Nathan Hinkle, an associate in the Cadmus Energy Division presented on secrets to success for advanced building controls integration at the 2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Integrating controls between lighting and HVAC systems has significant untapped potential for improving commercial building energy efficiency and occupant comfort, but effective integration is much more challenging than marketing might imply. Cadmus evaluated controls integration projects in five commercial buildings that included university, health care, municipal government, and commercial office uses. Each project installed a new networked lighting control system and integrated that system with the existing HVAC building management systems and new plug-load receptacle controls. Savings were driven by modifying control sequences and setpoints in response to luminaire-level lighting control sensors.
We used a combination of traditional temporary data loggers and novel smart data sources integral to the control systems to collect lighting, plug load, occupancy, HVAC, and building performance data for over one year through baseline, installation, commissioning, and post-installation periods. We used these data sources to develop weather-normalized models of controls savings for each project. This paper discusses the challenges and opportunities presented by Big Data in this project, including the innovative techniques we used to analyze millions of data points collected over this multiyear study and the issues to be aware of when using control system data for evaluation.
This paper also details the specific control strategies implemented by each project and the resulting energy savings, which varied dramatically. We share lessons learned on both the technical building and equipment characteristics—and human factors—that can make or break a controls integration project.
Authors: Nathan Hinkle, Randy Mead, and Brandon Kirlin