Is Control Strategy Optimisation on your energy efficiency road map?

Control strategy optimisation is one of the most cost effective ways to reduce your building’s energy consumption. Other energy improvement initiatives that require the replacement of inefficient equipment, for example, chillers, lighting and Variable Speed Drives etc, can be expensive and disruptive.

Software optimisation is great because the change only requires your incumbent BMS technicians time, and if you are working on small systems, you don’t need to finish all the controller downloads in one session. You could change one floor of VAV’s software per month, and in some cases, this could be done during service time. 

While large complex optimisation projects require additional instrumentation, upgraded mechanical equipment and the need to follow a formal project delivery process; e.g. chilled water system optimisation, we are talking about phase one optimisation, and focusing on minor software changes to a hundred VAV’s, FCU’s, PAC’s or AHU’s. Small changes made to 20 floors of VAV’s quickly add up. More efficient terminal unit systems will usually feed back to improve efficiency of main air systems, and subsequently main water systems.

Having a new building or recently upgraded control system does not guarantee you have optimised control strategies. Even when you have energy efficient control strategies such as optimal start and temperature/pressure resets, their effectiveness greatly differs depending on how the software was written and how flexible or tune able the strategy is.

Sometimes an optimisation project is simply to redesign the existing strategy to work slightly differently and build out additional points that allow simple tuning.

BMS consultant Bryce Anderson Lifecycle Controls