Validating the Cimetrics Analytika HVAC Commissioning Platform
Bryan Urban | Fraunhofer USA Inc.
Building on the Department of Defense's (DoD) large investments in utility meter and asset management data systems, the research team will implement Cimetrics Analytika, a commercially mature heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) commissioning analytics platform, on up to six buildings. The primary goal of this project is to demonstrate that Analytika can provide energy/facility managers with a steady stream of specific, actionable, and cost-effective energy-saving opportunities, along with a practical means of prioritizing and tracking their resolution. The research team will demonstrate that Analytika is appropriate for the targeted building types, that it is compatible with and adequately satisfies DoD requirements (notably cybersecurity), that it identifies significant meaningful opportunities, and that those opportunities really do exist and can be addressed. In addition, the research team will evaluate the end-user (energy manager) acceptance and investigate innovative pathways to scale-up through a Center-of-Excellence model. A successful project will demonstrate the ability to cost-effectively identify savings opportunities of 15% of covered end-uses with an average simple payback of less than two years.
Analytika is a commercial HVAC commissioning analytics platform that uses existing building management system (BMS) data to continuously and automatically identify cost effective energy savings opportunities. The platform consists of a Cache-Poller, a one-way network-device (download only) that imports relevant BMS data, and an analytics toolkit (server or cloud-based) that monitors and models buildings and systems to identify savings opportunities. Innovative software-based automation streamlines the initial configuration process and the subsequent analyses, reducing labor and cost. Trained analysts periodically review the detected opportunities, translate them into action items/work orders, and generate monthly issue reports for energy/facility managers. A tracking system allows managers to view opportunities, assign jobs, and track progress toward completion. After addressing each issue, the platform continues monitoring to verify savings. This approach eliminates the burden of “analyzing and interpreting” the data, a task that most energy managers lack the training or time to complete. The platform is controls-vendor agnostic and can be readily integrated with virtually all building control system architectures.
HVAC systems, which account for about one third of commercial building primary energy consumption, often waste energy due to misconfiguration, neglected maintenance, or hardware issues. These issues, many of which can be addressed at no/low cost, can go undetected or unaddressed for years, leading to significant unnecessary energy expenditure, and in some cases, premature equipment failure. Persistent retro-commissioning can produce annual energy savings of up to 20% or about $0.16-0.41/ft2, typically with payback in under two years. Leveraging automated analytics to reduce labor intensity, the Cimetrics approach could unlock costeffective DoD savings opportunities of over $115 million per year. Non-energy benefits include commensurate reductions in facility electric demand, carbon dioxide emissions, improved indoor air quality,extended equipment lifetime, and reduced operation & maintenance costs.