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After large administration or commercial buildings with complex heat supply systems and areas of use have been built, the target values agreed in the plans are frequently not achieved in operation.
© Plenum
Model-based quality assurance for building operation
Projektinfo 05/2013

Operation monitoring and error analysis of the heating system in the LANUV Düsseldorf.
© Plenum
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Optimum operation of heating systems in office buildings

Since 2010, various institutes, universities and consultancy companies have been conducting research on automated operation optimisation in larger buildings. For this purpose, they have developed procedures for commissioning and monitoring building services equipment systems, firstly for large heat supply units. These are currently being used and evaluated on an ongoing basis in seven office and school buildings. The aim is to make significant energy and cost savings, and to improve the level of convenience in the building.

The potential for cost savings in existing buildings is enormous. Improved control and regulation of the building services equipment alone could save up to 30 % of total final energy consumption. Often, simple measures are already sufficient, such as adapting time programs for system operation, the correct setting of heating and cooling curves and the adaptation of pump outputs. However, it is often a difficult and time-intensive process even to recognise such savings potential, above all when the measurement data needed is not available or not prepared. After large administration or commercial buildings with complex heat supply systems and areas of use have been built, the target values agreed in the plans are frequently not achieved in operation. Intermittent periods of insufficient or excessive supply frequently occur. While it would be possible to provide comprehensive operating data on control systems and building automation, in practice, its transfer for further data evaluation has however frequently involved a more complex procedure. Caretakers or equipment managers also often lack the necessary resources for comprehensive operation monitoring. In addition, the existing building services equipment systems have in most cases not been designed for operation analysis for all trades, and there is still no uniform system available for their optimisation.


The role of building automation

For commissioning and subsequent continuous monitoring, operational data is required. In this respect, building automation is the best source in new buildings or following more comprehensive renovation, since here, operational data can to a large extent be recorded without an additional technical infrastructure. It is the brain and the nervous system of a building and can control the functions of technical systems with complex regulation strategies. For building developers, building operators and quality assurance experts, secure access to the data relating to these systems in a history file is like referring to the medical records of a patient: unrestricted access must be made available at all times. In principle, the examination also covers the functions of the building automation itself. In order to ensure that quality assurance really does take place, care should be taken that the measures required for monitoring the goals are realistic and practicable.

Projektinfo 05/2013:
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Project coordination, method development
Fraunhofer ISE

Data recording and measurement, realisation in demonstration buildings
PLENUM Ingenieurgesellschaft

Development of hardware and software
ennovatis Schweiz AG

Development of building commissioning methods
HAW Hamburg

Scientific consultation on modelling and control technology
Energieagentur Regio Freiburg GmbH

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