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Running and maintaining a facility with information

Posted November 8th 2010

It is amazing how complex it is to efficiently run and maintain a facility. Even more fascinating is how many engineers have to face this challenge with very limited information and control capability.

Since the launch of the Wireless Pneumatic Thermostat (WPT), we have learned from our clients just how valuable having visibility and control are. In fact, we’ve had many clients tell us that just seeing what is happening in their HVAC system is more valuable—in both energy and cost savings—than remote temperature control and programming. With diagnostic data showing the performance of the pneumatics and temperature in each thermostat zone, it becomes possible to identify exactly where dampers are stuck or which pneumatic pipes are leaking. This visibility enables targeted low-cost/no-cost maintenance, also called ‘ongoing commissioning.’ When all zones are working properly, you no longer have zones that fight each other with one heating while another is cooling.

Ongoing commissioning saves money by optimizing the use of energy and maintenance. By utilizing the data provided by the WPT, ongoing commissioning efforts can save up to 15% of energy use in addition to the energy saved by programming temperature set points and self calibration. Moreover, by only fixing zones when needed, we had one client achieve these energy savings while reducing their maintenance costs by 60%.

Due to the significant impact that can be achieved by utilizing the diagnostic data from our control system, the US Green Building Council has asked us to create a training program for LEED AP holders. This course is now available and qualifies for 1.5 continuing education credits.

David K. Roberts