HVAC systems are more complex than ever. Yet in our rush to
apply technology in the name of energy efficiency we inevitably
cause more harm than good because of mis-application of the
technologies or mis-understanding of the real issues. An optimized
HVAC system, by definition, is as energy efficient as possible
without any sacrifice of temperature and humidity control.
There are inherent cause and effect relationships between mechanical
equipment, connected loads, air and water distribution design
and control strategy. The key to HVAC system optimization is
an intuitive understanding of these relationships; not merely
applying time honored prevailing wisdom to generally distinctive
situations. It is impossible to optimize a system, from both
an energy and comfort perspective, without total comprehension
of the very complicated inner workings of these systems.
staff of professionals resolutely believes that the only way
to optimize a system is for the system to operate as originally
intended - assuming a competent design and installation, which
could be a large leap of faith - and with a complete absence
of performance deficiencies. Only then can technologies be applied
to ensure that the HVAC system performs as efficiently as possible.
is a prescriptive methodology that combines "commissioning"
with "optimization" to achieve a work product far
superior to that produced by traditional commissioning-only
processes. The OptimissioningSM of the HVAC system
involves developing sequences of
operations, testing, and evaluating the system’s response under as many conditions as
possible. It is an iterative and time-consuming process we use to optimize critical
setpoints, implement reset schedules, and identify just how far we can push the operational
“envelope”. This is when and only when the goal of maximum efficiency with no sacrifice in
comfort can be achieved.
Performance Integration - OPI
the most significant failing of the "commissioning"
genre of "assuring" compliance with design documents
and intent may be the notion of functional performance testing
(FPT). Current protocols prescribe methodologies for testing
individual items of a given system to be commissioned, with
grossly insufficient emphasis placed on commissioning the complete
system for optimal performance, hence the term optimissioningSM.
A system will be optimized when the design, installation, equipment,
controls and test & balance components are integrated from
a holistic perspective. Functional performance testing, as it
is widely defined and utilized in the commissioning processes
of today, lacks the essential protocols to ensure optimized
performance of the HVAC system.
While determining the functionality of the associated pieces constituting
a given system is requisite, and serves the dual purpose of
early identification of deficiencies - whether design, installation,
application or manufacturing - it is inadequate from an operating
system perspective. It is vital that the cause and effect relationships
of all aspects of the system be understood in order to truly
optimize the performance of the system.
It is from this perspective that led Energy-Environment-Economics
to develop OPI protocols for optimizing an HVAC system's unique
operating characteristics. These protocols utilize FPT's as
the beginning, not the end, of the OptimissioningSM
process. Our optimal performance integration techniques produce
far greater results than do traditional commissioning methods,
and do so without regard to pre or post construction timelines.