The existing equipment is under pneumatic, electric, or manual control that is very basic and may not work well. With this type of control, equipment runs longer than necessary to cover all possible expected operating conditions. These controls are subject to tampering when they fail to perform well, and cannot be set up with the energy-saving strategies available with modern digital controls.
We suggest replacing existing controls with a building automation system (BAS). The system would be programmed at the time of installation according to energy-conserving strategies specified by the design engineer.
BAS systems can be thought of as computer networks, with miniature computers controlling the important pieces of mechanical equipment. These computers talk to each other through the network to enable interaction with one another according to central control logic and to allow central oversight and centrally-managed features. BAS systems can include many safety and convenience features such as full graphic terminal operation, remote access via internet, dial out/e-mail of alarms, security monitoring, and trending of energy and equipment data. To get all the features of a full BAS system can be quite expensive, however it is possible to start small and expand the control network over time. For the purpose of this study, we are recommending the most cost-effective approach, which is the installation of a BAS system intended to save energy. Further components can be added at a later date.
The cost of a system is closely tied to the number of control "points": physical input and output devices such as temperature sensors and relays. Mechanical system schematics provided elsewhere in this report show the recommended control points.
BAS systems can include many safety and convenience features such as full graphic terminal operation, remote access via phone line, ethernet LANs, WANs, internet, intranet for alarms, security monitoring, and trending of energy and equipment data.
Online data exchange with database tools such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL database servers can facilitate and automate information exchange between large systems for services such as scheduling. These tools may also be used to interact and exchange data with financial models to further analyse energy use, and management applications.