Washington: A team of researchers have devised a mathematical formula that detects unreliable systems and faulty equipment that affects energy consumption in buildings.
Companies lose millions of dollars annually through inefficient heating and cooling systems. Nearly 95 percent of all U.S. companies don`t monitor their building energy efficiency due to a lack of awareness, existing infrastructure restrictions or the prohibitive cost of commercial monitors.
Li Song from University of Oklahoma, along with her research colleagues, Gang Wang, University of Miami assistant professor, and Mike Brambley, staff scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have invented a method that overcomes these barriers to significantly reduce building operating costs as well as energy consumption.
Her applied research has potential to reduce energy consumption in a single structure by as much as 20 percent. Depending on the building conditions, Song estimates peak savings could be as much as 30 to 50 percent.
Song`s research team devised a mathematical formula using existing output data, such as pump speed and power, to monitor energy use in heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.
Based on the results, the formula detects unreliable systems and faulty equipment that affects energy consumption. Song`s formula creates virtual sensors to identify energy waste at the air-handling unit as well as at a whole-building level.
Besides saving companies money on utility bills, Song`s formula is a low-cost option to commercial monitors, making it easier for more companies to track energy efficiency.