Monitoring, forecasting and fine-tuning the HVAC system operation

 

State of the art

 

Building management systems (BMS) have been on the market for decades, claimed as management tool. Their main tasks include: Monitoring environmental and technical variables in the controlled areas; Controlling electrical and mechanical components; Optimising the operation of the facilities.

However, traditional BMS fall short of expectation for today’s energy efficiency concerns, hence the need to enhance them by means of innovative building energy management systems. At building level, the availability of a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) which smartly matches user needs while combined with energy savings, is critical and can be considered as a significant element of future buildings that play an active role in the energy market.

To achieve this, buildings need to incorporate an intelligence layer that enables automated understanding of current and future performances based on some given constrains as well as serve as test-bed for automated optimisation algorithms. Building performance modelling tools, of different kinds, are expected to bridge this gap as they are one of the key enabling technologies for the future energy efficiency in buildings.

 

The GEOFIT solution

 

eQualtiq is a Software-as-service (SaaS) solution that offers a suite of apps to reduce the energy costs of commercial buildings by means of monitoring, forecasting and fine-tuning the HVAC system operation while ensuring tenant’s comfort.

ENER SmartBuildings (part of SmartPowerSuite package) – SmartBuildings is the SaaS platform of the ENER SmartPowerSuite dedicated to residential buildings. Currently it is already deployed in different projects at pre-commercial level with different services enabled per project/customer. Some examples include peak-capacity management of 100’s of residential homes with heat-pumps optimization of local flexibility.

 

The GEOFIT contribution

 

Functionalities of BEMS incorporated in the project will be expanded by means of:

  • Hardware: synergy gateway able to communicate with all the devices (sensors, actuators) and equipment within the building, connected to all ICT systems, and connected to the web;
  • Software: open informatics platform to implement algorithms controlling HVAC, lighting and other appliances as developed with the modelling environment, building energy performance models and decision support tool for energy optimisation integration into the BEMS. Models will be integrated as functional mock-up units for broad compatibility;
  • Database for storage-sharing information with all the algorithms: monitored data and technical specifications of equipment and building components.

The new approach will enable the universal building systems optimization with the aim of the lowest energy use. Existing model libraries will be extended and new component models will be made freely available with standard interfaces (Functional Mockup Interface, FMI). Moreover, electrical components will be optimally operated responding to reliability requests and market prices. The use of Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) communication protocols will push technologies and interactions with system operator, utilities and retail energy providers.

 

Technology readiness level improvement: From TRL6 to TRL7