Checklist: how to achieve year-round BEMS optimisation   


UK weather is anything but boring – in early March we had the ‘Beast from the East’, yet since then we have experienced the most prolonged heatwave since 1976. Such dramatic fluctuations mean that a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) must be optimised to keep it agile, flexible and responsive. Although the perceived enormity of such a task often overwhelms people, breaking down the entire service regime into bite-sized chucks can make the task less onerous. Let’s look at some key activities for each season.

 

Winter

 

• During the coldest part of the year, the ability of a BEMS to achieve the best possible comfort conditions will be tested. Ask occupants whether they are happy with their environmental conditions to identify any immediate areas of concern.

 

• Check alarms are correctly configured to warn of any unnecessary plant overrides and implement an optimum start/stop (OSS) strategy. This offers an efficient and automatic way of maintaining space temperatures, while controlling the amount of energy used to achieve them.

 

Spring

 

• With the end of March heralding British Summer Time (BST), make sure that a BEMS has been adjusted to account for the clocks going forward.

 

• Carry out a control check report (CCR). It can be produced by a BEMS to maintain parameters across a single site or estate in a graphical and easy to read format, and helps quickly identify where there is an error in occupation times and setpoints.

 

• Maintain a building’s comfort conditions during the forthcoming summer months, while minimising energy use, by implementing a fresh air cooling strategy that is controlled by a BEMS.

 

Summer

 

• Check water systems and implement measures to avoid outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. Attaching a sensor to a water system and linking it to a BEMS means temperature can be monitored and preventative action taken when necessary.

 

• Configure a BEMS to transmit alarms when conditions fall outside of any predetermined critical point.

 

• In late summer, determine whether climate monitoring and alarming strategies can be met by an existing BEMS and, if not, investigate whether some simple upgrades or reprogramming is required to ensure good comfort conditions.

 

Read: Back to school – a BEMS checklist for the new term

 

Autumn

 

• Construct an energy management plan that features a prioritised summary of activities for the short, medium and long-terms.

 

DCP 228 has affected how electricity charges are calculated. Consider carrying out a BEMS audit, which will not only optimise and reset time clocks and setpoints, but also drill down to the finer details and provide guidance about implementing an appropriate technologies like variable speed drives (VSDs).

 

 

Think ahead

 

Remember, a BEMS should always be considered a work in progress and maintaining and optimising it on a regular basis will help maximise any energy reduction opportunities. Just as importantly, such action will also create an improved working environment that has the health, happiness and wellbeing of occupants at its core.

 

If you would like more advice on how to manage your BEMS, contact your regional Trend partner – click here for contact information​

 
Published  on  11/10/2018  by  James Tate
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