A Semi-automated Commissioning Tool for VAV Air Handling Units: Functional Test Analyzer

Publication Type

Journal Article

Date Published




A software tool that automates the analysis of functional tests for air-handling units is described. The tool compares the performance observed during manual tests with the performance predicted by simple models of the components under test that are configured using design information and catalog data. Significant differences between observed and expected performance indicate the presence of faults. Fault diagnosis is performed by analyzing the variation of these differences with operating point using expert rules and fuzzy inferencing.

The tool has a convenient user interface to facilitate manual entry of measurements made during a test. A graphical display compares the measured and expected performance, highlighting significant differences that indicate the presence of faults. The tool is designed to be used by commissioning providers conducting functional tests as part of either new building commissioning or retro-commissioning, as well as by building owners and operators conducting routine tests to check the performance of their HVAC systems. The paper describes the input data requirements of the tool, the software structure, the graphical interface, and summarizes the development and testing process used.


ASHRAE Transactions



Year of Publication




Pt. 1


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