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Title: Commissioning of HVAC systems

Abstract

In recent years various presentation and discussions have taken place which looked at commissioning as a separate process that had to be specified and implemented by a specialized entity in a project. This presentation discusses commissioning in the HVAC field and looks at it from an international perspective. The author has worked in Europe, South Africa (British system) and in the USA. The differences are discussed between the British and the American methods with some examples where the American way of commissioning was unsuccessful. The conclusion is that it is the design engineer`s job to test and accept (commission) an installation after the contractor has demonstrated the performance to the satisfaction of the design engineer. Once the plant is commissioned, it is put into service.

Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
54748
Report Number(s):
CONF-941218-
TRN: 95:003625-0056
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 17. world energy engineering congress and the 4th environmental technology congress and expo, Atlanta, GA (United States), 7-9 Dec 1994; Other Information: PBD: 1995; Related Information: Is Part Of Competitive energy management and environmental technologies: Proceedings; PB: 640 p.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 25 ENERGY STORAGE; BUILDINGS; SPACE HVAC SYSTEMS; OPERATION; START-UP; REFRIGERATING MACHINERY; HEAT STORAGE

Citation Formats

Schiess, K. Commissioning of HVAC systems. United States: N. p., 1995. Web.
Schiess, K. Commissioning of HVAC systems. United States.
Schiess, K. 1995. "Commissioning of HVAC systems". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_54748,
title = {Commissioning of HVAC systems},
author = {Schiess, K.},
abstractNote = {In recent years various presentation and discussions have taken place which looked at commissioning as a separate process that had to be specified and implemented by a specialized entity in a project. This presentation discusses commissioning in the HVAC field and looks at it from an international perspective. The author has worked in Europe, South Africa (British system) and in the USA. The differences are discussed between the British and the American methods with some examples where the American way of commissioning was unsuccessful. The conclusion is that it is the design engineer`s job to test and accept (commission) an installation after the contractor has demonstrated the performance to the satisfaction of the design engineer. Once the plant is commissioned, it is put into service.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1995,
month = 6
}

Conference:
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  • The development of a prototype tool to assist in the commissioning of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) control loops is described. The work has been performed in collaboration with a consulting engineering practice, a design and build contractor, and a controls manufacturer. The tool is based on observations of current practice in commissioning commercial buildings in the United Kingdom. A set of faults and problems commonly occurring during commissioning was identified, and a set of test procedures was developed to detect and, if possible, diagnose these faults and problems. The test procedures were developed in the laboratory--using detailed computer simulationmore » and a small-scale air-handling unit--and on site in recently commissioned commercial office buildings. The prototype tool was then tested on a large experimental air-conditioning system. The paper presents the results of various tests performed on the HVAC systems in real office buildings in order to illustrate the operation of the tests and the information that they can provide.« less
  • Houses do not perform optimally or even as many codes and forecasts predict. For example, Walker et al. (1998a) found large variations in thermal distribution system efficiency, as much as a factor of two even between side-by-side houses with the same system design and installation crew. This and other studies (e.g., Jump et al. 1996) indicate that duct leakage testing and sealing can readily achieve a 25 to 30% reduction in installed cooling capacity and energy consumption. As another example, consider that the building industry has recognized for at least 20 years the substantial impact that envelope airtightness has onmore » thermal loads, energy use, comfort, and indoor air quality. However, Walker et al. (1998a) found 50% variances in airtightness for houses with the same design and construction crews, within the same subdivision. A substantial reason for these problems is that few houses are now built or retrofitted using formal design procedures, most are field assembled from a large number of components, and there is no consistent process to identify problems or to correct them. Solving the problems requires field performance evaluations of houses using appropriate and agreed upon procedures. Many procedural elements already exist in a fragmented environment; some are ready now to be integrated into a new process called residential commissioning (Wray et al. 2000). For example, California's Title 24 energy code already provides some commissioning elements for evaluating the energy performance of new houses. A house consists of components and systems that need to be commissioned, such as building envelopes, air distribution systems, cooling equipment, heat pumps, combustion appliances, controls, and other electrical appliances. For simplicity and practicality, these components and systems are usually evaluated individually, but we need to bear in mind that many of them interact. Therefore, commissioning must not only identify the energy and non-energy benefits associated with improving the performance of a component, it must also indicate how individual components interact in the complete building system. For this paper, we limit our discussion to diagnostics in areas of particular concern with significant interactions: envelope and HVAC systems. These areas include insulation quality, windows, airtightness, envelope moisture, fan and duct system airflows, duct leakage, cooling equipment charge, and combustion appliance backdrafting with spillage. The remainder of this paper first describes what residential commissioning is, its characteristic elements, and how one might structure its process. Subsequent sections describe a consolidated set of practical diagnostics that the building industry can use now. Where possible, we also discuss the accuracy and usability of these diagnostics, based on recent laboratory work and field studies. We conclude by describing areas in need of research and development, such as practical field diagnostics for envelope thermal conductance and combustion safety. There are several potential benefits for builders, consumers, code officials, utilities, and energy planners of commissioning houses using a consistent set of validated methods. Builders and/or commissioning agents will be able to optimize system performance and reduce consumer costs associated with building energy use. Consumers will be more likely to get what they paid for and builders can show they delivered what was expected. Code officials will be better able to enforce existing and future energy codes. As energy reduction measures are more effectively incorporated into the housing stock, utilities and energy planners will benefit through greater confidence in predicting demand and greater assurance that demand reductions will actually occur. Performance improvements will also reduce emissions from electricity generating plants and residential combustion equipment. Research to characterize these benefits is underway.« less
  • In recent years, commissioning has been viewed as a separate process that had to be specified and implemented by a specialized entity. This article discusses commissioning in the HVAC field and looks at it from an international perspective. The author has worked in Europe, South Africa (British system) and the USA. The differences between the British and the American methods of commissioning are discussed, with examples given where the American way was unsuccessful. It is the design engineer`s job to test and accept (commission) an installation after the contractor has demonstrated the performance to the satisfaction of the design engineer.more » Once the plant is commissioned, it is put into service.« less
  • The Lincoln Public School District, in Lincoln, Nebraska, recently installed vertical-bore geothermal heat pump systems in four, new, elementary schools. Because the district has consistent maintenance records and procedures, it was possible to study repair, service and corrective maintenance requests for 20 schools in the district. Each school studied provides cooling to over 70% of its total floor area and uses one of the following heating and cooling systems: vertical-bore geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), air-cooled chiller with gas-fired hot water boiler (ACUGHWB), water-cooled chiller with gas-fired hot water boiler (WCCYGHWB), or water-cooled chiller with gas-fired steam boiler (WCUGSB). Preventative maintenancemore » and capital renewal activities were not included in the available database. GHP schools reported average total costs at 2.13 cents/ft{sup 2}-yr, followed by ACC/GHWB schools at 2.88 cents/ft{sup 2}-yr, WCC/GSB schools at 3.73 cents/ft{sup 2}-yr, and WCC/GHWB schools at 6.07 cents/ft{sup 2}-yr. Because of tax-exemptions on material purchases, a reliance on in-house labor, and the absence of preventative maintenance records in the database, these costs are lower than those reported in previous studies. A strong relationship (R{sup 2}=O.52) was found between costs examined and cooling system age: the newer the cooling equipment, the less it costs to maintain.« less
  • An active building has many service water systems in use for HVAC purposes and many different materials in those systems for corrosion-free containment. All material are expected to last for the useful life of the building. This paper addresses the methods used to thoroughly evaluate these systems using nondestructive and destructive techniques in an attempt to establish a service life so life extension can be considered or system replacement budgeted.