Water System and Conveyance Equipment

Andres Szmulewicz

For water distribution or irrigation, you would be monitoring power usage and gallons per minute (gpm) of the pumps. If you see the kw/gallon drift up from historical data for the same gpm (i.e., not just a performance curve variance), you know that the pump (while operational) is in need of service because it is becoming inefficient.

For conveyance equipment, you would be monitoring the weight load sensor, drive power consumption, and travel distance. If you see the kw/ ft.*lb drift up from historical data, you know that the motor (again, while operational) is in need of service because it is becoming inefficient.

Power Management Systems

Brian Turner, President, Controlco

There are several other systems in the building envelope that benefit from analytics and fault detection, especially when they are integrated into the same architecture. Lighting controls and power management are the next logical systems to include fault detection. While it is a fact that these systems already include some level of fault detection, there is a strong argument to be made that including these faults within the context of the building is a better solution.

Lighting control systems often include fault and system alarms for the devices and controllers. They rarely have algorithms defined to measure how well the sequences are performing, and if the overrides are impacted, the overall energy performance of the building. Similar to HVAC, lighting sequences and control strategies are customized for the building and tenant requirements. It is simply not possible for the manufacturer to predetermine what analytics or fault detection algorithms to include in the system before the sequences are commissioned. Once the sequences are understood, rules can be created that will measure the effectiveness of the sequence as compared to occupancy, HVAC schedules, energy goals, safety, and other related and nonrelated data sets.

Power management is another area of fault detection. Again, the system rules cannot be built until the building sequences for HVAC and lighting are implemented, and time has passed to build a baseline of information. Energy managers largely look at the energy consumption in reports, either through dashboards or spreadsheets, to determine if they are meeting their energy goals. Analytics and fault detection can be applied to look for the same anomalies the energy managers look for, but they do it near real time and inform the appropriate energy manager of the situation. If the proper systems are in place, additional rules can be implemented to automatically take corrective action to avoid new demand peaks or energy records.

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