Optimizing Operational Efficiency: Integrating Energy Information Systems and Model-Based Diagnostics

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This report documents findings from a demonstration project to verify the feasibility of employing a model-based approach to central plant operation and diagnostics at U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) facilities, and to quantify the associated benefits. Specific objectives that the field demonstration was designed to validate included: effectiveness in reducing electricity consumption and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; user satisfaction; cost-effectiveness and viability of system economics; and validity of model calibration. The development and design of the technology is described, as well as its demonstration at the US Naval Academy. The model-based optimization of condenser water temperature setpoints has the potential to save over then percent in daily energy use, for six months out of the year. However, since these savings are achieved during low-load winter operations, the annual savings potential is 1.4%. (Savings potential was driven by wet bulb temperature, and therefore is higher in drier climates.) This translated to approximately $30K per year, which is achievable at simple and discounted paybacks of 1.4 years. These capabilities were delivered through a software interface that was rated by operators as highly satisfactory with respect to the current operational tools in place at the installation. The software will be made available for expanded implementation through open source license.

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