetune building automation for efficiency. By looking at meter data, they can systematically eliminate phantom loads, adjust HVAC scheduling, and shift peak demand. The results include double-digit cuts in their annual utility spending.
Performance analytics help maintenance teams shift from reactive repairs to proactive preservation when subtle declines in efficiency are detected from sensor data. Valves, motors, chillers, and other assets last longer when minor issues are addressed early before cascading to failure. Economizer optimizations and rebalancing also restore design conditions. The savings from extended equipment lifecycles and fewer emergency calls are often substantial.
Building occupants provide direct feedback on comfort and indoor air quality through IoT-connected smart sensors. Pinpointed issues can be quickly addressed before there are any complaints about temperature or air quality. Combined with usage metrics on conference rooms, amenities, and foot traffic, landlords provide personalized service through data, better accommodating needs and improving tenant satisfaction.
Chiller plants and other components of a building automation system generate significant amounts of data, and partnering with the right company is vital for developing it into actionable information.
Our BDX Data eXchange features a built-in chiller plant portal that offers real-time insight into efficiency. This graphically driven analysis tool simplifies complex data streams for actionable visibility. With our innovative platform, your facilities team can catch and address common problems before they create major malfunctions.
Contact us today to start using the analytics in your building automation systems.