October 2014
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AutomatedBuildings.com

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Intelligent Live Recommissioning (ILR)

The process of supervising the operation of a building and constantly making adjustments. 
Charles Holleran

Charles Holleran
VP Engineering
SHIFT Energy

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Imagine a building that uses on average about 2,000 kW of power.  That’s something like filling up a mid-size car with gasoline and driving it dry 100 times every day[1].  That might be equivalent to driving 50,000 km every day, depending on the car.  If you could save on gas a little, you’d probably do it.

Today’s cars are much more efficient due to regulations that have been imposed on vehicle fuel performance.  If we had to drive 50,000 km every day using the gas guzzlers of the past, the energy cost would be even higher.

You also wouldn’t want the car to be driven abruptly either.  50,000 km of standing on the gas at starts and standing on the brake at stops would kill the fuel performance, and increase maintenance and reduce the life of the vehicle.  You’d want the vehicle driven as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

It is possible to take our existing buildings and use their data to drive the building more smoothly.  Intelligent Live Recommissioning (ILR) is the process of supervising the operation of a building and constantly making the adjustments to keep the ride smooth and efficient.  It makes updates to a building in real-time based on that building’s past and present performance, the conditions forecast for the near future, and what is required of the building.  It’s working right now in buildings like yours, reducing energy costs by as much as 35%.

No new equipment or big projects are required.  ILR gets the best performance possible from the equipment already in the building.  Understanding that equipment, how it handles on the road, and constantly monitoring it helps make a smooth and efficient ride.  Any equipment anomalies are identified for further follow-up.

A building has 1000’s of data points every minute.  As a dashboard, that much data would be very hard to use.  But software running the ILR process can watch all those variables, analyze them, and make adjustments directly to the building in real-time.  The dashboard that the driver sees is a summary of what is going on and why.  It also provides the option to go manual when you need to.

ILR brings in all of the external information that affects building performance and energy use, such as weather, occupancy, equipment performance, and the cost of energy.  It then carefully factors those influences in, as well as the data from the building, and ensures that 1) the building meets all of its performance requirements, and 2) does so in the most efficient way possible.

By combining the power of new technologies, such as IoT, machine-to-machine communications, recommissioning analytics, big data, and cloud computing, it is possible to constantly tune the building.  The building still has all of its independent systems, such as ventilation, cooling plants etc.  ILR adds another layer on top of the individual systems.  At this higher layer, ILR looks at all of the systems, and how they are affecting each other.  This adds more opportunities than looking at each individual system on its own.  Like vehicles of the past, each subsystem in the vehicle might be a thing of beauty.  But when we coordinate the vehicle as a whole, we get the gasoline sippers of today.

CatNet Systems ILR helps smooth out the building’s starts and stops.  When we switch a building, or a part of the building, from unoccupied to occupied at a given time, it’s a lot like standing on the gas pedal at starts and the brake at stops.  ILR can smoothly ramp the conditions from idle to full speed without dropping the pedal.  No one is saving gas by dropping the pedal to get the vehicle up to speed in the shortest time possible.  ILR software can be there every day to bring the building up to speed smoothly and be at speed on time.

SHIFT Energy has a software called “Energy Operating System”, EOS, that implements the Intelligent Live Recommissioning process.  Your building is constantly recommissioned to reduce energy use.  It is intelligent energy savings for the infrastructure you already own.

ILR tech, by SHIFT Energy.
The road to efficiency.
 
For more information, write us at info@shiftenergy.com

[1] 2,000 kW average power over a day, equivalent 172.8 GJ/day, 34.66 GJ/m for motor gasoline, equivalent 4,986 L/day, 50 L/tank: equates to roughly 100 tanks/day. 


About the Author

Charlie has over 20 years of experience in engineering and developing new technologies.  His passion for analyzing building systems and making continuous improvements in building performance contribute in advancing energy technology, measurement and verification, and energy management.

Charlie is a Registered Engineer, a Certified Energy Manager, a Certified Measurement & Verification Professional and a Certified Demand-side Manager.
His past work includes Nuclear Power Generation, Space Programs, RF Communications, and Initiation of Explosives.


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