Energy Management 103: BMS a Data Gold mine – From an operator foothold to complete ubiquity for the industry
A Building Management System (BMS) as said in the Middle East and Building Automation System (BAS) elsewhere, offers a building with a rationalized monitoring control system with the help of a computer or an industrial PC. Although, the fundamental purpose of the BMS system is to control with minimal data logging and monitor all equipment, such as HVAC, Ventilation systems, Lighting and many other sub systems present within the building, it is rather an under-utilized Data Gold mine lying somewhere in the basement of a building, waiting for its true potential to be unleashed that would contribute to save energy, water and carbon emissions.
The earlier BMS controllers had limited processing and memory retention providing only basic processing of control strategies and scheduled/ad-hoc control of equipment miniscule logging of meter data. Thus, integrating or add-ons to an existing BMS system can increase the processing power to extract more valuable data.
In today’s internet driven life, significant amount of bandwidth and storage are utilized by entertainment and social networking which has brought out a revolution in hardware, internet availability /prices, big data repositories and Analytics.
This might look like non-essential data to many, similarly, certain non-essential looking data in the BMS are data goldmines to building doctors. Like human vitals such as Heart Pulse, Body Temperature and Blood Pressure, the Building performance vitals such as Indoor Air Quality, Temperature Sensor data, Controls and Equipment Settings, together can be used by building doctors to make vital decisions and determine key performance indicators and bring it back to its design intent.
An on-going well-being of buildings can be achieved with Monitoring Based Commissioning (MBCx) where performance deviations, faults, over-use, out of compliance settings, benchmark outliers can be easily identified.
Other outcomes of continuous availability for building performance vitals are –
KPI Analytics for Baselining, Benchmarking & Ranking of equipment based on efficiency with the help of Analytics.
Selection of best efficient equipment, an example can be using the best chiller for base load in chiller plant optimization.
Prioritize maintenance of less efficient equipment.
Consumption patterns, e.g. middle east hospitality industry pay more during summer when the occupancy is lean while the Malls consumption is a complicated relationship between weather and occupancy, and peaks from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
AFDD & KPI Outlier routines will detect inappropriate values & unresponsive or erratic behavior of equipment’s.
Stuck valve actuators and coil inefficiencies can be found out without visiting and checking the end units.
Cost allocation for failures leading to energy wastage.
Measurement & Verification (M&V)
Data driven trustworthy justification / management of energy conservation measures and its outcomes.
Chilled water set-point reset based on weather.
Machine learning based Adaptive control of equipment on sensor failures.
Now we know that buildings talk, but is anybody listening?