Overrides and Economization
In our last article, we briefly described the need for accurate sensor data and how economization is dependent on many components.
Today we want to highlight the importance of how economizers can have a direct impact on operational costs and how the facilities team can gain an operational understanding using data to avoid the removal of an economization strategy.
To further emphasize this point, the table below shows a building portfolio with 60+ air handlers (nearly half of them having the ability to economize) and the total savings achieved so far this year. You will notice that AH53 is having negative savings and, therefore, increasing operating costs. This was due to a manual operational change in an outdoor air damper override that the facility team made because the damper was malfunctioning and required an actuator repair. The repair was made but unfortunately, the return to automated command was missed and the opportunity for free cooling over the past month was lost resulting in wasted money and energy.
Tracking these types of initiatives is impossible to do on a regular basis with limited staffing without the assistance of software tools like the Resolute Economization report. In the report, we explore the opportunity for free cooling across every AHU with the capability and call out the poor performers. When viewed at a high level and over time, the results of this report can be used to maintain and validate the programming without the need for looking at each individual AHU on an individual basis which would quickly show you the failure and correct it before the lost savings grow to the hundreds of dollars!